It can be nerve-wracking waiting on the doorstep for a date to pick you up. Excitement is already coursing through your body, piqued by the fact that your date told you he would be arriving in something “special.” You let your mind wander… Will he turn up in a beautifully polished Ford Mustang, or will you hear the growling of an approaching Chevrolet Camaro from the end of the street?
Perhaps it will be a vehicle that screams class when driven around, like a Mercedes W222 or, on loan from an extremely nervous parent, a Bentley Continental GT. You would make him drive past all your friends’ houses so that they’d be green with envy when they see you smiling as brightly as the headlights on your date’s car.
But what if it wasn’t one of these dream vehicles? What if it wasn’t even… an automobile? Sure, it could be romantic if your date turned up on a Harley-Davidson FL looking like a cross between James Dean and Marlon Brando – but what if he appeared on a Puch Newport, still with an old pizza box strapped to it (a là Peter Parker in Spider-Man 2)?
If you really like someone, then it won’t matter what method of transport they turn up to your house in. But if it is any of the vehicles on this list, you might want to take some serious consideration before risking your reputation – and in some cases even your life – before agreeing to step foot inside.
As a final warning, if the vehicle looks like anything from Wacky Races, especially the Mean Machine #00 (avoid anything previously used by a cackling potential kidnapper and sociopathic dog) and the Bulletproof Bomb #7 (destroyed suspension due to gangster overcrowding), then best to smile politely and order a cab – the opposite end of town.
10. 1983 GMC Vandura: aka The A-Team Van
There is no denying that if the A-Team van had turned up on your doorstep in 1983 you would instantly have a horde of delirious kids surrounding the vehicle. It would be the epitome of cool as you screeched down the highway, possibly avoiding FBI choppers and a furious Colonel Decker, wondering what your date would look like with a Mandinka warrior hairstyle just like BA Baracus. But this is 2014, and you can’t help thinking that anyone driving a GMC Vandura with a red stripe and rooftop spoiler on it would elicit comments like “I pity the fool” as he drove by.
9. 1959 Cadillac Miller-Meteor: aka Ghostbusters’ Ectomobile
The Ecto-1 suffers from the same problem as the A-Team van. There would have been a time when turning up for a date in this converted ambulance would have made you immensely popular and guaranteed first base at least. But now, not even setting off the memorable sirens would get you any more than an annoyed stare and in all likelihood, an excuse along the lines of “I just remembered, I have a headache scheduled for tonight.”
8. 1976-1980 British Leyland Mini 1000 AKA Mr. Bean’s Mini
Believe it or not, Rowan Atkinson is actually a huge racecar enthusiast so no doubt when he’s out-of-character, he’d show up in a pretty nifty ride. And indeed, there is no denying that the vintage Mini is a design classic and a cultural icon. There is also no denying that since BMW took the name (even if mostly unrelated) the modern Mini Hardtop is a fantastic-looking vehicle. But Mr. Bean’s Mini was a highly abused automobile driven with abandon and it frequently met unfortunate accidents. Heels are a big no-no due to the tight squeeze and you can forget about some cozy cuddling on the back seat unless you happen to be a fan of neck braces. Sure it will get you from A to B, as long as a strong gust of wind doesn’t blow it over… but having a button-eyed moth-ridden teddy bear stare at you from his perch on the dash would be incredibly unnerving. And that odd shade of sickly green is hardly a turn-on.
7. 1984 Ford Econoline: aka the “Mutt-Mobile” from Dumb & Dumber
Arguably an awesome custom job, but unless your date happens to be a huge dog fan then your chances of impressing in this particular vehicle are next to none. Completely decked out to look like a dog, including panting tongue and raised tail, this furry form of transport is likely only to raise admiring looks from the canine kind. There was a time when furry adornments in automobiles were considered sophisticated (way back in the motoring Dark Ages – the 1970s), but it is common knowledge that cars in the 21st century should be fur-free. It is not known if this Econoline was fitted with a catalytic converter…
6. 1977 AMC Pacer: aka Wayne’s World transport
Wayne’s World is a great movie; where would we be without catchphrases such as “schwing” or the ever-useful condemnation of adding “not” to a seemingly positive sentence? Wayne and Garth were extremely likable characters, but that does not excuse their automobile of choice: a battered blue AMC Pacer with drag flame decals failing in an attempt to make the car look any more powerful that it really was. A great deal of charm is required by the owner of this vehicle if they plan on winning a date over; but Wayne did finally win over his “Baberaham Lincoln” by scoring with Cassandra.
5. 1957 Chevrolet Series 6800 Superior: aka The Partridge Family Bus
Seeing your date park up in a bus is disturbing enough, but negative feelings would escalate when you notice the garish color scheme apparently inspired by Piet Mondrian. But whereas Mondrian’s work calls to the viewer, inviting a closer inspection that reveals the Dutchman’s true genius, The Partridge Family bus screams cult kidnappers more akin to the Manson Family than the bright-eyed musical troupe. Pulling up outside your date’s house in a bus is a recipe for disaster; it would be a miracle if she even stepped out of the porch, never mind pay the fare.
4. 1975 Mercury Marquis Brougham: aka Uncle Buck’s Ride
Uncle Buck was a comedy from 1989 featuring the late, great comic talent of John Candy. The movie had perfect comedic ingredients: John Hughes directed, the still-cute Macaulay Culkin appeared and the car used was a moving joke prop. Only kids would be happy to ride in it, due to its similarity to a clown car. The constant back-firing of the vehicle would more likely have your date hitting the deck upon your arrival, for fear it was a drive-by shooting.
3. One Million Years BC Flintmobile: aka Fred Flintstone’s Auto
Sadly, production of these vehicles has been limited to theme parks and the occasional “wacky” inventor (who invariably adds an engine of some sort). Offering 0 bdp (brake dinosaur power), full floor foot power system (speeds ranging from walking pace to how fast you can run) and sufficient space for a snorkasaurus, your date will feel confident about you joining him in this particular ride. The key thing to remember if you’re undecided: yabba dabba don’t.
2. 2004 Pontiac Aztek: aka Walter White’s Meth Mobile
Almost everyone loves Breaking Bad, enjoying the amazing transformation of Walter White from down-trodden chemistry teacher to hard-faced drugs baron. But the most terrifying thing in Walt’s life, beyond guns, crystal and Tuco Salamanca, is his beaten up Pontiac Aztek. This vehicle has been named as one of the worst cars ever manufactured but the popularity of Breaking Bad has shown a reversal of fortune in this much-maligned automobile. It could be seen as infinitely cool to be driven downtown in one of these, but if your date is wearing a pork pie hat and sweating profusely, possibly best to leave the windows wound up and invest in a Kevlar vest.
1. 1958 Plymouth Belvedere & 1958 Plymouth Fury: aka ‘Christine’
Your date pulls up, right on time, in a beautiful glistening classic automobile. It is either a Plymouth Belvedere (film) or Plymouth Fury (novel), but you are not really sure which it is. It is in immaculate condition, you can see your face in the chrome and the interior is spotless… well, almost. What are those strange reddish-brown dots all over the back seat? Why are there nail-scratch marks all over the upholstery? How come you feel like coughing and choking as soon as you lean through the open window? Isn’t it a little creepy that the locks are automatically triggered when you attempt to get hot and heavy with your date…? This is one car you really don’t want to be seen dead in…