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Old 1st February 2010, 20:42   #1
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Default 50 Worst Cars of All Time

The 50 Worst Cars of All Time

On the 50th anniversary of the Ford Edsel, TIME and Dan Neil, Pulitzer Prize-winning automotive critic and syndicated columnist for the Los Angeles Times, look at the greatest lemons of the automotive industry :

Full List


1899-1939
1899 Horsey Horseless
1909 Ford Model T
1911 Overland OctoAuto
1913 Scripps-Booth Bi-Autogo
1920 Briggs and Stratton Flyer
1933 Fuller Dymaxion
1934 Chrysler/Desoto Airflow
1940-1959
1949 Crosley Hotshot
1956 Renault Dauphine
1957 King Midget Model III
1957 Waterman Aerobile
1958 Ford Edsel
1958 Lotus Elite
1958 MGA Twin Cam
1958 Zunndapp Janus
1960-1974
1961 Amphicar
1961 Corvair
1966 Peel Trident
1970 AMC Gremlin
1970 Triumph Stag
1971 Chrysler Imperial LeBaron Two-Door Hardtop
1971 Ford Pinto
1974 Jaguar XK-E V12 Series III
1975-1989
1975 Bricklin SV1
1975 Morgan Plus 8 Propane
1975 Triumph TR7
1975 Trabant
1976 Aston Martin Lagonda
1976 Chevy Chevette
1978 AMC Pacer
1980 Corvette 305 "California"
1980 Ferrari Mondial 8
1981 Cadillac Fleetwood V-8-6-4
1981 De Lorean DMC-12
1982 Cadillac Cimarron
1982 Camaro Iron Duke
1984 Maserati Biturbo
1985 Mosler Consulier GTP
1985 Yugo GV
1986 Lamborghini LM002
1990-Present
1995 Ford Explorer
1997 GM EV1
1997 Plymouth Prowler
1998 Fiat Multipla
2000 Ford Excursion
2001 Jaguar X-Type
2001 Pontiac Aztek
2002 BMW 7-series
2003 Hummer H2

I was wondering if we could add more cars to this list ?

Last edited by Rehaan : 6th February 2010 at 13:54. Reason: Thread moved to Intl' Auto Scene - as its better suited there. Thanks.
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Old 1st February 2010, 20:58   #2
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Well Mr Jatti today 90% of these cars (pre 80) are collectible. Maybe we can see how many of them exist in India.

Ford Pinto was a version of the Capri. I love the one that is there in Delhi. I think you restored it right?

Last edited by the mole : 1st February 2010 at 21:00.
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Old 1st February 2010, 21:22   #3
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Ford Pinto was a version of the Capri. I love the one that is there in Delhi. I think you restored it right?[/quote]

Thank you, I did restore the MK 1 Capri -XLR. I am not too sure about the Pinto being a version of the Capri. Ford Capri was produced by Ford Europe between 1968 till 1986 and the Pinto was produced by Ford USA between 1970 till 1980. The lines of both the cars have some similarity but the wheel base and the length of the car and the designers for both the cars are different.
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Old 1st February 2010, 21:37   #4
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I would want to hear Ram's perspective on this. Ram ?
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Old 1st February 2010, 21:40   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by S.B.Jatti View Post
The 50 Worst Cars of All Time
I was wondering if we could add more cars to this list ?
I suggest we add the 'new' Chrysler PT Cruiser and from our own land, the Standard Gazel and Sipani Montana (Not Dolphin).
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Old 1st February 2010, 22:06   #6
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Default Ford Edsel

I take exception to this one~

My dad purchased one second hand in 1961 and drove it for 8 years.
It had the automatic transmission using buttons on the steering column and was top of the line with a 427 c.i. V8.

Living 15 miles from Windsor Ontario and their Canadian HQ and factory, he had a friend in their engineering dept do a major tune up on it shortly before my brother & drove to Toronto to visit some friends. I t was a very fast drive and at one point we raced an Jaguar who tried to loose us. With all that high speed driving we averaged close to 30 m.p.g.

It was my fathers most favourite car!

The 1961 Amphicar was another fun car, I have a friend in Toronto that took me for a drive/cum/boat ride and let me tell you it was one of the most memorable experiences. A good restored one is currently worth around $70,000.

It would be great to post photos of them.

Last edited by john a milne : 1st February 2010 at 22:11.
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Old 1st February 2010, 22:14   #7
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What a nonsense list!!! Who made this anyways!!
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Old 1st February 2010, 22:27   #8
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Originally Posted by Cyrus43 View Post
What a nonsense list!!! Who made this anyways!!
This is not my list ! This list was made by the US Magazine -TIME and Dan Neil, Pulitzer Prize-winning automotive critic and syndicated columnist for the Los Angeles Times.
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Old 1st February 2010, 23:03   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by the mole View Post
Ford Pinto was a version of the Capri.
Quote:
Originally Posted by S.B.Jatti View Post
I am not too sure about the Pinto being a version of the Capri. ... the designers for both the cars are different.
Quote:
Originally Posted by theMAG View Post
I would want to hear Ram's perspective on this. Ram ?
The Bob Eidschun designed 1970-80 Ford Pinto and its corporate cousin, Mercury Bobcat was not a version of the Capri. They were completely different cars.

The US Ford Pinto's contemporary in Europe was the Cortina-based Ford Capri Mark 1. From 1970-1978, the Capri was exported to USA and called the Mercury Capri.

So Capri and Pinto were actually sold contemporary to each other in the same US market.


Engines
Until 1971 the European/British Ford Capri had Ford's Kent 4-cylinder engines. However 1972 onwards, Capris used the 2.0 litre EAO four 4-cylinder OHC engine.

This engine was the only commonality between the European Ford Capri and the American Ford Pinto. The same Ford four cylinder OHC engine was also produced at Lima, Ohio (called the Lima-four) and found in the American Pinto and 4-cyl. Mustangs, and European Capri and Taunus-Cortina.

Ford called it the T-88 series engine. Introduced in 1970, it used nuts and bolts in SI unit sizes rather than the British ones.
So one needed a separate set of tools, from the ones for standard American cars. It was Ford's first engine to have the rubber belt-driven overhead camshaft.

It came in four sizes, 1.6 litre, 1.8 litre, 2.0 litre and 2.3 litre -- the latter two being the more popular avatars. It came in normally aspirated as well as turbosupercharged incarnations.

In the mid-eighties, I have owned two cars in my life with the Lima four engine, both with Weber carburettors.
A 1977 Ford Taunus 2.0 Ghia with a 2.0 litre EAO engine
and a 1979 Ford (Fox-platform) Mustang fastback with a 2.3 litre Lima four.

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The Lima four had a noisy camshaft that was fraught with the propensity to flatten its cams if driven hard on old oil. I changed the camshaft on my Mustang, in Everett, Washington.

Transparent Model Engine
Around 1985 to 1995, Revell made a transparent plastic scale model of the Lima-four 2.3 liter 4 cylinder turbo engine in 1/3rd scale.

This had a moving crankshaft, connecting rods, pistons, OHC valve train and timing belt. It also had a see-through turbo charger with manually moving impellers. The working ignition system had miniature bulbs that would light to indicate firing spark plugs. The model engine came completed with alternator, air pump and fan.

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Old 1st February 2010, 23:10   #10
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there is nothing like a worst car the best cars can join the list only due to negligence by the manufacturer dealers and after sales people all fiat models would have been included in this list if it would have originated in india
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Old 2nd February 2010, 00:23   #11
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Worst cars is a very general statement. There must be a reason why the car is in such a list. I do not believe that it has something to do with attitude and service of the manufacturer/dealer/service station. It must be more asthetics and technical. Or downright dangerous like the Pinto which often caught fire. Fiat/Premier, Amby and Gazel were the worst cars in India because they were extreemly dated, nothing else was available and the dealer + manufacturer had a very bad attitude.
One should go through the list, it should not be dismissed as just nonsense, because many of the cars on that list were basically bad in some way or the other. Every car on that list can be discused individually, but that would take pages. So I shall comment on a few already commented on.
Even the Edsel was bad, bad in timing as it appeared a few years too late. Technically she was relatively sound, styling was a matter of taste, but so were most of the later 1950's cars. If I could lay my hands on an Edsel convertible, I would. The Amphibian may have been practical in the sense that it could float, but asthetics?
We may have got used to the looks over the years, but it looks as bad as those flying cars one sees once in a while with wings and tail. Those 2 propellers sticking out look bad. And even as a boat the styling is not asthetic.
Many cars on the list are indeed collectible, but does that make them any better? Just go and drive a Ford Model T. You require three hands and only one leg, not made for normal humans. At the other end is the futuristic Lagonda, a car well maintained is worth a fraction of what it cost when new. Only now prices are creeping up.
Also, being named in a list of worst cars does not man that there is no fan following. See the Trabant, the poor East German were inflicted this car as nothing much else was available (like in India the Premier), after the reunification thousands were just thrown away, they littered even big cities like Berlin. Disposal was a problem bcause the body was plastic. But today, there is a fan following.

Cheers harit

Last edited by harit : 2nd February 2010 at 00:27.
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Old 2nd February 2010, 00:45   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by harit View Post
See the Trabant, the poor East German were inflicted this car as nothing much else was available (like in India the Premier), after the reunification thousands were just thrown away, they littered even big cities like Berlin. Disposal was a problem bcause the body was plastic. But today, there is a fan following.
Very valid points indeed you've put across, harit.
As for the trabant, disposal should not have been a problem as Trabants were made of cotton fibres dipped in a bakelite-like resin called Duroplast.
This material was edible and there were stories of farm animals like pigs and goats biting into Trabants and eating part of the body.

Here are a few pics. of one such Trabant being half-eaten by a pig, in a movie:

IMCDb.org: Trabant 601 S [P601] in "Crna macka, beli macor, 1998"
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Old 2nd February 2010, 01:04   #13
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Default True story of a very bad car by an inhumanly callous manufacturer

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Originally Posted by sierrakamat View Post
there is nothing like a worst car the best cars can join the list only due to negligence by the manufacturer dealers and after sales people all fiat models would have been included in this list if it would have originated in india
Here's a story of a very bad car by a callous manufacturer

Back in 1968, when the USA market demand for sub-compacts like the VW Beetle was rising, Ford specified a car design -- not to weigh an ounce over 2,000 pounds and not cost a cent over $2,000.

During design, crash tests revealed that, in rear-end crashes over 40 km/h, the petrol tank always burst. To correct it would have required changing and strengthening the design -- a $11 cost per car.

the rear end of the car would buckle like an accordion, right up to the back seat. The petrol-tank filler tube would tear away from the tank, and petrol would pour onto the road around the car.

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The crushed petrol tank would be jammed up against the differential housing spilling still more petrol.

Both cars would be engulfed in flames. At 64 km/h there were good chances, the Pinto's doors would jam and its trapped passengers would burn to death.

In those CATIA-less days, it took 43 months to transition a car design into production. However Ford corporate decided to breeze its cheapest subcompact of the 1970s, the Pinto into production in just 25 months.

Earlier huge American cars had body on chassis-frame construction and the long frame under the trunk would crumple and prevent the fuel tank from being pushed onto the differential.

However the Pinto was a small monocoque subcompact design.
In a rear-end collision, the fuel tank would be pushed onto
the long bolt studs on the differential cover.

Those bolts which would puncture the tank and cause a fiery explosion.

Now that is just plain bad engineering design, which has a $11 solution. Ford knew about it but chose in the board room to ignore it, because their assembly line machinery tooling was already ready.

They concluded that adding $11 per vehicle design improvement
for 12.5 million vehicles would cost them $ 137,000,000,
whereas 180 people burned to death at $200,000 compensation per death,
plus 180 people seriously burned at $67,000 compensation per burn injury plus $700 per vehicle would cost only $49,150,000.

So, content to assign a dollar figure to human life and suffering, these unethical corporate honchos chose not to modify the Pinto for safety and chose instead to pay for accidents on a case-by-case basis.

Ford gambled that it would cost less to pay for injuries and fatalities versus re-engineering the vehicles.

The result?
The ill-fated Ford Pinto's petrol tank would explode in a rear-end collision at even 30 km/hr.


About 500 people burned to death in Ford Pintos. In Feb. 1978 the US courts awarded a 16-year-old boy, badly burned in a Pinto accident, $128,000,000 in damages -- the largest single-person injury judgment in history.

Come May 1978, the US Dept of Transportation announced that Pinto was defective and called for a recall of all 1971 to 1976 Pintos. 14 lakh Pintos were recalled -- the most expensive recall in automotive history.

Over 100 lawsuits against Ford forced them to pay millions of dollars in damages. Ford eventually killed the Pinto and replaced it with the Ford Escort.

A powerful manufacturer brought to its knees by a first world country's strong legal system!

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Old 2nd February 2010, 10:29   #14
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This is a very subjective topic. Very few cars ever made will actually qualify as the "worst cars"

Most on that list are actually collectable now and I wonder how cars like the BMW 7 Series or the Hummer H2 have been clasified as lemons.

The description of a lemon is a car that can't do what it is designed to do so in actuality none of them were lemons.

A text book example of a "lemon" would be the Standard 2000 and the Sipani Montana.

Very few international manifacturers could afford to make such collosal blunders and indeed few did.
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Old 2nd February 2010, 11:08   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wasif View Post
This is a very subjective topic. Very few cars ever made will actually qualify as the "worst cars"

Most on that list are actually collectable now and I wonder how cars like the BMW 7 Series or the Hummer H2 have been clasified as lemons.

The description of a lemon is a car that can't do what it is designed to do so in actuality none of them were lemons.

A text book example of a "lemon" would be the Standard 2000 and the Sipani Montana.

Very few international manifacturers could afford to make such collosal blunders and indeed few did.
Hello Wasif,

Agreed that this is subjective. The "worst" in a car need not make it a lemon, just some feature may be the worst. Mostly it is styling, sometimes engineering and any other reason you may think about which make it a flop. What was wrong with the Edsel? Ford had started with a clean sheet of paper. They went wrong mainly because they forgot to update with the new trend.

Cheers harit
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