MSN recently posted the 10 worst cars ever. They were:
They also threw in the 2002 Plymouth Prowler to show that it wasn’t only back then that manufacturers made ugly cars. The Prowler looked too goofy to pass as a hot rod. That front end didn’t sell as well as they hoped and, besides, how do you sell a car as a hot rod when it has only 250 hp?
My first car was pretty cool: a 1968 Austin Healey Sprite. It was fun in the summer, but small. Then it didn’t matter.
The worst car I had was a 1960 Ford Falcon. I bought it in San Diego when I was in the Navy. It was bright orange, jacked up in the back and with chrome reverse wheels on it.
The floorboard was sort of there and sort of not there, with plywood covering a big hole. It was great for long trips when you didn’t want to stop to go to the bathroom.
The accelerator stuck on occasion, but once you got used to it you could slip your foot under the pedal and un-stick it without too much panic. Passengers riding in the car for the first time were taken back when I’d suddenly curse and start kicking the pedal with my feet as I slid down in the seat, all the while approaching a dangerous intersection where the light had just turned red. After one ride, most of my friends opted for a bus pass.
I took the car up to Beverly Hills just because I’d never been there. I didn’t see too much of Beverly Hills, but I met a few Beverly Hills cops who weren’t too happy to see me and my jacked-up Orange Flame (yes, I named it, too) cruising about.
The Ford Fairmont, Plymouth Volare and Pontiac Le Mans
The worst detective car I ever drove was the Ford Fairmont. It was hideous. It was ugly and had the appeal of toad. It had no power. I would have to find entrance ramps that sloped down to the freeway just to get enough speed to merge.
Probably the worst patrol car I spent time in was the Plymouth Volare. It was ugly and small. In Fulton County, we had the Volare for a patrol car with its old-style bubble-gum-machine blue light on top. It was like driving around with a big fez on your head.
The best patrol car I drove was a 1976 Pontiac Le Mans. It had a 400 hp engine and an air scoop for increased air flow and extra coolness. That car would fly. It was long and sleek.
That car was so fast that once, during a chase, I found myself passing the car I was chasing, which was kind of awkward now that I think about it. (I’ll never forget the look on that guy’s face as I passed him and yelled “Boo-Yah!)
Forty years ago when a manufacturer made an ugly car, well, they had to take the hit. Now an ugly car can be “green.” If it looks like a boiled egg on wheels, but gets 50 miles to the gallon, well, it’s cost-effective and we applaud you.
Behind your back though, we’ll still call it ugly.