Some cars are simply unforgettable. Either they achieved classic status the same day they were released, or their appeal was noticed by gearheads years later, making them highly valuable. From the 1967 Shelby GT500 to the 1969 Nissan Skyline GT-R Hakosuka, there are a plethora of cars that have gone from good money to simply unattainable.
On the other side of the spectrum, some cars are just as unforgettable, but for very different reasons. They couldn’t put a 10 year old lawnmower to shame. In fact, these cars are so horrible that some of them are even dangerous. These complete failures are known to be absolutely horrific.
ten Ford Mustang 1974
In 1964, Ford shook up the domestic auto industry with the Mustang. Although the rivalry between Ford and GM was nothing new when the Mustang first came out, no domestic automaker had anything in their respective lineups that could compete with Ford’s pony car. It was all peaches and cream until the EPA and a severe oil crisis undermined the well-being of the auto industry.
The base Mustang was never meant to be anything fancy. In fact, it was often called “the secretary’s car”. In 1969, the base Mustang was offered with a 200 cu. ft. straight-six producing 120 hp. In 1974, the base model came with a 170 cu inline-four that put out a disappointing 88 bhp. Needless to say, the Mustang II isn’t the kind of car muscle-heads seek out.
9 1973 Ford Pinto
Ford is by definition the American automaker that has revolutionized not only the way vehicles are made, but also the way labor productivity can be improved. As far as motor vehicles go, Ford’s Model T was a real novel. In the mid-1960s, Ford hit the automotive scene hard with its legendary pony car, the Mustang. However, even companies such as Ford have occasional strikes.
There’s a main reason why the Ford Pinto was one of the worst cars of all time. The fact that the subcompact car was not made available with a powerful V8 is not the reason. The Ford Pinto’s safety design surrounding the gas tank was simply inadequate. Several people involved in rear-end collisions have had their Pintos ignite. Several people have died in fire accidents caused by the faulty design.
8 Dodge Charger 1982
Dodge has been making true muscle cars since the early ’60s. While not necessarily aesthetically appealing, these cars were outfitted with some of the best performance parts available in their time. Starting in the early 1970s, Dodge completely overhauled the way it designed its cars. One of the most iconic Dodge models of the 1970s remains the Charger.
By the ’80s, the Dodge Charger was no longer the beast it once was. In fact, the Charger and Challenger ended up being completely transformed. The muscular looks and powerful V8s are long gone. The Charger contained a 2.2-liter turbocharged inline-four engine that produces 146 hp and 168 lb-ft of torque. The unit found under the hood is definitely among the worst engines ever installed in a Dodge.
7 1995 Chevrolet Monte Carlo Z34
Chevrolet had a plethora of amazing sports cars in the 70s. In fact, it was possible to get almost any car in the Chevy lineup with a high-revving V8. From the Nova to the Corvette, it was possible to order legendary engines such as the 396 cu in and the 454 cu in. Therefore, these nameplates have remained legendary despite going through tumultuous times.
The top-of-the-line Monte Carlo was once available with the infamous 454 cu in Turbo-Jet V8. Producing 360 hp, Chevy gave the Monte Carlo SS an engine to match its physique. In 1995, the Monte Carlo looked nothing like its original version. First, the car has lost all of its muscular attributes. Second, the 3.4-liter V6 only produces 210 horsepower and 215 lb-ft of torque.
6 2001 Hyundai Tiburon
Japanese automakers were the very first companies outside of Asia to market their sports cars in America. Despite a cold reception from critics and motorists, Japanese companies have done everything to become relevant. Following the Japanese model, Korean automakers decided to release affordable sports cars in the domestic market.
For a very long time, Hyundai’s sportiest vehicle was the Tiburon. With an MSRP of around $15,000 in 2001, the Tiburon was logically nowhere as admirable and exhilarating as a German sports car. Powered by a 2.0-liter inline-four engine, the Tiburon is as fast as a snail. As soon as it was released, true car fans knew that the Tiburon was made to drive one and only vehicle: a caddy.
5 2002 Ford Cougar
Looking at the 1967 Mercury Cougar, it’s fair to say that this is an exceptional muscle car that will only increase in value over time. The best engine offered was a 390 cu in Marauder V8 that puts out 390 hp. This version of the Cougar is perceived until today as one of the best Cougars ever made. Things changed drastically in the early 2000s.
The eighth generation Cougar is nothing like what was made 40 years ago. Forget a muscular engine and a respectable look. The puma looks more like a stray cat with a big case of mange: repulsive. As far as power is concerned, the owners of the 2002 Mercury Cougar received a 2.5-liter Duratec V6 that develops 170 horsepower and 165 lb-ft of torque.
4 2002 Pontiac Aztek
Pontiac, the old automaker, used to come up with some of the most exciting muscle cars. The GTO and Trans Am, to name a few, were absolutely insane. Things started to go bad in the late 70s and went from bad to worse in the 90s and 2000s. In recent years one of Pontiac’s most notable cars has become famous for all the bad reasons.
Pontiac’s Aztek is the American equivalent of Fiat’s Multipla. Both cars being absolutely hideous, trying to figure out why someone would willingly buy the Aztek is pretty mind-blowing. The Aztek is a monstrosity that should never have left the drawing board. In fact, the design team that worked on the Aztek should have been reassigned to a new department, like food and beverage.
3 Honda Civic 2003
Japanese cars are often looked down upon by muscle car enthusiasts and European car fans. While it is true that Japanese cars are generally equipped with small engines and look like miniature cars, they can often surprise the most seasoned gearheads. Cars such as the Supra MK4, Skyline GT-R R34 or Acura NSX have shown the world that Japan can easily create amazing sports cars.
While the aforementioned sports cars are out of reach for the majority of gearheads, there are Japanese sports cars that everyone can afford. From the Honda Prelude to the Mitsubishi Eclipse, there are a decent number of Japanese sports cars that are both sporty and affordable. Of all the affordable Japanese cars ever made, the Honda Civic has got to have the worst reputation. When we look at the seventh generation, we understand very well why.
2 2004 Dodge Neon SRT-4
The early 2000s were quite interesting. Most muscle cars were just plain disappointing, and the JDM craze was getting serious. The first three Fast and Furious the films heavily promoted Japanese cars, forcing domestic automakers to come up with vehicles that could compete with popular Japanese cars such as the Honda S2000 or Nissan 350Z.
the 2004 Dodge Neon SRT-4 isn’t necessarily awful. The JDM-inspired sedan is equipped with a 2.4-liter inline-four engine developing 230 hp. Nothing special. That same year, Dodge offered a truly respectable vehicle: the Dodge Ram SRT-10.
1 2005 Toyota Celica
In less than 80 years, Toyota has become the most successful automaker in the world. By skillfully combining reliability and affordability, Toyota was able to supply the right batches of vehicles in almost every market, including North America. In fact, Toyota has even set up manufacturing plants in North America to reduce costs and wait times.
The Celica was first made in the early 70s. It was a great compact sports car that helped other Toyota cars get to where they are today. The Supra and the Camry are descended from the Celica. In the late 90s, Toyota failed to hit the nail on the head with the latest generation Celica. The car was slow and poorly designed. It was clear that Toyota wanted to kill the nameplate.
While Ford and Pontiac undoubtedly have some amazing cars under their belts, watching the brands’ worst flops can be just as interesting.
About the Author