Aside from that hole in the ozone layer thing, you’ve gotta love cars. They get us from point A to the long, arduous point B. At least, it would be long and arduous if it were our feet and legs making the trips for us. Horses would be equally tired if we were still using them like we used to, especially considering the great distances we travel these days and the frequency at which we travel them. But good, faithful, lifeless cars help us make our rounds without a peep of complaint. All we hear from them is the purring of their engines, and it sounds pretty damn cool.
That’s another thing we love cars for — it’s a measure of one’s coolness. Your public image is vastly affected by the type of car you’re driving. Some cars are sleek, beautiful, and their engine runs as smooth as butter and faster than hundreds of horses. If you manage to nab yourself one of those beauts, you’ll find that they more than make up for all the crappy character flaws you spent your whole life accumulating.
Conversely, if you happen to choose an ugly car, you’ll find that it can equally stain the promising public image you’ve worked on for so long. If you’re a bastard replete with disgusting character flaws who also drives an ugly car, then your case is almost lost completely. An ugly car is an ugly car, and everyone knows one when they see it. See the cars below, and bask in the murky splendour of their aesthetic repulsion.
15 AMC Eagle
The AMC Eagle is the first place that many of our minds go when we hear the term ‘ugly car.’ Because this, ladies and gentlemen, is the quintessential image of a bad looking whip. From the plain, unfocused headlights separated by a jail cell grill, all the way down to the back of its awkwardly long body, the AMC Eagle, through the sheer act of being its ugly self, spits right on the tail feathers of the beautiful bird it was named after. Eagles are graceful, strong, and majestic; the AMC version is light years away from being any of those things. It’s so damned hard on the eyes that the only body colour it deserves to have is diarrhoea brown, so at least it can roll around with some sense of self-honesty. We know that things were different and mostly not as aesthetically lush back when the AMC Eagle was sold, but we also know that car buyers had several better options than this thing.
14 Oldsmobile Calais
Hello? Brock, is that you? This unfortunate whip looks like it has its eyes closed, and it doesn’t seem too happy about it, either. It also won’t be opening them anytime soon, since cars don’t tend to take it upon themselves to alter their compositions once they leave the factory. We wish that weren’t true. After taking one look at the Oldsmobile Cutlass, we had the sudden strong impulse to take a leave of absence from work and our loved ones so we could adopt the car and get to work on making it open its eyes and smile. It then occurred to us that we don’t know the first thing about modifying cars, and having this monstrosity in our garage for longer than a minute would make us perpetually queasy. The Cutlass is doomed to an existence of sheer ugliness, and its headlights aren’t even open enough to let it see the beauty of the world around it. At least they stopped making these things a long time ago, so they won’t be among us much longer.
13 Nissan S Cargo
The Nissan S Cargo’s model name was presumably derived from the French word ‘escargot.’ In French, ‘escargot’ means ‘snail.’ So Nissan pretty much accomplished its mission of making a car that looks like a snail, but then the obvious question pops up: why would anyone want a car that looks like a snail? Was this marketed specifically to snail enthusiasts? How many hardcore snail lovers could there be in the world? Definitely not enough to buy this car. Though, surprisingly, the car did well enough to be sold for three whole years, with a run spanning from 1989 to 1992. We suppose that it probably did a decent job transporting cargo, but seriously, why build a snail car? Maybe the manufacturers thought that there would be a sudden inexplicable rise in giant civilized snails, who would need a semi-familiar vehicle to get them from point A to point B. Anyway, this car is ugly.
12 Volkswagen Thing
Ladies and gentlemen, we present to you the Volkswagen Thing. Yes, that’s actually its name, at least as it was sold in the United States. Its given name was the Volkswagen 181. It was sold as the Volkswagen Camat in Indonesia; the Volkswagen Safari in Mexico; and the Volkswagen Trekker in the UK. But it was only in the good ole United States of America that distributors saw the thing for what is really was: a thing. Even by the retrograde standards of the 1970s, this car is anything but fun to look at. We’re sure it got the job done, as most cars tend to do, but still, we wouldn’t want to be caught driving one. Anyway, the chances of us ever being seen in this thing are slim to none, since Volkswagen halted production in 1983 after a 15-year run. That is a long, long time for a thing like this to be produced, and we’re glad that factories won’t ever have to process it again.
11 Tatra 603
Ever hear of the Czech vehicle manufacturing company called Tatra? We expect that the diehard gearhead has, but the average person probably hasn’t. Tatra is actually the third oldest car manufacturing company and it’s still running today, which is quite an impressive feat. What doesn’t really impress us, however, is the gross design of the Tatra 603. Experiencing an inordinately long 19-year run from 1956 to 1975, the Tatra 603 effectively spent almost two decades turning heads on the street for all the wrong reasons. We’re not sure where the inspiration for the triclops-style headlights came from. Maybe the designers over at Tatra were extremely moved by some sort of mythology. We enjoy reading about the triclops and a myriad of other fantastical creatures as well, but we’re level-headed enough to realize that fiction belongs in the storybooks, and that a car should not look like a clumsy mythological monster.
10 Fiat Multipla
The Fiat Multipla was presumably given its name due to the multiple gasps of sheer disgust it incites upon first viewing. Indeed, when seeing this car for the first time, it takes your eyes a while to adjust to what you’re actually looking it. It’s quite unlike any other car, which is an impressive feat in itself, but we certainly don’t mean that in a good way. Quite the opposite. The Fiat Multipla looks like the bizarre offspring of a very ugly car and a very awkwardly shaped little boat. No matter where the Fiat Multipla goes, it actually looks like it’s in mid-intercourse with the little boat on top of it. Really, we had no idea what the designers over at Fiat were thinking with this one. The Italian automakers normally have more taste than what they show here. Simon Cowell completely agrees with us, saying the car looked like it had a disease when he made an appearance on Top Gear.
9 Davis D-2 Divan
While the Fiat Multipla in the entry above looks like it’s being ridden by a boat, the good people over at Davis Motorcar Company apparently decided to take that concept a bit further, so they built a car that actually looks exactly like a boat. It’s not even a decent looking boat, either; far from it, and it definitely does not make for an attractive car. This abomination had a very limited 2-year release spanning 1947—1949, and it’s easy to understand why. With its preposterous shape, we wouldn’t be surprised if the unfortunate owners of this bizarre automobile actually drove their car into a lake, forgetting for a moment that it was a car. Or, maybe they drove the car into a body of water out of sheer embarrassment over having bought the thing in the first place. We certainly doubt that they received many compliments for it.
8 Suzuki X-90
Don’t look at this one for too long, or your eyes will start to desynch from your brain. The Suzuki X-90’s design is so damn mangled that it’s singularly hard to look at. First off, it looks like it was meant to be a four-seater, but a giant guillotine slice off a section of its back end and glued the rest of it back together. Either that, or it was shortened slightly by a junk yard car crusher, in which case the car crusher should have just continued and reduced it to a metal box. To make its abnormal body seem even stranger, the stock tires on this thing are abnormally big for the frame, and they make the car look like it’ll wobble right down a steep enough hill. Finally, serving as the cherry on this atrocious cake that no one will ever eat or buy, Suzuki opted to finish it off with a rear spoiler that reeks of stringy, gooey cheese.
7 Hyundai Tiburon
Our hearts go out to anyone who purchased this truly unfortunate looking vehicle. Really, we’re very sorry for you. Admittedly, the latter models of the Hyundai Tiburon started looking a bit more acceptable as the line modernized near the end of its run (which came to an end in 2008 after 12 years), however, the poor victims who purchased the earlier attempts at the Tiburon truly got the short end of the stick. It would seem as though the manufacturers over at Hyundai intended to design a car that gave off an underlying impression that it was some kind of curious, clumsy jungle cat. The front headlights seem like a pair of eyes raising its eyebrows at whoever happens to be looking at it. Meanwhile, the person who’s looking at the Tiburon is raising their eyebrows right back, wondering who on earth would design a car to look like that.
6 Ferrari 575 Zagato GTZ
We would like to think that, aside from the rare station wagon experiment that was the FF, Ferrari always makes reliably beautiful, sharp cars, but sadly this is not the case. As we can see from the picture of that bloated, cheeky machine above, Ferrari is certainly not a perfect company, and their designers do not, in fact, break bread with mister Jesus Christ himself, as many of us would think they do. This car was actually a joint effort between coachbuilder Zagato and Ferrari, and its production was commissioned by Yushiyuki Hayashi, a Japanese collector. Hayashi (who actually owns two of these things) was offered 800,000 euros (which amounts to $1.09 million USD) for one of the cars, which he declined. He declined over $1 million for that gassy excuse for a Ferrari! We would’ve taken the money in an instant, bought a real Ferrari, and we’d still have a few hundred thousand dollars in our pockets.
5 Subaru B9 Tribeca
Here’s another one for observers to raise their brows at, while possibly twirling their moustaches in disapproval. The Subaru B9 Tribeca looks like most other SUVs, except way uglier and kind of older. We don’t mean older in a cool, retro way; the Subaru B9 Tribeca is more like your old neighbour who invited himself over for tea and won’t seem to leave the house despite all the hints you’re sending. If this were some distant parallel reality where SUVs were sentient, civilised beings, we would imagine that they would never invite the B9 Tribeca over to their houses for that exact reason. Honestly, what is going on with the hood and headlights of this thing, and why on earth does its grill look like a perfect French moustache? Was that some vain final insertion by its moustached head designer? Or has the head designer always wanted a moustache, but was never able to grow one, so he chose to live vicariously through his car? We’ll never know, and we’ll never be caught dead in one of these things.
4 Chrysler PT Cruiser
By the grace of the gods, Chrysler stopped manufacturing the PT Cruiser in 2010 after a 10-year production run. Still, for some reason, we still find these cars being driven on the road quite frequently, and it boggles our minds every single time. Seriously, why would anyone buy this car? Especially considering all the better options out there, like walking. The Chrysler PT Cruiser looks like a twisted, abstract luxury car meant to chauffeur a deranged woman wearing a cardboard dress who thinks she’s the queen. In designing this unfortunate automobile, Chrysler apparently could not decide whether they wanted something that gives off the faux-impression of luxury, or that pays homage to retro styling, or an otherworldly third source of inspiration that no one outside of the drawing room will ever know. Either way, we hope to see less and less of these cars on the road very soon. Like, now.
3 Toyota Prius
We’ll start this one off by saying that we fully support the manufacturing and purchasing of hybrid cars. Electricity will take us to the future, and gas needs to be kept in the past, where it belongs. That being said, the Toyota Prius is the unfortunate, bullied little sister of the entire automotive industry. Normally we would defend the victim of mass bullying, but since the Toyota Prius is not a living thing with opinions and emotions, we’ll join the masses in pointing our finger at it. Not the index finger, either. Really, Toyota, we commend you for bringing innovative, environmentally-friendly functionality to the masses, but how hard would it have been to make the Prius a little easier on the eyes? Toyota doesn’t seem to learn from their mistakes either; the newest Prius model is so bizarrely grotesque it actually shocks our eyeballs when we look at it. The only redeeming factor of the Prius (aside from being smart in a humanitarian way) is that comedian Bill Burr drives one.
2 Nissan Juke
Nissan really juked us big time with this one. We’re not quite sure what that means, but what we’re trying to say is that they presented us with an incomprehensibly weird looking automobile and somehow expected us to give them some money for it. If the Nissan Juke were a human being, its facial features would probably be moved up sequentially, with the eyes placed smack in the middle of the forehead, the nose where the eyes should be, and the mouth where the nose should be. It’s an absolute shudder to look at. Strangely, Nissan seems to be quite proud of its “achievement” here, not deterred one bit by the years of backlash that the original Juke received. Nissan spokesman Travis Parman says, “Great design is often polarizing. Juke is a fun car that allows for more assertive expression—which is exactly what many buyers want.” Yeah, sure thing, buddy.
1 Volkswagen Beetle
No other car is as classically adorable and classically atrocious as the good old Volkswagen Beetle. In our humble opinion, the atrociousness of the Beetle vastly overshadows how cute it is, which is why we put it on this list. If you’re a dude driving around in a VW Beetle to make some sort of ironic statement about cars and manliness and whatnot, then we kind of sympathize with your perspective, and we may buy you a pint or two if ever we meet in a pub. If you’re a girl driving a Volkswagen Beetle because you think it’s adorable, and you pay absolutely no mind to its sheer, inherent hideousness, then you need to go back to car school and earn yourself an opinion diploma. Though, in all likeliness, we would still buy you a pint over at the pub if you’d let us. Seriously, any ladies want a pint?