These were some of the worst cars of all time

Fuels |  2 min. read

Is Tom Brady the G.O.A.T.?*

That’s one way to start an argument in just about any bar around the country, except Boston of course.  Here’s another:

What’s the worst car ever made?

The folks at Atlas Obscura have an answer the “cardboard racer”, aka, the East German-made Trabant.

(Photo by Alex1011, from Wikimedia Commons)

2-stroke engine (yep, just like a lawnmower).  No headlight or turn signal indicators on the dash.  No gas gauge.  It did have a heater for the rear window although the joke was, the heated rear window was to keep your hands warm while you push.  So no surprise, the Trabi is high on a lot of Worst Car Ever lists.

It does have plenty of competition though.  The Yugo, for instance.

(Photo by Todoatlas, from Wikimedia Commons)

Under the hood — 55 horsepower although maybe that’s not too surprising since also under the hood was the spare tire.  And the tire was bigger than the engine.  Carpeting inside, which turned out to be a sponge for smells.  Except that the carpet not only soaked up all the smells, it released them too.  They tell the same rear window heater joke about the Yugo too.

And the Bricklin, which fits neatly into this spot, because Malcolm Bricklin was the man who also brought the Yugo to the U.S.

(Photo by CZmarlin, from Wikimedia Commons)

It featured the same gull-wing style doors as the DeLorean in Back to the Future (the Bricklin came first).  Cool.  Except most of the time, they didn’t work.  Uncool.  In fact, the “didn’t work” theme applied to much of the rest of the car too.  And it leaked.  Right out of the showroom.  Very uncool.

Then there’s the car whose name became another word for failure:  the Edsel.

(Photo by Josephew, from Wikimedia Commons)

Too expensive, poorly designed with the transmission buttons on the steering wheel, so you could find yourself shifting instead of honking, bad-looking (that grill!).  It was named after one of Henry Ford’s sons though maybe Ford should have taken the suggestion of poet Marianne Moore (Ford asked her to suggest names):  “Utopian Turtletop”.

There’s a place for the Gremlin, the car with the missing back half.

(Photo from Wikimedia Commons)

A regular fixture at the top of Ugliest Cars Ever lists.  And it gets worse from there:  “cheap and incredibly deprived…awful to drive…choppy, unhappy handling…The Gremlin was quicker than other subcompacts but, alas, that only meant you heard the jeers and laughter that much sooner.”**

And there’s Pinto and Pacer, Corvair and Vega and — yes, we COULD go on (and on).  But now that we’ve got the argument started, we’re turning it over to you.  What’s your “favorite” worst car ever?

*G.O.A.T. as in, Greatest Of All Time.

**From the Gremlin entry on Time Magazine’s list of “The 50 Worst Cars of All Time.”