So, today in the Jalopnik Slack channel, among the usual chatter of shared photos of rashes and gossip about who Nathan Lane might be fucking, a link to a car for sale was posted. The link was for a 2000 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am with low mileage and going for about $50,000. The car had some impressive specs, but all I could think upon seeing it was holy crap, I forgot how ugly these things were! That got me thinking about other cars widely considered ugly, which led me to my conclusion: This thing is way uglier than a Mitsuoka Orochi.
The reason I’m comparing it to a Mitsuoka Orochi is that the Orochi always seems to get singled out for being especially ugly. Just Google it and you’ll see, it’s everywhere:
Sure, I’m not going to say the Orochi is especially lovely or anything like that, but it’s not that bad. You’ve all seen a catfish before, right? It’s not that much worse than that! Grow up, already.
When I look at that Firebird, though, oh man, for whatever reason it just feels so much worse. I mean, look at this face:
With the Ram Air Performance and Handling package, you get those (thankfully functional) massive nostrils on the hood, along with their associated bulges. The whole thing with all its flaps and intakes and creases and grooves and whatever looks like when Star Trek would make a new alien-of-the-week by slapping a bunch of weird fleshy orifices on the foreheads of their actors.
I think it actually gets a little worse with the headlights up, too:
Yeesh. It looks like it just emerged from some bubbling swamp where the water has the consistency of sausage gravy and smells like turpentine and Roquefort.
Maybe it’s a little better from the rear? I kinda like the honeycomb taillights.
I got a lot of pushback from the other Jalops, many of whom felt it was cool, or that the performance made up for the awkward looks. I mean, that’s somewhat true, as if you keep it moving, it’s harder to look directly at, which is a plus.
The Orochi is weird, sure, but it has more dramatic, sleeker proportions and doesn’t look as bulky and ungainly as the Firebird. I mean, from the sides, the Firebird is almost boring looking, making it like the worst possible mullet: business on the sides, ugly up front.
These are two very different cars for very different people. I get that. And I get that the Firebird Trans Am has plenty of appealing qualities to lots of people—this one in that auction actually looks like a great deal—but I think it’s time to give the Orochi a break from its ugly status and let this Firebird take some of the heat.
Because, as I stated, it’s uglier than the Orochi. So there.