While automotive manufacturers still produce over 75 million automobiles a year, here are the 25 worst cars that stand out from the crowd as some of the worst vehicles ever made. There are many lists that you may see, but this list is limited to 25. The years range from the 1800’s to present day. Some you may have heard of, and some you may not have heard of. Sit back and enjoy this list of the 25 worst made cars of all time these are in no particular order and not really in chronological order either. Enjoy!
2004 Chevrolet SSR
GM’s retro creation, hot-rodded its way right off the assembly line. According to some, it was plain heavy, under-powered, and lazy. Definitely NOT what America would consider a hotrod. Who’d ever heard of a factory hotrod anyway? Was this an outlook for what was to come in the future? Seems that the big three are no longer making ‘factory hotrods’, are they?
2003 Hummer H2
Certainly did not make a great first impression to some. It’s like that quarterback on the high school football team that just thinks he is the best, the biggest and the greatest. The Hummer sent out bad vibes to some, and maybe had others thinking of that annoying quarterback on the football team, and let’s not get into the price tag! They probably should have known better than to try introducing this big of a vehicle within a few years of a national tragedy while the world was still on alert. Live and learn.
2002 BMW 7-series
Fast and technological, there was something that came with it known as iDrive and a rotary dial/joystick like controller on the center of the console that drivers could adjust all sorts of things with. Unfortunately for BMW, consumers complained a lot about the iDrive system, apparently it was hard to figure out and people were not happy about that. Of course, since then there have been many upgrades and changes.
2001 Pontiac Aztek
Most people dislike it because of its design and outer looks because it looks unusual, like a strange three-eyed monster. And in the world, if it’s unfamiliar then people tend to shy away from it, giving it wide berth, or have even been known to be afraid of it. Unfortunate though, because it could have been a great family vehicle, but few were willing to give it the chance it may well have deserved.
2000 Ford Excursion
Heavy, heavy, heavy, weighing in at 7000 LBS and measuring 19.5 feet long, not to mention standing 6.5 foot tall! And the price tag, a pretty penny. Let’s not forget about the road-hogging, gas guzzling, run over- the- unfortunate-person-in front-of–you-in-the-slow lane because you think you own the road, is why this one made the list. And this could be the cause of road rage outbreaks everywhere!
1995 Ford Explorer
Ford’s best-selling vehicle now, the Explorer paved the way from larger, wider, and higher more expensive vehicles we all know as SUV’s now. Forget the little guys, the bigger the better is how the world looks at it now, but with bigger and better, comes a higher price tag, no bueno! Bigger isn’t always better, though it did pave the way for bigger automobiles presently.
1980 Ferrari Mondial 8
A 308 chassis, V8 engine, and transistor based electronics. Eventually all systems would fail, and it would just be a thing of the past, but to own one at the time could make you feel special and there are still enthusiasts out there today that would own one in a heartbeat. They did eventually get better over the years. But normal, blue collar people still wince at the price tags.
1976 Chevrolet Chevette
51-hp engine, four-speed manual transmission. Yes, it was loud at times, and tiny but lasted for quite a while. There are still clubs out there dedicated to Chevettes, after all is a Chevy, American made will survive. The Chevette’s production lasted from 1976-1987, making it the longest production on this list. In the 12 years it was produced, over 2.8 million sold, and a few can still be seen around.
1985 Yugo GV
The creator of the Bricklin earlier in the list, also created the Yugo GV. Simply put, the engines gave up, the electrical system would fry and eventually something would inevitably fall off. Dubbed “the Mona Lisa of bad cars”, the Yugo should probably just have given up before it even started, right along with its 5 gallon gas tank that would last how long? Begs the question, “Yugo, or no go?” don’t you think?
1978 AMC Pacer
Produced from 1975-1979 and then sold out in 1980. The body surface was 37 percent glass. Came in 2 door hatchback and 2 door station wagon. The pacer’s creator was the same person that came up with the Gremlin idea. It was promoted by AMC as the “first wide small car.” Production only lasted a few years for this little wide small car.
1975 Morgan Plus 8 Propane
From 1974-2004 this beauty was produced by the Morgan Motor Company in England, and then brought back to life in 2012! Not your typical car on this list, but its early years still had to be noted. Winged fenders, wooden-framed bodies, and sliding-pillar front suspensions made up this British creation. Let’s not forget about the fuel it ran on, propane cylinders that hung behind the rear bumper powering this V8 right into the 21st Century, a feat in itself.
1975 Bricklin SV1
Safety Vehicle 1 is what SV1 stood for. Its creator claimed it would exemplify it as a safer car of the future. Malcolm Bricklin created this futuristic car, but and others that aren’t on this list. Its doors alone were 100 LBS a piece, and it came with no ashtray or lighter helping it be a safer car as well. With its heavy V8 engine, it really wasn’t very fast, but it did look cool.
1966 Peel Trident
The Trident was built on the Isle of Man in the 1960’s. The world’s smallest car measuring 4 feet and 2 inches in length. The Trident was an example of a futuristic bubble car like you’d see on the cartoon The Jetsons. It offered either two seats or one seat with a detachable shopping basket, and of course it’s clear bubble top made it one of a kind resembling a UFO.
The Pinto had a tendency to burst into flames in rear-end collisions. Though the car really wasn’t as bad as some on the list, it did have some issues, but stayed in production until 1980. There were over 3 million produced in its lifespan. Unfortunately, 1.5 million were subject to recall in 1977 due to the fuel system being defective. The Pinto was marketed two ways; one as a three-door hatchback, and one as a three-door station wagon.
1970 Triumph Stag
Looking for a hot ride in a ‘luxury car’ then the Stag was your car. It’s overheating was only part of its unreliability. It was built to envy the Mercedes Benz, and utterly failed. The engineering was odd, the water pump was set above the engine, and the Stag came complete with hardened drive gears. The engine was made of iron and the heads of aluminum, this caused special antifreeze to have to be used for it. Its timing chain would skip links and cause valves to fall all wrong , rendering it undriveable. There were many other engineering problems not mentioned, but even with all its issues, the Stag stayed in production until 1978.
1970 AMC Gremlin
Long in the front, and short in the back. The Gremlin was an odd looking beast with a heavy 6 cylinder engine with choppy handling likely because of the loss of suspension in the back. It was AMC’s attempt to create a subcompact car before Ford and GM had the chance. The Gremlin came in a 2-seater and a 4-seater design. Love them or hate them, the Gremlin’s were produced until 1978, and folks still think of them as worth preserving, you certainly don’t see many of them today.
1958 Zunndapp Janus
The Zunndapp was created in Nuremberg, Germany. It held a 205 CC, 14 horsepower engine with a rear facing bench seat where passengers could watch out the back of the car instead of the front. It had a top speed of only 50 mph. The Zunndapp was also a micro car in its years of life. Production only lasted until the summer of 1958 when the company was sold that manufactured them.
1958 MGA Twin Cam
A mere 2111 of the MGA Twin Cams were produced between the years 1958-1960. Though sought after today by car collectors, problems with reliability early in its production affected sales of the MGA. With an appetite for oil the little car had and the need for top of the line fuel, if either were not at their peak, it could cause holes to burnt into the pistons, rendering her useless, but still sought after today.
1958 Ford Edsel
There were 18 different divisions of Ford Edsels, started in 1957, right at the beginning of the recession. The Edsel was supposed to be everything America was looking for but seemed to be doomed from the beginning. Consumers and critics cited the Edsel as ‘ugly’, and overpriced, unfortunately production only lasted for two years and then was stopped. Back when they were made, they were a huge disappointment, but presently they can fetch thousands of dollars for collectors.
1957 King Midget Model III
This little box of a car had a 9 hp motor, and was known as a utility vehicle. Eventually, Government safety standards won, stopping the production of the Midget mini cars. These mini cars were first sold in a kit, complete with chassis, axles, springs, steering assembly, instruction manual and patterns for the sheet metal all for under $300.00. By the end of their era, the mini cars were sold as completely assembled cars by the Midget Motors Corporation, they looked similar to jeeps in present day.
1949 Crosley Hotshot
The first sports car created after Pearl Harbor, seemed doomed from the start unfortunately. The Hotshot weighed in at 1100 LBS., 145 Inches long. Its engine was a dual-overhead cam, .75-liter four cylinder, not iron made, but stamped tin brazed together. Once the brazed welds gave way, which happened often, it became a hot and noisy. The average speed for the Hotshot was 52 mph if it was a good day, not sure how often that was.
1934 Chrysler DeSoto Airflow
Had the Airflow been created 20 years later, it may have been accepted by the public more. As it was, it seemed intimidating to most people. The streamlined design, aerodynamics, steel-spaceframe construction, only ended up antagonizing Americans. It also seem to have some technical issues like the engine falling out, that people pretty much shied away from it. So much for embracing the future, maybe the one time that the world didn’t look forward to the future.
1911 Overland OctoAuto
Yes, ‘Octo’ meaning eight, as in eight wheels. Not 4 wheels, no, the OctoAuto had 8 wheels. The OctoAuto’s creator, Milton Reeves thought more wheels would equal a smoother ride that would allow the tires last longer. The vehicle was 20 foot long. It was first displayed at the Indianapolis 500 in 1911. Unfortunately, no orders were rec’d that day. This one did pave the way for the ones with 4 tires in the back and two in the front. Although, the OctoAuto was a failed attempt, its creator did create the muffler!
1920 Briggs and Stratton Flyer
This ‘vehicle’ was also known as Buck Board, look up a photo online and you’ll see why. The Flyer had no suspension, no body work, no windshield, baby carriage-like wheels, a 2 hp engine that looked a lot like a boat motor and hardwood slats on the floor. Two bucket seats sat on its frame. It resembled what is known as a soapbox racer without the body. 25mph was its top speed and the length of it, including the motor, was a whopping 98 inches. It was created by a company in Wisconsin called Briggs and Stratton Inc.
1909 Ford Model-T
The infamous ‘Tin Lizzie’ is the one that known to have brought wheels to America. Lizzie was the first car that was affordable to most Americans created by Henry Ford. There were more than 15 million Model T’s built in Detroit and Highland Park Michigan. The Model –T had a 10-gal capacity fuel tank that was located under the front seat because the gas was fed into the tank by gravity only. This was due to its Reverse gear being more powerful than its forward gears. Top speed of Tin Lizzie was 40-45 mph, with a 20 horsepower engine that was hand cranked to start, as opposed to the common hand cranks of that time.[td_smart_list_end]