Expectations can be high when a new vehicle is launched onto the market and the ensuing ad campaign will inevitably play a crucial role in getting those sales rolling in. However, looking back over the years we can see some seriously disastrous and ill-informed campaigns around some even more questionable vehicles, which are enough to make anyone cringe. Here are 5 of the worst cars ever made:
5. The 1899 Horsey Horseless
Dating way back to the 19th Century the Horsey Horseless lays claim to its position among our 5 worst cars. A cross between a carriage and the notorious head in the bed Godfather scene this monstrosity had a hollow wooden horse head attached to the front which was designed to fit alongside horses without inducing panic.
The designer Uriah Smith was quoted as saying:
“The live horse would be thinking of another horse.”
His fanciful and misguided ideas also stretched to using the hollow head as a container for the volatile fuel. Now, whether or not the Horsey Horse made it to the streets is still debatable, however, its mere conception goes to highlight just how far we have come from an age where a horseless carriage was practically impossible to envisage, to the modern-day reliance on motorized transport upon which everyday life pivots.
4. The Ford Pinto
The 1970s Pinto was a definite stain on the record for Ford. It suffered from a brutal design flaw which was further amplified by their resistance to fixing it due to the price tag involved. The flaw was that a fuel filler neck would snap off during rear-end collisions which meant it turned into a fireball deathtrap.
Eddie Murphy was even known for his routine where he talked of rear-ending Pintos as a cheaper alternative to fireworks during his youth. If this wasn’t enough to put buyers off the ugly design acted as the final nail in the coffin. Thankfully the problems with the fuel tank were finally rectified in later models but its reputation meant that sales were limited, to say the least, and production was finally halted in 1980.
3. The Pontiac Aztek
One look at this bad boy should have sent alarm bells ringing. Being likened to an egg carton on wheels with a hint of the minibus, you would have been forgiven for thinking this was some type of April Fool’s joke.
Technically, there were actually no real problems with the Aztek but it could never recover from its less-than-pleasing aesthetics. Even GM went as far as admitting that they would fire the guy who commissioned the design if only someone would own up to it!
2. The Yugo GV
Voted the worst car of the millennia, the Yugo GV suffered a catalog of faults that went as far as the radio falling out of the dashboard.
Very few models were sold and this vehicle can be seen as a prime example of just what happens when you attempt to build and market a car in a wealthy country when it would clearly be more suited to those on far tighter budgets in less prosperous countries.
1. The Cadillac Catera
When the advertising campaign consists of Cindy Crawford talking to a duck it’s clear that the dark and heavy shadow of failure is looming. Not only confusing us all as to what exactly was being promoted, but the vehicle itself was also merely an Opel Omega re-branded with a V8 fired in it.
Suffering a multitude of problems which included a decidedly dodgy suspension and somewhat pathetic brakes among other issues, the Catera was a source of continual embarrassment to Cadillac, finally ending after a shameful 4-year run.
What are the worst cars ever made in your opinion? Share your thoughts in the comments!