The Oshkosh Next Generation Delivery Vehicle — colloquially known as the new mail truck — has generated a lot of discussion over the past two days, weirdly for its exterior design more than anything else. Some people think it looks like a joke; others dig it. And others still wonder why anyone would care at all what a Postal Service truck looks like, especially given that the Grumman LLV in active duty could hardly be described as aesthetically pleasing. We just stopped noticing how ugly that van is because we’ve had three decades to get used to it.
There are many ugly cars in the world, though, and only a few of them have anything to do with mail delivery. Which brings us to today’s question: What is your favorite ugly car? Feel free to take “favorite” any way you want, by the way — whether it means a car you love in spite of its looks or a car that looks so terrible it somehow becomes good again.
My choice is a vehicle that is very significant for technological reasons, one that I also think is pretty cool even though it happens to be deeply offensive to my eyes. I’m talking about the Consulier GTP, the predecessor to the Mosler GT cars we all know today. The GTP was built in 1985-93, and at the time of its release it was the first carbon fiber-and-kevlar monocoque car ever sold to the public. This made it startlingly light, weighing 2,150 pounds according to a Motor Trend test in 1991. (Some sources quote figures as low as 1,900 pounds.)
Thanks to the low weight, the GTP could get by with Chrysler’s 2.2-liter, turbocharged inline-four mounted amidships, generating 175 horsepower in the earliest iterations. That was all the oomph the GTP needed to hit 155 mph, or 60 mph from a standstill in just over five seconds.
This is a special little sports car that was also wildly successful in motorsports. But my god, I cannot stomach the design. Unfortunately, the picture above was the only usable official one I could dredge up on the web to post here, but I can’t find a single angle from which the GTP looks good. The bodywork extends far beyond the wheel wells, the greenhouse is steep and lumpy and the face — with its quad rectangular headlights and generic signal lamps — resembles a parody ’80s supercar I’d expect to happen across in Grand Theft Auto V.
Now that I’ve said my piece about the Consulier, let’s move on. Tell us about your favorite non-photogenic cars.