The 5 Biggest Car Fails of All-Time
From corporate hot rods to luxury trucks, these car creations clearly missed the mark.
National Motor Museum/Shutterstock
1975 to 1986 Rolls-Royce Camargue
In hopes of updating its old-fashioned image, Rolls-Royce partnered with coachbuilder Pininfarina. The result was a flagship grand tourer design that they hoped would entice younger buyers. The mission was a miss, however. The company jacked up the price of the Camargue to increase demand, winning the title of the most expensive car in the world. The two-door luxury sedan was essentially a coupe version of the Silver Shadow, and it displeased loyal Rolls-Royce fans from the get-go. Over its 11 year production run, the company only managed to sell 531 Camaragues, making it one of the most epic car fails of all-time. Camo, rust and leopard are just some of the paint jobs and vinyl wraps that make these celebrity cars absolutely hideous.
1985 to 1992 Yugo
One of the worst car fails in history, the Yugo was a small car made in the former nation of Yugoslavia. Known for its unsightly appearance, poor engine and cheaply-made parts, the car was the project of Malcolm Bricklin, the entrepreneur known for importing small cars into the U.S. market. In 1985, he brought the Yugo to the U.S., and along with it came a glitzy PR campaign. Despite the hype, the truth was that it was merely a 15-year-old car based off the Fiat 127, and built in a factory in communist Yugoslavia. Some of its comedic downfalls were the rear-window defroster— designed to keep your hands warm while you pushed it. Parts constantly fell off, the engine would die and the electrical system would sizzle. Doesn’t that sound like fun?!
Magic Car Pics/Shutterstock
2000 to 2005 Pontiac Aztek
Pontiac’s avant-garde concept, the “sport recreational vehicle,” had good intentions. At the time of its debut in 1999, sport vehicles were all the rage. While most came in the form of trucks with off-road abilities, the Aztek sought to conquer the crossover, with high seating position and all-wheel drive. GM sung its praises, calling it Pontiac’s next best thing.
The design repelled buyers to say the least. From its bulky dimensions to its terrible fit and finish and an engine from the Pontiac Grand Am, it was not well received at its debut at the Detroit auto show. The car held on for five years until it finally tanked. In 2010, Pontiac followed suit.
2002 Lincoln Blackwood
Luxury trucks have only recently earned their high price tags. When Ford unveiled its Lincoln Blackwood in 2002, consumers just weren’t ready yet. Based on the Lincoln Navigator, the truck cost a hefty $52,000. Buyers scoffed at the price. People searching for a new truck were looking for something reliable, without the frills. The Lincoln Blackwood missed the mark by catering toward luxury lovers. After just one year, the truck disappeared from production.
2003 to 2006 Chevrolet SSR
The Chevrolet SSR was an awkward looking vehicle that tried to fuse two different worlds: corporate car culture and hot rod culture. Something of a mixed bag, showing off attributes of a pickup, a car and a convertible, it was too under-powered with its 390-hp V8 engine, weighed a whopping 4,700 pounds and cost a hefty $40,000-plus.
Rather than marketing the car toward someone who’d rather tinker in their own garage to perfect their custom hot rod, the Chevrolet SSR was better fit for a mid-life crisis victim looking to hop into a dealership and come out with something that only slightly resembled something cool and personal.