Guys love cars. That’s what makes the following cars so shameful – they have betrayed the basic compact between man and his car. And that is that a man will take care of his car, love it, feed it, maybe even give it a nice buffing every once in a while, and it return the car will do its best not to make him look like a huge dork. Yes, these are the cars that transcend things like “worst in class” or “breaks down easily” and represent something far more awful: they are nine of the lamest cars ever made.
9. Fiat Multipla
Oh, look at this poor bastard. It looks like something a soccer mom would drive in Serbia. The weird design and extra headlights makes it look more like some weird alien from a planet filled with fish-people than a car. Imagine rolling up in this. “Hey, ladies, what I lack in style and power I make up for in windshield space, and are you ready for this… extra lights!” Ladies, I’ll give you a moment while you change your panties.
8. 1971-76 Ford Pinto
It’s not so much that the Pinto looks lame – although, let’s face it, it’s not exactly rolling with its badass brother, the Mustang, in the looks department – it’s that, well, there’s a good chance you will blow up and die the first time you’re rear-ended, which, believe it or not, isn’t as sexy as it sounds. That’s because the Pinto’s not so ingenious design includes a gas tank located in the back of the car. Driving this car is pretty much the equivalent of that scene from Dr. Strangelove where Slim Pickens rides the bomb. You might as well just show up in a car chauffeured by the Grim Reaper.
7. AMC Pacer
This little dude has been described as an “upside down fishbowl.” Stay back, ladies! The thing about this car, though, is that it actually looks like a nerd. I don’t mean that it looks like a car driven by a nerd, I mean it actually looks like a nerd. Every time you see one of these on the streets, you half expect to see ghostly hands in the back rolling dice for a Dungeons and Dragons game. Sure, the Pacer was made briefly cool, in an ironic sort of way, by its adoption in Wayne’s World, but then we start getting into genuine cool vs. hipster cool, and that’s not a discussion any of us wants to have.
6. Overland OctoAuto
Back in the day, automakers liked to experiment with their brand new invention, which meant that occasionally they came up with turds like this. The OctoAuto’s whole raison d’etre is that it has eight wheels instead of four. That’s it. That’s the whole point. Of course, that also means that it has four more tires to maintain, two more axles to worry about, and it means that your car is going to be more difficult to maneuver, but hey at least you’ve got a car with eight wheels because, uh… reasons? I bet even the dudes still driving horse-drawn wagons laughed at the OctoAuto dudes back in the day.
5. Zundapp Janus
Yeah, this is basically an animated Pixar car brought to life. The good news is that you can probably just pick it up and carry it to the station if it breaks down. The bad news is that picking it up and carrying it might be quicker than actually driving it since it boasts an embarrassing 14 horsepower, which means that you’re pretty much driving the equivalent of a souped-up lawnmower. It’s a good car to have though if you don’t mind being laughed at by the paper boy as he peddles on by while you’ve got your foot to the floor. Plus, I’m sure your dates will love having to curl up into a ball just to fit inside. Oh, who am I kidding, you’re never getting a date.
4. Horsey Horseless
My god, just look at this thing! Built in 1899, the Horsey Horseless was the automakers’ way of helping people psychologically adapt to the concept of the horseless carriage. That makes sense because if there’s one thing that brings people comfort it’s seeing a stuffed, mounted horse’s head on the front of a car. There is also an argument to be made that this kept all the horses still pulling wagons from freaking out every time one of those newfangled devil cars powered by sorcery whipped by, but again, somehow I doubt that a horse would be calmed down by the sight of one of its decapitated brethren just rolling on by with lifeless eyes. On the other hand, ladies love horses, so, if you’re desperate…
3. Scripps-Booth Bi-Autogo
This was sort of an early motorcycle, but you probably shouldn’t bother trying to hang with the Hell’s Angels just yet. I mean, come on, look closely – those are training wheels! Yes, even your little baby boy who just learned to ride his bicycle will mock you for this. But even if you somehow manage to convince everyone that those aren’t training wheels and that you’re ready to go all Sons of Anarchy, there’s this to consider: you’re basically driving what appears to be a motorized penis. We’ve all heard about cars being an extension of a dude’s manhood, but come on, this is taking things a little too far.
2. BMW Isetta
Yes! You finally got yourself a BMW! Dad will be so proud. Wait, it’s a BMW Isetta? No! Dad just reached for the scotch. Aside from its pathetic 12 horsepower and 1 door, here’s all you need to know about the Isetta – when you run a Google Image Search on the car, the very first thing returned as a related search is “Steve Urkel.” Dad just disowned you.
1. Peel Trident
Oh my God. Look at this thing! It looks like somebody managed to drive off in one of those shitty little kids cars from a merry-go-round. The Trident is technically a micro-car, built on the Isle of Man in the mid-60s because everyone was on drugs back then. It has a top speed of 28 mph, and originally cost only £190. Basically, it was built just so people too lazy to walk and too cheap to get a real car could still get around town. A 14 year old on a moped would look like Steve McQueen next to a dude driving this. Sure, it gets good gas mileage, but so does riding a tricycle. Oh well, at least you won’t have to worry about there not being enough room for two because, let’s face it, you’re probably dying alone.
(Previously published on September 30, 2013.)
Main image: Free Photo Fun, Flickr