Thursday, September 04, 2008


Some cars are instant classics and remain as popular as ever. Some cars however, aren’t so lucky in either their notoriety or their shelf-life. They are the bane of automotive existence and are shunned by millions. Certainly, people lost their jobs over some of these cars. So here they are: the ten cars that never should have been made. And if you do have one of these, we’re sorry, but it sucks to be you.

AMC Gremlin
This car reminds us of the hot-wheels collection we had when we were kids. Sadly, it performs like them, too. It was the first American compact car, and -- for everyone’s sake -- shouldn’t have been. Popular in its time, it’s widely held as one of the shittiest cars around. And we don’t disagree.

Ford Pinto
Danger, Will Robinson, danger. Any car that you have to worry about bursting into flames in a rear impact isn’t a good one. The worst part was that Ford determined that it would be cheaper just to pay off any potential damages due to lawsuits than to fix the problem. Yikes. Yet another sub-compact car, this POS should have been DOA.

The "New" VW Beetle
Classics are classic for a reason. The old Beetle was a hell of a car, and had a reputation for being easy to work on and loved by its owners. Whatever those drugs did for you, man. But like most classics, the easiest way to ruin something is to make it new again. Popular with young girls and old ladies, the new Beetle should have been exterminated.

Ford Focus
Any car that is only good when you strip everything out of it and start over probably shouldn’t have been made in the first place. While the rally version of the Focus actually rips and wins races, the only resemblance to the original is the body shape and badging. While really not a bad car per-se, it’s all about this question: would you own or drive one? We didn’t think so.

Yugo GV
There’s a reason Serbia doesn’t make many cars anymore. And that reason is -- apart from many years of violent civil strife -- the Yugo GV. It’s small and shitty, which seems to be the trend on this list. The Yugo is no different: it looks like a toy and drives like one, too. Be glad you never had to drive one of these.

Cadillac Cimarron
Yes, this thing is really a Cadillac. Not every car made by a successful car company is a gem. Sometimes they give us a steamy pile of shit. And Cadillac gave us the Cimarron. The trend when this car came out (like most of the cars here) was an attempt at making them smaller and cheaper. Well, no one told Cadillac that a “luxury” car is never small or cheap.

Pontiac Aztek
The first SUV on the list, this “crossover” car/truck/van thing was aimed at the Gen-X crowd. And since no one really takes their SUV off-road, they tried to sell it as a rock-and-roll sport utility. Too bad no one was buying that load of shit. Not only was it too expensive and undesirable to the very people they were selling it to, it was also ugly as sin. It looks more like an angular short-bus than a sleek multi-purposed grocery-getter.

Renault LeCar
It’s hard to believe a company that has actually won a Formula 1 championship made and sold this car. Well, they tried to sell it, that is. The ultimate “mini” of the compact cars, it was up against the Civic and VW Rabbit. No bonus points for figuring out who won that marketing battle. Le Car was Le Shit. It’s really as simple as that. Small, no power and the looks of a stumpy grandmother, it seems they flew better than they drove.

De Lorean DMC-12
Yes, it went back to the future, and yes, the gull-wing doors are pretty sweet and are found on way too many hyper-cars these days. But -- and this is a BIG but -- truth be told, this car is a mechanical pig on wheels. Sure, it may have a cult following, but that’s where the following is and where it should stay. We could go on and on but the nail in the coffin is that it has a stainless steel body. Someone forgot to tell Mr. De Lorean lighter is better. It was bad enough that they just stopped making them. Not a horrible car, but Marty McFly could have gone back to the future in a Lamborghini Countach instead. (Ed. note: Maybe he could have, but the stainless steel frame factored into the Doc's selection of the De Lorean, as it was beneficial to flux dispersal... uh... I mean, yeah, Countaches are sweet.)

Hummer H2/H3
Where to begin with this behemoth? A bastard “little” brother to the full-sized Hummer, this car or truck (whatever the fuck you call it), is supposed to be for “normal” sized people. Yeah. Right. While it is slimmer than the original, it’s actually taller and longer. So it’s still massive and if one ever hits you, you had better hope you are in something just as big, or it WILL fuck you up.

Not only that, but its frame is basically the same as a Chevy Tahoe’s, although they are put together slightly differently, which is a common but widely unknown cost-saving “trick” practiced by auto manufacturers. The sneaky bastards.
And then there’s its gas mileage. Because it weighs over 8500 lbs, the US government does not require it to meet federal fuel efficiency regulations. And that means they don’t have to publish its fuel economy numbers (owners average about 10 mpg for normal use). Maybe they should call it the “Freedom-mobile,” considering all the gas it uses, which our troops are fighting for. Ahem.
And just when you think things can’t get any worse, they do. Under current tax laws business owners can deduct nearly half the cost of their H2s. And if you’re in the highest tax bracket (which you would be if you’re buying a H2), that could mean a savings of almost $10,000. So the government gives gas guzzling polluting death boxes more rewards than electric cars (if there was such a thing).

Last, but not least, there is the Douchebag-owner factor. Most owners think they own the road and think their shit doesn’t stink. Smells like burning gas to us. And while normally we’d be all over a machine that guzzles gas, pollutes, and is a bona-fide killer, this time we have to relent. There actually is such a machine out there. It’s called a TANK. And if you have an H2 you might as well be driving one of those instead.
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