Not in the clamor of the crowded street, not in the shouts and plaudits of the throng, but in ourselves, are triumph and defeat.--Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

REDIRECT ALERT! (Scroll down past this mess if you're trying to read an archived post. Thanks. No, really, thanks.)

Due to my inability to control my temper and complacently accept continued silliness with not-quite-as-reliable-as-it-ought-to-be Blogger/Blogspot, your beloved Possumblog will now waddle across the Information Dirt Road and park its prehensile tail at http://possumblog.mu.nu.

This site will remain in place as a backup in case Munuvia gets hit by a bus or something, but I don't think they have as much trouble with this as some places do. ::cough::blogspot::cough:: So click here and adjust your links. I apologize for the inconvenience, but it's one of those things.

Tuesday, January 27, 2004

Via Forbes.com, a listing of the Worst Cars of All Time

Consisting of:

1975-1980 AMC Pacer--weird styling from Dick Teague, American Motors' design chief who also gave us some cleanly styled cars like the original two-seat AMX (one of which I owned, having a 390 and an auto) and its sister the Mustang-fighter Javelin. (Check out this link to the Alabama State Trooper Javelins) The Pacer was just too weird, though, although it was a perfect complement to the AMX III-derived "styling" of the later model Matador. Also they drank huge amount of fuel for a car intended to be an economy car.

1970-1974 Chevrolet Vega--A throwback to the days of total-loss oiling. Actually were not bad looking, and after the change to iron cylinder liners, the engine woes were cured. Sorta. And I still think the twin-cam Cosworth Vega is cool. And all of them can hold a V-8.

1970-1972 Citroen SM--Hydraulic wonderland. A concept way beyond the available technology. But they are sleek looking and fast, and they had a Maserati V-6. Fixing stuff was problematic in France, impossible in the US.

1978-1988 Fiat Strada--Not the first car from Turin to be saddled with the "Fix It Again, Tony" tag, but certainly one of the most uninspiring.

1983-1989 Ford Bronco II--A little too tall and tippy for people who had never driven anything tall and tippy before. Hard to build a customer base when they keep getting severe head injuries. Still a clean looking design, though, although I still covet the plug-ugly 1966 version.

1957-1959 Ford Edsel --A not-bad-looking car for the time, even considering the unconventional horse-collar grille, but the quality control on these things was horrible. It could have survived ugliness, but not being way-overpriced crap. The ones that survive do so only because of the extreme love slathered on them by owners.

1971-1980 Ford Pinto--Okay, so the gas tank thing was really, really a bad decision. But compared to the other vehicles in the compact car landscape of the time, the Pinto wasn't so incredibly bad. And, like the Vega, you could shove a V-8 under the hood.

1978 Honda Accord hatchback--I never knew these were so badly thought of. It certainly gives lie to the idea in Detroit that once you make a bad impression, the best thing to do is change the name and hope nobody remembers. The Accord is a very good car now. I think it's unfair that no one took the time to mention the Camry and the Tercel--which defined Japanese crap when they were first introduced, and likewise continued to grow much more refined and reliable over the years.

1971 Mazda RX-2 --Hey, guess what?! Apex seals wear out. FAST. Zippy little car though. When it ran.

1979-1984 Oldsmobile Delta 88--I assume this is due in large part to the horrid diesel offered in these cars. The cars themselves weren't great, either. You want a Delta 88? Get one of these.

1984 Pontiac Fiero--Well, it supposedly started out as a two-seat "commuter" car to sneak it past the bean counters, so maybe it can be forgiven its terminal anemia. They were very nice to look at, but suffered the typical indifferent mid-'80s GM quality control. By the time Pontiac had the thing sorted out into a proper hot little sports car, GM killed it. It will be noted that the Toyota MR-2, its main competition when it debuted, was a dinky little cracker box that looked like it was made from dumpster parts. The Mister Two, however, managed to soldier on to this day as a nicely evolved, very nice fun machine. (This is the last year for it, sadly. Too much desire to sell ugly Scion boxes, I suppose. Good luck on that, Toyota.)

1956-1968 Renault Dauphine--Proof that just because the French make real good wine, cheese, and good looking women doesn't mean they know how to build a car.

1957-1962 Sachsenring Trabant P50--Proof that just because the Germans make real good cars, schnitzel, and lusty blonde beermaidens doesn't mean they can do so with Russian technology.

1981-1991 Yugo GV--Proof that just because the Slovenes and Macedonians and Serbs and Croats and Kosovars and Bosnians and Montenegrins have a long history of blood-thirsty violence and turmoil doesn't mean they aren't averse to sharing the finest of their automotive technology with the rest of the world.

And to wrap up where we came in, it's worth noting that their American importer, Malcolm Bricklin, developed his own car back in the mid-'70s, the Bricklin. Bricklin's source for the car's 360 cubic inch V-8 for the 1974 model? Why, none other than good old American Motors, who at the time was ramping up to pump out Pacers as fast as they could.

UPDATE: By the way, here is a list from Tom and Ray from back in April of 2000. Lot of the same cars AND it includes the Volare! Whoa-O!

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