Sometimes a look into the world of automotive history is all a car designer needs for some proper inspiration. Sometimes, they can take it a bit too far. These are the ten worst retro cars ever made.
As the story goes, the Zimmer Golden Spirit was first mocked up on a dinner napkin. That design doesn’t seem like it evolved much from that state in any way. It looks like someone threw all of the most gaudy looking accessories from the 20s, painted it a gross cream white color and threw it all on top of a Mercury Cougar chassis.
Oh wait, that’s exactly what they did.
The Plymouth Prowler is a weird car. It is a lovable car. It’s insane to think it ever got greenlit by Chrysler, something that would never, ever happen today. We kind of love it for all those reasons.
But it is very, very far from a good car. The problem is that the Prowler never had the performance to back up its aggressive styling. The Prowler was powered by the same V6 motor that could be found in equally lethargic cars like the Chrysler New Yorker and early Dodge Intrepid, and mated with a very early version of Chrysler’s “Auto-Stick” automatic.
Not exactly a recipe for the best.
The Mitsuoka Himiko is basically an NC Mazda Miata wearing a very ugly dress. The wheelbase has been
ruined extended and body panels swapped in an attempt to display um, similar looks to an Jaguar XK120.
Yeah, not so sure about that.
Modified off of the Nissan March/Micra chassis, the Mitsuoka Viewt is no ordinary retro-throwback car. It’s a hilarious, under-devleloped retro-throwback car! Who knows what that Mitsuoka guys were smoking to have thought they they would’ve been able to match the proportions of the classic Jaguar Mark II to a small Japanese micro-compact.
Whether you buy “an original” Excalibur, a Cadillac XLR based Excalibur or even a Silvia Excalibur, you can safely assume that you are probably out of your mind. The original Excaliburs were overpowered, being driven by a 350 horsepower motor and later a 425 HP Corvette motor, which when dropped on this lightweight chassis (with no power-steering), was no joke whatsoever. They were probably nearly undrivable.
The styling of Subaru’s Casa Blanca edition is both awful and amazing at the same time. In no way, shape or form does it look like the nose or rear-end were tailored properly for this early Impreza wagon, in fact it doesn’t even really look like they tried. This car is primarily just a representation of how desperate Subaru must’ve been to dip their feet in the pool during Japan’s cry for more retro vehicles in the late 90s.
STi swap anyone? Anyone?
Would you guess that the car you’re seeing above has been on sale for $2.9 million (previously 3.9 million)? How about after hearing that it’s powered by a 174 horsepower motor from a BMW 7 series and carried by Citroen’s hydropneumatic suspension setup? And if you’re paying attention to its ad on Hemmings, you’ll learn that it is “The Rarest and Most Collectible Car one could ever own”.
There may only be one working prototype of the Cumberford Martinique roaming the Earth, but I’m not so sure about it being “the rarest and most collectible car one could ever own...”
Suggested By: RedPir8Roberts, Photo Credit: via Hemmings
A car that filled a niche no one had asked to be filled. Was it a hatchback, “a shrunken minivan”, a pickup, a wagon or a crossover? I guess that doesn’t matter, because of the PT Cruiser’s low-cost, relatively peppy feel and roomyish interior, Chrysler was able to pump out over 1.3 million of these abominations during its ten years of production.
Hell, they weren’t even safe! Good riddance.
Suggested By: KomradKickass, Photo Credit: Chrysler
The second resurrection of the Stutz Bearcat name called for a highly modified GM F platform Pontiac Firebird with carbon-fiber composite body panels and a 5.7 liter Corvette motor. Just look at the thing, it was massive! Only thirteen Bearcats ever being produced and two of them were bought by the Sultan of Brunei, if that tells you anything about the type of people these cars were made for.
This is what happens when a car is designed by someone in Wisconsin.
Because of the unique side-safety reinforcement that the Opera used, the car only had one door that popped up from the back. And when you finally got in the car you would notice its refrigerator (probably to keep that Wisconsin cheese cold), 24 ct gold inlay and walnut trim, and its very cultural Ming Dynasty carpets.
Never has a car been more over the top.
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Top Photo Credit: Chris Phutully via Flickr