In every industry there are products that just don’t do it for the consumer and the car industry is no exception. The internet is swarmed with lists of great cars and reviews of the latest sports cars. But sometimes they get it wrong.
The search for the ugliest car of all time can take you into realms you would never expect, including culture, engineering and art. Here are the 10 ugliest cars that ever built.
The Stout Scarab is believed to be world's first minivan, possibly the world's first aluminum unibody, and definitely the world's first truly ugly car. The Scarab's oddball shape comes courtesy of a rear-mounted Ford V-8 and a wide body that lacked running boards, all very innovative stuff.
It was named for an Egyptian dung beetle and only nine were built.
The AMC Pacer is a two-door compact car produced in the United States by American Motors Corporation from the 1975 to 1980 model years. Design work began in 1971. The rounded shape and large glass area were unusual compared with the three-box designs of the era.
To say the Corbin Sparrow looks like a giant jelly bean on wheels wouldn’t be overkill, especially considering the brightly coloured hues you often find them in.
This electric, plastic vehicle was designed for city commuters, and only featured three wheels.
The miniature cars produced by Crosley during the rationing of World War II were popular for good reason, and the CC was the first new model released during peacetime.
It was one of the first production cars to use a slab-sided design with no running boards, and one look makes you wonder how the trend ever caught on. With its squashed visage and undersized wheels, the Crosley looked more like a toy than a car.
When the Subaru 360 was first imported and sold in North America, the company actually ran commercials that called it “cheap and ugly” and we appreciate that level of truth in advertising.
The Subaru 360 was built to meet strict Japanese kei car standards that limited its dimensions and engine size.
Few kei cars of the late '50s and early '60s are lookers, but the 360 is one of the ugliest ever made, looking rather like a rare form of sea life plagued by multiple congenital deformities.
First introduced at the Tokyo Motor Show in 1987, the Nissan S-Cargo is reminiscent of an Airstream trailer in its design. It offers a tall rear cargo area ideal for deliveries, and is based on the Nissan Sunny/Sentra.
The Volkswagen Thing is so ugly, the company couldn’t even be bothered to come up with a flashy name for it. The design of this boxy, mole-looking vehicle was inspired by German military vehicles used during WWII.
The Triumph TR7 was a British sports car aimed at the American market, and the story goes that its thick roof pillars and gun-slit windows were designed in anticipation of U.S. rollover standards that never materialized.
Most of the TR7s quickly rusted to the point of compromising their structural integrity, sparing future generations the sight of this terrible Triumph.
Its pinched front end resembles a sourpuss expression, and the mix of European and American styles didn’t really mesh well.
Lombardi Grand Prix
You wouldn't expect to find an Italian entry among a list of the worst-looking cars. The idea that the Italians could come up with a poorly-proportioned pig like this still blows our minds, but it's true.
This dumpy little sports car really does come from the same country that gave us Battista Farina, Giorgetto Giugiaro, and Gina Lollobrigida, though with its 843-cc, 47-hp Fiat engine,
The Italian Lombardi Grand Prix touts itself as a sports car, but looks more suited to the derby arena. The rear window is so small it's doubtful you could see out of it at all.
Marcos Mantis M70
When you think of a Mantis, you probably think of the saw-armed insect that eats other bugs.
It features bad proportions and lumpy lines that are hard on the eyes, not to mention the disturbing recessed headlights. Few of Marcos Engineering's cars are particularly attractive, but the Mantis achieves a level of hideousness rarely seen on four wheels.
Everything about this car is wrong, from the lumpy lines to the poor proportions to the disconcerting details.
Amazingly, Marcos managed to sell 32 of these monstrosities in a two-year period.