Who can forget their first car? No matter how well it ran, how often it broke down, it got us from A to B and that was enough.
But, as car manufacturing has stepped into fifth gear and continues to advance at lightning speed, we see that our once considered snazzy automobile was perhaps a mechanical mess.
The colossal car industry is booming and manufacturers are constantly developing innovative designs to keep up with consumer demand. But has the effort to be different through quirky ideas always landed in their favour? The answer is no. Some of these zany zoomers have left much to be desired in terms of make-up and aesthetic appeal.
If you’re planning to buy one of these cars to ship back home, you may want to think twice. Having said that, it’s all a matter of taste and many of these cars have since become collector’s items, perhaps in part due to their reputation!
So, without further ado, let’s take a look at a few of the worst cars ever made.
1. Cadillac Cimarron 1982-1988
This disaster in disguise first cruised the streets in 1981, selling at a whopping $12,131. Its stylish appearance gave an allure of sophistication and luxury, however, its mechanics meant that it was little more than a dolled-up Chevrolet Cavalier. Unfortunately, its admired, glamorous interiors could not overshadow its snail-like pace and claustrophobic size. Sales saw a rapid decline and the little Caddy took a back seat in the car market. A small car but a big mistake for General Motors, as the Cimarron became a symbol for Cadillac’s decline, from which it still hasn’t recovered.
2. Ford Pinto 1971-1980
While some cars are recalled for their heinous looks and mediocre quality, the Ford Pinto is almost universally remembered for being a flaming death-trap. Due to a major design fault, a rear impact could cause the fuel filler to come loose and puncture the fuel tank, often resulting in catastrophic explosions. As if that wasn’t dodgy enough, Ford allegedly determined that the price for sourcing more material outweighed the cost of the fault! Hence why Ford came to blows with its consumers.
3. Pontiac Aztek 2001-2005
A radical ride that shocked the market with it’s less than handsome looks. A car perhaps created before its time, the Pontiac left the industry bamboozled by its failed attempt of futuristic innovation. Pontiac’s management took the term ‘bold’ to the extreme with two-tone, yellow with grey plastic moulding, and turn signals completely separated from the headlights… a bold choice, indeed. Despite having some of the best designers working on the model, it lacked a unified vision. A classic case of too many cooks… unfortunately, the Pontiac was left half-baked.
4. The Yugo 1985-1992
With a vision to be one of the cheapest cars in the US, the Yugo was also the worst. Imported from Yugoslavia, it sold in the US for around $4,000 but was worth about a tenth of that. Its interiors could make up our oceans’ worth of plastic, which only cheapened it further. Normally, a lack of one aspect can be made up by another, but somehow, the Yugo’s creators blessed it with both a harsh, jarring ride and poor steering and handling. And its tiny engine size meant that uphill climbs were a struggle for the tiny tooter. To conclude, it was a car-crash of a design.
5. Austin Allegro 1973-1982
Well remembered, and truly mocked, the Allegro (often referred to as the “All-agro”) is one of Britain’s biggest car flops. Dimensional issues, grinding gear change, and a somewhat baffling quartic steering wheel—which was even criticised by the metropolitan police at the time—turned this rogue roadrunner quickly into a laughing stock. Typically, designers of the day preferred rectangular edges, whereas this motor sported a series of metal bubbles bound together to make its shape. However, despite its faults, many people hold treasured bumpy memories riding the Allegro through the disco era.
6. Reliant robin 1973-1981
Topping off the list with arguably one of the most unique, quirky cars ever made, the robin—or the “plastic pig”, as it was called—toppled onto the scene and gained its fame through television appearances. Firmly remaining in the public consciousness, thanks to its starring role on Only Fools and Horses and Mr Bean, the small three-wheel drive became exceedingly popular. Despite its status, it didn’t come without a list of endless faults. The steering wheel popped off, its doors cracked in the wind, and it wasn’t the ‘steadiest’ of vehicles. The Robin had a good run, but with no reverse option, it only went one way: straight onto the list of the worst cars ever made.
Why do we love these disaster drives?
Flaws and all, we just can’t seem to hate these classic cars. From their simplicity, character to the interior smell; they are a symbol of times gone by, and good times at that. Reminding us of sunny holiday trips to the coast, or passing our test and grabbing freedom by the, granted, rickety steering wheel. These once laughable pieces are now treasured collector’s items with their value creeping up every year.
Once considered cumbersome and daft, these misunderstood motors are now special, rare finds. They’re even being sold around the world as collectors’ items. Whether you’re taking a trip back in time and reliving your youth, or simply an avid collector, picking up one of these automobile horror stories can actually boost your collection, or at least take pride of place reminding you of times gone by.
Buy a car and ship it anywhere
Whether you’re looking at snapping up a collector’s item or selling a car from your treasured collection, did you know you can ship a prized vehicle anywhere in the world with Autoshippers? Our exclusive classic car shipping service makes sure your vintage vehicle lands safely at your required destination.
We also assist with regulations and documentation to make the process as smooth and simple as possible. You can ship up to four vehicles in a personal container, ensuring that your collection stays complete. We offer all the help you need so you can keep driving into the future in your precious piece of the past.
Contact us for more advice on shipping your classic car.