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50 Years of Ugly Cars --You Be The Judge!



  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Kent, OHPosts: 7,361
    edited November 2010
    A '58 Packard Hawk is not "...of the past fifty years". The '50's would open up a whole new list of such cars, for me!

    I dislike the catfish mouth and toilet seat on the trunk. Take those away, and it's a Studebaker Golden Hawk. I don't think many would call that an ugly car. And it has a beautiful, functional instrument panel and leather interior.

    I think the Packard Hawk looks better when compared to '58's other behemoth monstrosities. And, as we've discussed before, they bring surprisingly big money when they're for sale...definitely more than most anything else on my list (at least, non-letter Chryslers and closed cars). At production of 588, I couldn't even find any completed sales on eBay to list here.
  • xrunner2xrunner2 Posts: 3,062
    edited November 2010
    1958 Buick Roadmaster
    1958 Oldsmobile 98

    These two were most grotesque with their huge amounts of chrome placed willy nilly on car sides and huge ugly grilles and back ends.

    Lets stretch a little and say 50+ years of cars.
  • lemkolemko Posts: 15,071
    edited November 2010
    1961 Plymouth Fury
    1962 Plymouth Fury
    1962 Dodge Polara
    1970 Pontiac Catalina/Bonneville
    1974 AMC Matador coupe
    1974-78 AMC Matador sedan
    1974-1977 Datsun B210
    1976-80 AMC Pacer
    1985-88 Cadillac DeVille/Fleetwood FWD
    1986-91 Cadillac Eldorado
    1986-91 Cadillac Seville
    1999-2002 Mercury Cougar
    Toyota Echo
    Suzuki X90
    Isuzu VehiCross
    Pontiac Aztek
    Honda Element
    Nissan Juke
    Scion xB

    There would be a lot more, but I felt they were merely "homely" versus outright grotesque.
  • The 58 Packard Hawk is uniquely grotesque to me because it destroys a formerly attractive car. I'm amazed anyone would buy one, but then I'm constantly amazed at what people buy. You can get pretty good money for a 58 Buick or Olds coupe and well over $50K for convertibles of these cars.
  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Kent, OHPosts: 7,361
    edited November 2010
    Lemko, you and I often agree on one of the other forums and I almost entirely agree with your assessment here!

    I have to say, I pretty-much agree with the big '70 Pontiacs. It sort-of pains me to say so. I really like big '60's Pontiacs, ending with the '68's. I think the '70 Bonneville looks a 'teeny' bit better than the Catalina and Executive, only because of that colored panel between the taillights.

    I left out the '90 and '91 Eldorado from my list, only because I thought they got more palatable with the extended little 'fins' in the back, although honestly I can't remember what year those started. I remember looking at new '86 Eldorados and being aghast at how thin the seats were.

    Guilty pleasure: I actually like '74 and later Matador coupes, if they don't have a padded top and little opera window! In one model year, they went from the tallest intermediate to the lowest! But they still had the old unfortunate AMC interior and instrument panel, and with no filler panels between the body and bumpers, I remember that you could see the unfinished/rusty inside of the bumpers on the cars!
  • fezofezo Posts: 9,195
    Tail fins have saved a lot of cars from oblivion.

    What a frightening thought!

    The fact that 1958 was 52 years ago drastically affects this list. You could pretty much walk down any street and see a dozen ugly cars back then. in some ways that's why the 58 Edsel always sticks in my head. it took a lot of work to be distinctively ugly in 1958.

    I hate to admit it but I liked the Packard Hawk when it came out. My alibi is I was only 7 at the time.

    There's a lot of those that aren't terribly ugly - the Pinto was a rolling ball of death but it looked OK. Not great but OK. It got better looking if you were cross shopping it with a Gremiln.

    That BMW 7 isn't ugly. Disappointing? Sure.
  • Oh you were 7 at the time? Well, in the Catholic Church that's the cutoff age for being liable for committing sins. :P

    But we forgive you my son.

    re: 50 years---oh I don't know, I don't think cars suddenly starting getting beautiful in 1960.
  • fezofezo Posts: 9,195
    Yeah, i remember the nuns telling me I was eligible to go to hell now....

    if I went I might see some of these cars.
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 21,594
    I have to say, I pretty-much agree with the big '70 Pontiacs. It sort-of pains me to say so. I really like big '60's Pontiacs, ending with the '68's. I think the '70 Bonneville looks a 'teeny' bit better than the Catalina and Executive, only because of that colored panel between the taillights.

    I think the last big Pontiac that truly excitesme is the 1967 models. I just thought they totally screwed the style up for 1968....almost overnight the car went from hip, swinging, youthful, and sporty, and transformed into sort of an old man's car. It redeemed itself somewhat for 1969, with a less beaky front end, smoother lines overall, and what I thought was a really attractive rear. But then, for 1970, they screwed it up again with that neoclassic front-end with the too-small grille and the horn ports that gave it a 6-headlight look.

    I'm really not all that fond of the redesigned '71 Pontiacs, either. The overall shape I find attractive, it's just those front-ends. I think it looked better in '72, but I really didn't find the big Pontiacs attractive until 1975-76. And the downsized '77's I really love, especially the Catalina. But by that time, the public had pretty much deserted Pontiac when it came to bigger cars, so they weren't strong sellers.

    I gotta admit, the '74+ Matador coupe is sort of a guilty pleasure of mine, too. Hideous, but I love it! One added bonus on the base coupe that didn't have the padded top was that it had one feature very few 2-door cars did by that time...roll down rear windows. And I kinda like some of the Matador interiors of the time. A bit tacky, even for the 1970's, but they seemed pretty plush. I always theorized that since AMC really didn't have the resources to put money into engineering or making the cars truly modern, so instead they tried to compensate by sprucing up the interiors. Some of the Concorde models, and the nicer trim level of Pacer were pretty nice inside, too.
  • fezofezo Posts: 9,195
    The car I learned to drive in was a 67 Tempest wagon with the dreaded OHC engine that died at 56K. Had a Buick 6 after that.

    It wasn't an exciting car but it looked great and other than a nasty habit of randomly stalling at the worst possible moment it was cool.
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 21,594
    It wasn't an exciting car but it looked great and other than a nasty habit of randomly stalling at the worst possible moment it was cool.

    My grandparents' first non-Ford car was a 1967 Tempest. They followed it up with a '71 Tempest and then a '75 Dart Swinger. All three of those cars had problems with stalling, but the Dart was so bad that it sent them running and screaming back to Ford with a 1977 Granada, and they never strayed again.
  • gsemikegsemike Long Island, NYPosts: 1,743
    Many of those cars aren't ugly. Sure, the Chevette was garbage but what we really ugly about it? I think that the writer's perception is clouded by what was a bad car. For ugly, I think that we need to include 62 Skylark/Tempest and many 60s oddball Plymouths, the 1970s Matadors, the 1970 (I think) Thunderbird (the one with the schnozz) and the new CTS coupe
  • berriberri Posts: 4,007
    Interesting list Lemko. I think 1960 put out a lot of ugly. I wasn't as offended by the 62 Fury and Polara, but think they would have probably looked better if they had stuck with the originally planned full sized platform.

    I don't care what others say, the Yaris is just about as ugly as the Echo was.
  • fezofezo Posts: 9,195
    A Granada? We had one of those, too. It didn't inspire too much Ford loyalty.....
  • Volvo 240 ---it's hard to call a shoe box "ugly".

    Maybe the writer is remembering how quickly a Chevette GOT ugly. One year on the street and it was cooked.
  • berriberri Posts: 4,007
    The 58 Buick may be garish, but the 58 Olds is one ugly sucker!
  • yeah but worth $30K-$50K. Ugly but loved I guess ???
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 21,594
    For the most part, I think 1960 was actually a pretty attractive year, although it was a time of growing pains, as the auto makers were sort of stuck between the era of late 50's excess and early 60's sensibility. Off the top of my head, the only 1960 car I think was truly ugly was the Plymouth...and it would get a lot worse for 1961! I think the rest of the Mopar lineup that year looked good, though.

    I'm also not that fond of the 1960 Mercury...not really hideous, but kind of awkward yet plain, at the same time. But the Ford and Lincoln, I find oddly appealing.

    And I thought GM's cars that year were okay, although I thought they all got much better looking for 1961-62.
  • lemkolemko Posts: 15,071
    I, personally, LOVE the 1958 Buick, especially the Limited with the 15 slashmarks down the quarter panels. This car was actually two inches longer than a 1958 Cadillac DeVille. I'd love to have one of these for my personal car!

  • lemkolemko Posts: 15,071
    1958 Edsel
    1958 Buick
    1958 Oldsmobile
    1960 Lincoln
    1960-62 Valiant
    1961 DeSoto
    1961 Dodge
    1961 Imperial
    1961 Rambler Ambassador
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