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

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Comments

  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 22,142
    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: 1,788
    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: 4,270
    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: 9,442
    A Granada? We had one of those, too. It didn't inspire too much Ford loyalty.....
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,974
    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.

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  • berriberri Posts: 4,270
    The 58 Buick may be garish, but the 58 Olds is one ugly sucker!
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,974
    yeah but worth $30K-$50K. Ugly but loved I guess ???

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  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 22,142
    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: 15,205
    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!

    image
  • lemkolemko Posts: 15,205
    1958 Edsel
    1958 Buick
    1958 Oldsmobile
    1960 Lincoln
    1960-62 Valiant
    1961 DeSoto
    1961 Dodge
    1961 Imperial
    1961 Rambler Ambassador
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 22,142
    Yeah, I think the '58 Buicks definitely fall into the ugly but cool category. And I think it pulls off that look a lot better than the Olds, which IMO tends a bit more towards ugly and a bit less towards cool.

    I just looked up the specs in an old brochure, and just learned that the Limited was actually 8" longer than the Roadmaster...227.1" versus 219.1". I guess all that extra length was in the rear deck?

    As for something like a 1958 Edsel, I think they're actually pretty attractive from the side and rear...it's just that front-end, with the jutting headlights, and that horsecollar/toilet seat/sexually suggestive looking central grille theme.
  • fezofezo Posts: 9,442
    That's a great list! I think i agree on all of them.

    Back to the Chevette - they didn't get ugly until you had to ride in one. That was one narrow car! At the time I rode in one I was maybe 130 pounds (at 5'5") - pretty skinny - and I felt cramped as hell. That takes some doing. I was way more comfortable, if not less embarrassed, in a Gremlin.
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 22,142
    Back to the Chevette - they didn't get ugly until you had to ride in one. That was one narrow car! At the time I rode in one I was maybe 130 pounds (at 5'5") - pretty skinny - and I felt cramped as hell. That takes some doing. I was way more comfortable, if not less embarrassed, in a Gremlin.

    I could actually see that. AMC really didn't have the money to do a "proper" compact car, so they simply took the compact Hornet and chopped something like 12" out of the wheelbase, all of it in the back seat area. The result is a car that feels like a compact up front, although the back seat was probably as miserable as any other subcompact of the time.

    Last time I sat in a Gremlin, or Hornet, I just remember the steering wheel being in sort of a bad position for me, and overly large in that mid-60's fashion. And the seat was pretty thinly padded.

    Can't remember the last time I sat in a Chevette, but I'm sure I'd hate it if I had to repeat the experience!
  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Kent, OHPosts: 7,535
    '61 Ambassador...how could I have left that one off my list? I'm afraid I disagree on its "cool" factor though!

    http://04snake.com/images/FandRimages/HaroldAnthony_fandr11-crop.jpg
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,974
    edited November 2010
    Young people seem to like the sense of the "ironic" and the grotesque. I often see them buying these cheaper old cars because they are so weird. I surmised that it's all about the urge to be different within the very conformist culture that we live in--by that I mean mass marketing is selling all of us the same things. How else could you explain the enormous automotive aftermarket for customization?

    So yeah, you can't get much weirder than a '61 Ambassador, or buying some other ugly duckling and showing it off---because you'll be one of the few people to have one.

    It's a kind of cheap celebrity, really.

    Some people dress like Elvis. Some try to win the Ugly Dog Contest. It's like that. :P

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  • gsemikegsemike Long Island, NYPosts: 1,788
    edited November 2010
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 22,142
    Yeah, those beak-nosed '70-71 T-birds were pretty grotesque up front. Shame, because I thought the '67-69 models were pretty nice. I never really cared for the big, overblown '72-76 T-bird either. The '72 was kind of ugly, but after that, it just sort of morphed into what looked like an overgrown intermediate Torino. The Mark IV was so much more tasteful looking I thought, and by that time, probably didn't cost a whole lot more than a T-bird, so I'd imagine most buyers just bought it instead.
  • fintailfintail Posts: 34,310
    Speaking of a young people trend, I have noticed hipster types in my area gravitating towards old Darts and Valiants - slant 6 cars. Likely due to low price, durability, and a little funkiness. But it's cool in a way to see the under 30-something crowd wanting plain old cars.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,974
    Well for one thing they are a lot easier, and far less expensive, to fix than just about any other "old" American car. I mean, a big old 60s Cadillac 4-door for $6000 bucks might seem like a really cool surf car or "art" car to drive to Burning Man or some such, but finding parts, working on those huge yachts, and buying the gas for them is not something many 20-somethings are prepared to do.

    A Dodge Dart you can fix with parts you buy from Home Depot.

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  • fintailfintail Posts: 34,310
    I suppose a 71 Valiant is pretty much the automotive equivalent of a fixie bicycle too.
  • xrunner2xrunner2 Posts: 3,062
    OK. I see the photo of the garish, grotesque Buick and I think back to a saying years ago: "It is so FAR OUT that it is IN." With that qualification, the 58 Buick is a very "IN" car. If someone had one in my area and brought it to car shows, everyone would be gawking at it. Teens, twenty-thirty somethings would say, what the heck is that?
  • xrunner2xrunner2 Posts: 3,062
    and just learned that the Limited was actually 8" longer than the Roadmaster...227.1" versus 219.1". I guess all that extra length was in the rear deck?


    Yeah. And that was a very important specification back in the 50's-60's in the Chicago area. The size of the trunk.
  • sdasda Indian Land, SCPosts: 331
    edited November 2010
    A few come to mind. My sister had a 1973 Subaru 1300 GT. Dreadful looking. The Datsun F-10, B-210 and 1977 240SX none too pretty either.

    2010 Pilot EXL-RES, 2013 Accord EX

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