How Many Decades Does It Take for an Ugly Car to Look Cool?

Ford Edsel 2-Door

When you’re asked to think of the biggest car flop of all time and the ugliest car ever made, there’s one car that is most likely to come to mind.

The 1958 Ford Edsel (officially known as the Edsel Ranger).

The car has ended up on countless lists of the world’s ugliest cars and has become synonymous with failure. The Washington Post called it The Flop Heard Round the World.

The Edsel did fail upon its introduction, but that’s not necessarily because it was a bad car. It failed because of bad marketing.

Ford over-promised on the Edsel and over-hyped the car to the point of unrealistic expectations. When it was finally revealed, the public was left with the bitter taste of disappointment and turned their backs on the car that Ford had spent the equivalent of $2 billion to develop.

More than 50 years later, though, the Edsel might finally be cool.

Continue reading >>>

Some Love for the Ugly and Slow

2013 Honda Pilot

Reading through the auto blog-o-sphere daily, I find plenty of opinions on cars that are beautiful, cars that are ugly, cars that are fast, and cars that are slow.

I’ve offered plenty of my own opinions on such matters in the past, and today I’m in the mood to defend some of the slow and ugly cars.

We’ve all read about the Camaro Z/28 that beat a Lamborghini’s time around the ‘ring. No need to revisit that. We also know what cars sell the most and which ones are considered beautiful. Been there, done that.

For a look at some of the ones that sell the slowest and some that have been written off as ugly, keep reading. There could be a goldmine of a good deal in here.

Continue reading >>>

These Are the World’s Ugliest Cars, Right?

Ssangyong Rodius

Ssangyong Rodius

Anyone can make the claim that a certain car is the world’s ugliest. Naturally, we all have our own taste, and what one person may deem sickening and putrid, another may perceive as perfectly practical.

The Truth About Cars believes the Ssangyong Rodius is the ugliest car in the world. While it certainly makes a good case for itself, there are other contenders for the ugly crown. While the Rodius is not attractive by any means, take off that extra square behind the D-pillar, and it’s not much worse than the plain and uninspired Kia Rondo mixed with some Mercedes-Benz R-Class.

In the U.S. we tend to get hung up on design disasters from this market, with the Pontiac Aztek getting the most ugly attention, though the Nissan Juke might be catching up. (For the record, my 8-year-old daughter thinks the Juke is cute, while my 11-year-old son nearly has a tantrum each time he spots one.)

For serious ugliness, though, we must look outside our borders at models not available here from automakers such as Ssangyong, Peugeot and FIAT. And, what the heck, I’ll throw in an American disaster, too.

Continue reading >>>

Horrendous Design at Detroit

First off, beauty is not in the eye of the beholder; it’s in the eye of the buyer. And in the U.S. one can never underestimate the taste of automobile buyers.

In the past, they have bought cars like the AMC Pacer in large numbers—and probably thought they were beautiful.

Who is going to buy anything like the Chevrolet Tru 130R concept shown above? Here’s a retro muscle car with 150 hp and matte gold 20-inch wheels. The bulging hood hides a mighty 1.4-liter turbo four.

It’s much easier to produce an ugly car than a beautiful one, and the Detroit show demonstrates that principle in spades. High-end brands can occasionally produce amazing, if not beautiful, concepts like BMW’s i8 (which may be going to production), but mass-market cars are a different story.

Continue reading >>>