Here we analyze some of the worst automobiles ever built by Chevrolet. These vehicles were fragile, underpowered and lacked durability. They helped to shape the American automotive tradition around their bad example. Some of these cars did well in terms of grossing sales, while others faired poorly in the automotive market.
The positive work behind of these auto machines is that the platform for their design may have been conceived as an excellent idea. But it is more like a very good idea that was betrayed by haphazard quality, half-effort engineering, and cynical compromises. Below is the list of the top ten worst Chevrolet vehicles.
Chevrolet Lumina APV
This consisted of a series of oddly designed mini-vans that looked terrible for the eyes. The APV has been described by auto critics as one of the worst cars built. They say it had an awkward nose and a dashboard large enough to accommodate a track meet. The engine was a disappointment. This Chevrolet with its Pontiac equivalent at the time looked so stupid to the point that they were nicknamed the dust buster mini-vans.
1982 Chevrolet Cavalier
The 1982 was one of the automaker’s first front wheel drive cars with a compact look and was notorious for its pathetic engine design. It came as a choice of two versions of GM’s 122 series with four-cylinder pushrod engines, 2 and 4-door sedan, as well as a hatchback, and station wagon styles. The car was supposed to be a step forward but ended up a disaster. The only people who bought it were senior citizens who needed a means of transportation. The majority of the people who acquired this vehicle describe it as being sloppily built.
1953 Chevrolet Corvette
Originally built as a show vehicle for 1953 Motorama display during New York Auto Show at the time, the 1953 Chevrolet Corvette generated enough interest to the point that GM was induced to make a production version and sell to the public. The first series were produced on June 30, 1953. Auto critics describe this Chevy as a disappointment. They say the car has a fiberglass body with archaic chassis and is powered by a poor performance 155-hp six-cylinder engine. The vehicle’s automatic transmission system was two-speed.
1960 Chevrolet Corvair
The 1960 Chevrolet Corvair series were four-door sedans and conceived as thrift automobiles offering only a few amenities so as to ensure that the price was competitive. The 500 series (standard model) sold for under $2,000. This car was powered by a Turbo Air six engine 80 hp and a three-speed manual as well as an optional extra cost double-speed Power-glide automatic transmission system. The Chevrolet Corvair was built to have similar acceleration with the full-size six-cylinder Chevrolet Biscayne. Critics tagged the car as unsafe. Some even cited that the second generation Corvairs were excellent cars that performed better.
1982 Chevrolet Camaro Sport Coupe
Originally introduced in 1982, as a third generation Coupe this car fell flat as a disappointment. This model introduced the first of the Camaros with a hatchback design and with options like a four-cylinder engine and factory fuel injection. The Sport Coupe came with 2.5 L LQ9 four-cylinder engine with 2.8 L LC1 V6 and 5.0 L LG4 V8 as alternatives or other options. It’s dog dish-style hubcaps was standard at the time with full optional wheel covers. While the Z-28 got terrible reviews due to its poor power ratings, the Chevrolet Sport Coupe with 2.5l 151cid four-cylinder engine was more lethargic.
1975 Chevrolet Monza
The 1975 Chevrolet Monza is a four-passenger subcompact, automobile. The Monica’s design is based on Chevrolet Vega. It shared its wheelbase, as well as its width and 140 CID inline-four engine. The Monza was originally designed to work with the GM-Wankel engine, but because of its emissions compliance issues and mediocre fuel economy the engine was scrapped, and a new V8 fuel-efficient 4.3-liter engine option was adopted. Not only was this engine anemic, but it was also difficult to work on. It needed to be tilted using a hoist to replace its rearmost spark plugs. A bad design it was called.
1980 Chevrolet Citation
The 1980 Chevrolet Citation was designed with a front-wheel drive and manufactured using badge engineered variants. It was tagged Car of the Year for 1980 by Motor Trend magazine a decision that has been criticized by some staff of Car and Driver back in 2009, citing the mechanical unreliability and poor build quality weren’t deserving of such award in hindsight. Others say it is a machine that is legendarily unreliable as it makes the list of the most recalled vehicles of all time.
1978 Chevrolet C/K Diesel
The 1978 Chevrolet C/K Diesel engine gained a reputation for its unreliability and anemic performance attributes that had an adverse impact on the North American diesel market for 20 years after its release. By 1978 this car made its way to Chevy half-ton pickups. There wasn’t anything special about the diesel engine that a petrol conversion couldn’t fix.
1923 Chevrolet Series M
The 1923 Chevrolet Series M came with an air-cooling engine. Air cooling, instead of water-based cooling, seemed more practical at the time because it didn’t require a radiator. Although it was a feasible project, the final product didn’t reach the standards the manufacturers imagined. The vehicle dangerously overheated when the weather hot and was a safety concern for drivers. This is probably the most terrible of all Chevrolet’s ever made as the 500 that were built were recalled.
1917 Chevrolet Series D
The 1917 Chevrolet Series D was the automaker’s first V8 engine. It lasted only two years and produced less horsepower than Chevrolet’s four cylinder engine. This disappointing invention ended Chevrolet’s V8 production for the following 37 years.