On the 50th anniversary of the Ford Edsel, Time Magazine and Dan Neil,
Pulitzer Prize-winning automotive critic and syndicated columnist for
the Los Angeles Times, took a look at the 50 biggest lemons of the automotive industry. The result is a painfully honest, but clever, look at the vehicles we all love to hate.
Presented chronologically, the first vehicles on the list are the 1899 Horsey Horseless carriage and the 1909 Ford Model T ("a piece of junk, the Yugo of its day"), and the last two are the 2003 Hummer H2 and the 2004 Chevy SSR ("no more hotrod than Britney is the next Helen Mirren").
In between, the list is highlighted by the following vehicular blunders:
1933 Fuller Dymaxion ("a three-wheel, ground-bound zeppelin"),
1956 Renault Dauphine ("acceleration you could measure with a calendar"),
1958 Ford Edsel ("a flop because the vertical grill looked like a vagina"),
1961 Amphicar ("A vehicle that promised to revolutionize drowning"),
1971 Ford Pinto ("because it had a rather volatile nature"),
1975 Trabant ("the car that gave Communism a bad name"),
1981 Cadillac Fleetwood V-8-6-4 ("GM deserves credit for trying, but the V-8-6-4 was the Titanic of engine programs"),
1984 Maserati Biturbo ("'Biturbo' is, of course, Italian for 'expensive junk'"),
1985 Yugo GV ("the Yugo had a rear-window defroster -- reportedly to keep your hands warm while you pushed it"),
2001 Pontiac Aztek ("the Aztek looks deformed and scary, something that dogs bark at and cathedrals employ to ring bells").
Check out the entire article if you've got an hour to kill. Neil's descriptions are laugh-out-loud funny, and his article has photos with every car, just in case you've forgotten what some of these gems look like.
By Brandy Schaffels
p.s. Is it okay if I admit that when I was a college student, my dream car was the 1984 Maserati Biturbo?