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Ugliest road car of all time?


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#1 TODave2

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Posted 16 February 2003 - 22:22

We've had ugliest racer, but what about ugliest road car?

Reading the BL site recently I was re-united with the stunning Allegro Vanden Plas which one of my neighbours had when I was but a young lad. At the time I thought it looked a little odd, but blimey... seeing it today really does bring home the true awfulness of it's creation:

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Any other nominations? Obviously true production models take precedent over one offs (such as the Panther 6)...

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#2 René de Boer

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Posted 16 February 2003 - 22:53

Of course, beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but for me, the "fish bowl on four wheels", aka AMC Pacer, rates quite high on my personal list of ugly cars, as do the Lada 110 (including the Super 1600 rally car the factory built from it), the Daewoo Espero, the Renault Avantime and the new Rolls Royce Phantom - yes, I'm sorry, I know it may sound as heresy to some. Oh and please, put the Pontiac Aztec on there as well.

#3 Joe Fan

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Posted 16 February 2003 - 22:58

Originally posted by René de Boer
Of course, beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but for me, the "fish bowl on four wheels", aka AMC Pacer


BINGO! When I seen the title of this thread, that was the first car the came to mind.

#4 Geoff E

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Posted 16 February 2003 - 22:59

Like drivers, I think that cars can only be judged against their contemporaries and of present day vehicles, the Fiat Multipla is hard to beat. As Jeremy Clarkson (is he persona non grata in these parts?) once wrote "It looks as if the top and bottom halves were designed by two committees which never met".

#5 Vitesse2

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Posted 16 February 2003 - 22:59

Originally posted by René de Boer
the new Rolls Royce Phantom - yes, I know it may sound as herecy to some.


Not to me - ugliest Royce ever :down: :down:

However, of current models I have to say that it's exceeded in ugliness by the Fiat Multipla.

#6 Vitesse2

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Posted 16 February 2003 - 23:01

Originally posted by Geoff E
Like drivers, I think that cars can only be judged against their contemporaries and of present day vehicles, the Fiat Multipla is hard to beat. As Jeremy Clarkson (is he persona non grata in these parts?) once wrote "It looks as if the top and bottom halves were designed by two committees which never met".


Aha - two simultaneous votes for the Multipla! But I refuse to believe it was "designed" :p

#7 Ashley Lenton

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Posted 16 February 2003 - 23:04

Does anybody else remember the Citroen Aimee 6? And there's also currently a terrible looking Lexus coupe that must be a contender.

#8 Vitesse2

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Posted 16 February 2003 - 23:13

The 1958 Vauxhall Cresta was always one of my least favourites - that reverse angle rear screen makes me think of a Ford Anglia with a much larger rear end. Tacky OTT styling, copied badly from Harley Earl's seminal stuff for GM: and the grille is just too big, with too much chrome.

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#9 Vitesse2

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Posted 16 February 2003 - 23:26

And Swiss driver Florian Vetsch has done some rather nasty things to this Renault 4CV - the standard car is ugly enough, without this front end treatment!

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#10 Geoff E

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Posted 16 February 2003 - 23:31

Originally posted by Vitesse2
Aha - two simultaneous votes for the Multipla! But I refuse to believe it was "designed" :p




The English designer would have said "Leave it as a cube, no one will notice."

The German designer designer would have said "They will observe, it is a cube".

The French would say "Get Bardot to drive it, then it is a sexy cube". (Is there no other sexy French woman in the last 50 years?)

The Italian says "It didn't just happen - it's universally known, we are masters of design!"

#11 Martin Roessler

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Posted 16 February 2003 - 23:58

....all cars of the last few years...really all of them...they are face-and characterless...boring and all kind of lookalikes. :rolleyes:
Found a really scary car in the Sports Car World, Jul 1965.The car is called "Project X" designed and built by australian Mike McCarthy. *shiver*
Imagine you have to drive that car through the city you live in....would probably be the end of your social life......

http://www.pixum.de/...lbum/?id=680849

...also pretty ugly : Lancia Fulvia Sport Zagato 68'
Rover 90
cheers Marty

#12 ray b

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Posted 17 February 2003 - 00:49

any GM car in 59
ford the same and mopar toooo
any 4 door mg
any mini-van or SUV
ANY JEEP CLONE
MOST AMERICAN CARS 74 TO 79 ran as bad as they looked tooo

#13 Rainer Nyberg

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Posted 17 February 2003 - 01:35

The original Ford Scorpio wasn't a beauty, but the doctors who performed the facelift should be sued for malpractice...!

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#14 Ray Bell

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Posted 17 February 2003 - 02:13

Originally posted by ray b
any GM car in 59
ford the same and mopar toooo
any 4 door mg
any mini-van or SUV
ANY JEEP CLONE
MOST AMERICAN CARS 74 TO 79 ran as bad as they looked tooo


You've taken a sour pill today, Ray? Or somebody made you go to church today?

"any 4 door mg"... well, I guess it's the old 'eye of the beholder' thing again, but I quite liked the Y-type and the mid-fifties Magnette (shared much of its body with the Wolseley 4/44) was a nice looking bit of gear IMNSHO.

But then there's the Lightburn Zeta...

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...isn't that Princess rather SAAB-like? With just a dash of Marina...

Richard, the rear window on the Cresta isn't reversed, it's just wrapped around. And do you know if Vetsch did anything nasty to the 403 wagon in the background?

#15 stuartbrs

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Posted 17 February 2003 - 02:24

Datsun 120Y , a good case of reverse engineering, the Datsun 1200 was a good little car, the 120Y??? uuuuuuuuuuuuugggggggggghhhhhhhhhhhhhhh

As Wheels magazine famously said " a design which does its best to torture sheet metal and an exhaust note like a long unsatisfying fart"


Mind you, I got thrashed by one at Baskerville once :cry: , although it was pulling something like 9000RPM down the back straight....

#16 Only Massa

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Posted 17 February 2003 - 02:45

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This is a Fiat 500 Weinsberg Limousette, from 1959. It was a german only side-project, based on the ultra popular Fiat 500

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In Italy many people used to think Germans lack style and sense of beauty (please take no offense, I'm just reporting a stupid popular belief!) :blush:

But Fiat 500 (which is a great car: it has been the first real popular car in Italy and it's considered a an artwork by Dante Giacosa, and it's featured at MOMA in New York) proved to be one of the most modified cars. Often with ugly results:

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This is the 500 Jolly - ideal for people living in warm places. It actually has the back couch made of vines!

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This is 600 Multipla Jolly - the same as 500 Jolly, but based on the ugliest car in the world: the original Fiat 600 Multipla (when a car is called Multipla, is always horrible)
Posted Image Here's the original Multipla.

If you think that the sinergy between FIAT and FERRARI produced always great cars like the F-2002/2003GA or like the wonderful FIAT DINO Posted Image (this is the wonderful FIAT Dino, named after ENZO Ferrari's son)

just take a look at FERVES (that meand FERrari VEicoli Speciali: Ferrari's Special Vehicles). It actually is a sort of 4x4, that was also used as a rail-vehicle (it actually moved on rails, and it was used as a fast train-support in Italy)
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Posted Image.

By the way, going a little off-topic, don't forget the prototype of FIAT X1/9. The real car was really beautiful, you can see it here with the hard top
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The prototype was the uglies car in the world: a strange sci-fi nightmare. It has never been produced. You can see it here
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but somehow it has become Wonder Woman's car!!!! Just take a look at the model (which I own since my childhood)
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It's a FIAT X1/9 prototype (and so it's written on its underbody), just look at the position of the lights!


#17 rdrcr

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Posted 17 February 2003 - 03:09

Originally posted by ray b
any GM car in 59, ford the same and mopar toooo, any 4 door mg, any mini-van or SUV
ANY JEEP CLONE MOST AMERICAN CARS 74 TO 79 ran as bad as they looked tooo


You're making me wonder about your taste in automobiles Ray... better stick to reporting history... :|

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The Classic '59 Cadillac - you may hate the wild fins, but millions love 'em

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1959 Ford Thunderbird Conv't

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1959 Chevrolet Corvette

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1959 Desoto Adventurer

Maybe not the best ever, but certainly not as bad as the late 40's war years of "dollar grills" and plane jane hubcaps... At least the '59's had some flash!



Want UGLY? Here's UGLY:

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One of the worst ever, IMO... the '74 AMC Matador

#18 Ray Bell

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Posted 17 February 2003 - 03:14

Like I said, I think he's taken a sour pill...

You neglected the glamour of the Edsel, of course... and the class of the original Corvair, especially the rear window treatment of the 1960/61 models.

#19 rdrcr

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Posted 17 February 2003 - 03:51

no kidding... I only wanted to draw attention to a few excellent examples to our haiku posting pal...

There are many...

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#20 ray b

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Posted 17 February 2003 - 04:11

vett was a 57 basicly unchanged from 58 excp for 4 headlites added in 58 in 59 so realy doesnot count
I never got the 59 caddy thing the 61 caddy is much cleaner better looking car by far
ford includes the merc and the wierd edsels tooo
T-brid was a 58 untouched too ecpt for trim in 59
you like desotos??????????any year??????
mg 's I was thinking of were the rebadged austens marinas and such later bmc junk
amc marlin was no prize eathor

worse all time porsche the anteater by giugiaro on a 914 for the pinkpanther cartoon but unfortunatly realy done to a poor little 914

#21 dretceterini

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Posted 17 February 2003 - 04:33

was there ever an attractive car built by the Italian coachbuilder Boneschi??



#22 MarkWill

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Posted 17 February 2003 - 04:44

I'd never seen the AMC Matador, but.....................yeeeuchh. Its hard to endorse many of the bland family-wagons as well, but at least they're not ugly. For me, the Aztec tops the charts - I've never been as amazed as I was by the decision to manufacture this car.

#23 rdrcr

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Posted 17 February 2003 - 04:51

Originally posted by dretceterini
was there ever an attractive car built by the Italian coachbuilder Boneschi??

:lol:

Like 99% of them were pretty ugly, though I did find this one that isn't too bad...

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#24 rdrcr

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Posted 17 February 2003 - 04:56

Originally posted by MarkWill
I'd never seen the AMC Matador, but.....................yeeeuchh. Its hard to endorse many of the bland family-wagons as well, but at least they're not ugly. For me, the Aztec tops the charts - I've never been as amazed as I was by the decision to manufacture this car.


No shit... it seemed that the heads of Pontiac wanted to ruin the company in one fell-swoop of adding disgusting cladding on the cars that had some appeal and then released that Aztec in 2000... :rolleyes: Did the guy who designed the front of that thing ever talk to the guy who did the rear? And did either of them talk to the guy who penned the greenhouse?

One word - Fuggly.

#25 Mark Beckman

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Posted 17 February 2003 - 09:19

Hello ??

(Virtual tap on the skulls)

Tatra !!

Sheees, 25 posts and no one's mention a Tatra.

'59 Caddy's are beautiful too, top of the list come lotto time parked next to the 55 Corvette.

#26 eldougo

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Posted 17 February 2003 - 09:53

:wave:

Quote ------ Vitesse2

However, of current models I have to say that it's exceeded in ugliness by the Fiat Multipla
. ______________________________

Would you have a photo of this FIAT we don,t get fiats out here in Oz noboby will buy them.

Thanks eldougo.

#27 Ray Bell

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Posted 17 February 2003 - 10:02

Originally posted by Mark Beckman
.....Tatra !!

Sheees, 25 posts and no one's mention a Tatra.....


Don't tell sat...

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#28 Bernd

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Posted 17 February 2003 - 10:23

The modern Ford Taurus makes me puke. You can't tell if it's in 1st or Reverse it looks the same going either way.

#29 Geoff E

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Posted 17 February 2003 - 10:33

Originally posted by eldougo
[B However, of current models I have to say that it's exceeded in ugliness by the Fiat Multipla
. ______________________________

Would you have a photo of this FIAT we don,t get fiats out here in Oz noboby will buy them.

[/B]

Multipla Pic

http://www.tiscali.c...test_241_1.html

NB It doesn't look that good in real life.

#30 Bruce Moxon

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Posted 17 February 2003 - 10:41

Late 50s / early 60s Caddys were GORGEOUS! Sculpture with wheels under them. I gotta get some a'them faux fins to put on my Camira!

The Edsel was - well, not too bad - apart from the grille (he he he - it looks like ahhh - like the "Brain Bug" from Starship Troopers. Yeah, that's it. No mention of gynaecology - oops, I typed that out loud, didn't I?).

That Austin Allegro is a shocker! Tatra is a good choice. What about Leyland's P76? Or the first Nissan Exa Turbo? That seventies Pontiac GTO with the Indian Mynah bird or something on its bonnet.

The Volvo 760 coupe.

The VW 411 "sedan". The wagon was far less offensive.

The late "bug-eye" Subaru Imprezza WRX - yech.

The Taurus, of course. But as a NASCAR racer it looks pretty good. No, really.

Some of those Japanese domestic models. Veering slightly OT, yesterday I saw a Suzuki Cappuchino with the licence plate "DECAF". Heh.


Bruce Moxon

#31 byrkus

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Posted 17 February 2003 - 12:27

What about Bond 3-wheelers from 50s-60s?;) They were as ugly as a sin! :lol:

However, top spot in Hall of Shame goes to this piece of untold beauty - Daihatsu bee, 1951. :)

(I couldn't find any nice photos... this one should do)

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#32 Geoff E

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Posted 17 February 2003 - 12:47

Bond Minicars

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#33 bobbo

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Posted 17 February 2003 - 13:02

Originally posted by Bernd
The modern Ford Taurus makes me puke. You can't tell if it's in 1st or Reverse it looks the same going either way.



You know, Bernd, I thought almost exactly the same way when I first saw one. Incredibly enough, I now think that it is one of my "top 10 or whatever" designs. Just goes to show how a person's tastes can change. I always thought the 1963 - 65 Corvettes were ugly, too. Now . . . Purely sexy!! But, of course, in my narrow-minded opinion, the 1961-62 Vettes are the best ever done. And my old TR2 (had it at the same time I had my Renault R8 Gordini, (1967 to 1970) was a REALLY UGLY critter. But it was clean, quick (had a TR4 engine and transmission) and had those delightful low-cut doors!

. . . And then there is the Goggomobil sedan . . .

Love threads like these! Gives me a chance to see how others view things!!

Thanks, folks!

Bobbo

#34 BRG

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Posted 17 February 2003 - 13:08

You guys seem to have covered most of my “favourites” – the current Multipla, the All-aggro, the Scorpio (what were Ford thinking of?) and so on.

Can I nominate the FIAT Ritmo/Strada - a supremely ugly car? And the Jaguar XJ220 – a styling abortion IMO. Then there is pretty much anything that came out of Detroit from 1970 onwards, but I admit that is a very Anglo-centric view that many will disagree with - beauty is in the eye of the beholder!

Going further back pre-war, there was a particularly horrible thing called a Burnley (or Burnside or something) – an early attempt at streamlining IIRC.

#35 Megatron

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Posted 17 February 2003 - 14:14

Some of the early 1980s Thunderbirds were terrible. It was only until the "aero coupe" came out in 1983 that saved the sales of the car until 1997.

I have an old Grand National Scene (today Winston Cup Scene) that talks about the coupe's racing debut and a particular car owner for Dale Earnhardt in 1983 named Bud Moore. Anyway, he was complaining about rule changes (this goes way back) and said he would run the 1982 Wrangler Ford for Earnhardt unless certain provissions were made. Thankfully, I think Earnhardt ran the 83 Thunderbird virtually all year with the exception of a race or two. The 82 was the ugliest road/race car I ever saw.

#36 Lipp

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Posted 17 February 2003 - 14:21

My choice must absolutely go to the only car you'd buy to annoy the heck out of your neighbours... the Fiat Multipla! (and I speak from experience because my parents neighbour bought one (nice for taking out the grandchildren he said...yech!!) and my father has refused to speak with him ever since!) :D

The tatra is an ugly one as well, but the engeneering of this car with many special features is extraordinary! That's why it is not ugly anymore to me, it is just a remarkable.
It is the same with the Sudebaker Avanti, a car I thought was ugly, but learnt to love it very much and I now think that it is a beauty.

I think that FIAT deliberatly built an ugly car just to get into the historybooks, and remembered before going bankrupt.


#37 green-blood

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Posted 17 February 2003 - 14:39

Right I have to say you peopel are too kind

Toyota Yaris Verso
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Hyundai Coupe
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#38 schuy

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Posted 17 February 2003 - 15:07

The Bug Bond, without a doubt.

#39 antonvrs

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Posted 17 February 2003 - 15:44

Doesn't anybody remember the '58 Oldsmobile? Front and rear designed by 2 separate commitees who weren't allowed to communicate and more stainless trim by weight than anything before or since.
I have to agree about the Tatras though........
Daimler SP250?
Anything by Spohn?
Anton

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#40 bobbo

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Posted 17 February 2003 - 16:08

antonvrs:

Daimler SP 250? JEEZ!!!!!!! Forgot about that one! I thought (when I first saw one ,oh, about 1962 - 63 or so??) that it was really neat but, well, ugly. Now, though, I think (my opinion) that it is even beyond ugly! I don't think the English (or American?!!?) language HAS a word to describe HOW ugly I think that thing is!! Weirdly, I wouldn't mind having one as a "hobby" car!

And how about the last Packards (may the name rest in peace!) that were only "dressed up" (dressed down??) Studebakers? I always thought the last of them were really ugly, too. Sad way to remember that once-great marque.

Bobbo

#41 Ray Bell

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Posted 17 February 2003 - 16:30

Not to mention the Nash of the early fifties...

Actually, I don't mind the Daimler SP250 at all, and I'd like to have one too. For a while...

#42 bobbo

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Posted 17 February 2003 - 16:34

Ray Bell:

Interesting comment about the '50s Nash. I always thought they were seriously ugly, too! I always thought that Pinin Farina (spelled right?) really missed the boat on that one! Now, my girlfriend & I are thinking of getting one to "sorta" restore, not even close to show quality, just for criusing around. The grandchildren would get a kick out of it!

Bobbo

#43 Rob Semmeling

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Posted 17 February 2003 - 16:36

We have a winner, no contest at all:

http://www.fiat.nl/r...ges/foto_02.jpg

The designer must have been on crack or something when he draw that awfull nose.

#44 ray b

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Posted 17 February 2003 - 17:08

Originally posted by Bruce Moxon
Late 50s / early 60s Caddys were GORGEOUS! Sculpture with wheels under them. I gotta get some a'them faux fins to put on my Camira!

The Edsel was - well, not too bad - apart from the grille (he he he - it looks like ahhh - like the "Brain Bug" from Starship Troopers. Yeah, that's it. No mention of gynaecology - oops, I typed that out loud, didn't I?).

That Austin Allegro is a shocker! Tatra is a good choice. What about Leyland's P76? Or the first Nissan Exa Turbo? That seventies Pontiac GTO with the Indian Mynah bird or something on its bonnet.

The Taurus, of course. But as a NASCAR racer it looks pretty good. No, really.

Bruce Moxon


59 caddy is the peak of the fins and very busy over chromed
61 caddy was a very clean simple , flowing form' my first car but not my cloise dad had one
mostly to keep me away from his facel vega, facel2

58-60 t-bird was a dog the 61 on was waybetter looking too
as were the 55-57 2 seat birds , btw that was my dads design that ford stold from him
he was working for FORD on hydrulic drive at the time, no not an auto trans
real 4wheel hyd drive, with motors in the wheels, from his war work on B-29 landing gear
popular science feb 1946 for the story with pic's.
look at mechanix illustratrated feb 54 cover or ford times jan 54 for the pre-T-bird he did

GTO NEVER HAD THE FIRE-CHICKEN on the hood THATS THE F-body FIREBIRD trans-am

nasty-car taurus is a fake they donot even build a two door, or a reardrive pushrod V-8 like they race
this year with common aero templates it gets worse, without the stickers all the nasty-cars look the same!!!!

#45 jondoe955

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Posted 17 February 2003 - 17:11

Great thread
'I never got the 59 caddy thing the 61 caddy is much cleaner better looking car by far'....
There was a steel strike in 1960, and sheet metal was trimmed back by all. And, tastes changed.
Pontiac Aztek - a reviewer summed up my feelings exactly when he said 'so ugly you look away in shame'. And the Mexican History Museum should sue for defaming the culture!
I've never seen examples of the Bond cars. UGH!!! I loved the Isetta.
I hated the Dodge trucks when they first used the 'mack truck' grill - now I like it. Hate the new Chevy truck front ends with the weird horizontal protrusions.
Not thrilled with the minimalist faux-futuristic design of the Navigator or various Cadillacs.

Why do some designs work for some? I loved the looks of my first car - TR-3A. An acuired taste.
My son liked how his first car looked - Saab 900. But he terminally altered the design within a week. :mad: He may owe his life to their Safety Design division.

Funny how the designers/companies that come up with works of art (I'm mainly thinking Italian in the 60's here) can also produce things that Homer Simpson would design.
And it is funny how our sense of right and wrong design changes over the years. Some designs are timeless, some age well - others don't. Then, there are the 'beauties' of this thread. Thanks for the memories - and nightmares!

#46 Chickenman

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Posted 17 February 2003 - 17:24

No.... I'm very sorry. Never in the face of history, has there ever been a vehicle as butt ugly as the Pontiac Aztec

Here it is in screaming yellow:

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Another shot ,from a different angle. Color's a bit better. But imagine this in Taxi Cab Yellow....yuck!!

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#47 dmj

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Posted 17 February 2003 - 18:01

Did I hear someone said Tatra?
DID I HEAR SOMEONE SAID TATRA???
No, I supposed I didn't!

Well, what about Nissan Sunny Coupe?
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Now, THAT was ugly!
Leave my Tatras alone.

#48 Big Jim

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Posted 17 February 2003 - 18:42

Up until Pontiac's release of the Aztec the ugly car award was the '71 Mustang. The AMC Pacer can't touch these two. It's a good thing that I am not one of GM's execs as I would have fired the people responsible for the Aztec a long time ago.

#49 oldtimer

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Posted 17 February 2003 - 18:45

From a long while ago, and largely kept as a British home product, the Austin A35.

#50 René de Boer

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Posted 17 February 2003 - 18:54

Problem with subjects like this is, the longer you think about it, the more cars you find... And some of them you didn't really want to think about ever again.

So, how about Lancia Gamma Coupé, Lancia Beta HPE, Lancia Trevi and the current Lancia Phedra (no, I don't have anything against Lancias in particular, they did some very nice cars as well, really), Peugeot 604, Ford Ka, Opel Vectra (the current one) and anything that looks more like a shopping cart: Toyota Yaris Verso that was shown earlier on, Daihatsu YRV, Daihatsu Move and Gran Move.

Oh, and does anyone remember the Suzuki SC90 GX? The shape of a drop of water!