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Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups

Ugly cars you find oddly appealing

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by Steve Ouimette, Aug 3, 2017.

  1. jaybones

    jaybones Friend of Leo's

    Yeah, those Thunderbird turbo fours were pretty decent in their day.

    I know a guy who put one into his VW sandrail. Went from ~45 horsepower to 230 HP. It could already lift the front wheels off the ground with the Beetle engine in 2 gears. With the 2.3T in it would lift the tires with a hard shift into 4th.

    The Ranger community has guys swapping those engines in place of their twin plug 2.3's also. Pretty much a drop in, just have to mount the intercooler and plumbing for the turbo.

    We had a '79 Zephyr wagon, 200 I6. Same sort of yellow with that vinyl bench. Strange, it had cruise and air, but an AM radio, manual windows, locks and mirrors. My dad said it must have been ordered that way, and if he'd bought it new he would have not chosen the cruise control and gotten more options.

    Wasn't that bad a car (for a plain jane grocery getter in high school), except before the heat riser was fixed (duct tape)- the choke wouldn't work right and it would stall out in cold weather.

    Decent enough pickup, I stoplight raced a 305 Monte Carlo with 4 big girls in it (I was alone) and beat them.

    My dad hated it. He'd traded a Dodge wagon with a 318 V8 for it. Wagon before that was a '68 Ford Country Squire with a 390 V8 factory towing package. Both were better tow vehicles for our tent camper.

    And those Eagle Talon TSi's are still pretty fast.

  2. RoscoeElegante

    RoscoeElegante Friend of Leo's

    Feb 19, 2015
    Except for the 1959 Pontiac, which was lovely, GM's 1959 & 1960 line. Compared to the '57 and '58 Chryslers, which were the most-beautiful cars ever designed, the '59 & '60 GMers are screamingly imitative and ugly. And yet...almost beautiful, in their over-compensating way. Particularly the '59 Buick.

    The '59 and '60 Cadillacs though--ugh. Gauche. Caddys didn't get handsome again until around '62.

    The '60 Chevy, though, did a good job rehabbing itself from the '59's excess. In fact, the '59 Chevy would have been quite lovely if it weren't for those awful intake snouts on the hood.

    Gotta love those wrap-around rear windows, though! What GM stole from the 1950 Studebaker, it stole well.

    By the way, I had a Gremlin and a Vega. A good friend had a Pinto, and a girlfriend had a Pacer, all of which have been lauded here. Perversely pretty? My God, no! Very, very bad cars whose only useful function was to advertise very well for the Hondas and Toyotas that did those mini-mobile/hatchback things right.

    DIE, Seventies, DIE!

  3. jaybones

    jaybones Friend of Leo's

    I don't think that one's ugly!

    My mom, when she was a 19 year old secretary at a Chevrolet dealership got a "good deal" on a 2 door. Guy'd ordered it with the 348 tri power and a power glide (since his wife couldn't drive a manual) and then couldn't pick it up.

    Dark blue with a white top, about at the end of the year so it was close to being a year old.

    She wore out the rear tires within 6 months of owning it. Said "Well, you know those old bias ply tires didn't last that long." (yeah right)

    And @mexicanyella Guy on the wrestling team had a diesel Chevette. 4 speed, total stripper, might not have even had floor mats.

    He called it a Sh!tvette. And it was a total POS.

  4. mexicanyella

    mexicanyella Tele-Holic

    Jan 26, 2012
    Troy, MO
    I'm not sure I even knew there was a diesel Chevette option. But in college, a roommate and I decided to buy (for $150) this girl's powder-blue diesel Escort wagon, which was cosmetically perfect but had broken its timing belt. Hell, I'd done timing belts on my Sprint twice, how hard could it be?

    The diesel Escort shares its engine with, I think, the diesel Mazda 626, and it's a cam-and-bucket OHC design and very much an interference engine. That thing had pretty much grenaded the head. We decided it was too big a job to do with our tools, time and skills in the driveway in the winter and cut our losses. We sold it to a salvage yard for $75. Whoops.

  5. Jack S

    Jack S Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

    Sep 25, 2008
    Berwyn, IL
    Well then, the 67/68 body was my favorite Mustang and the GT350 was a beauty.

  6. drmmrr55

    drmmrr55 Tele-Meister

    Aug 20, 2017
    Federal Way, Washington
    My favorite "ugly car", would be the 1959 Chevy El Camino!

  7. Musekatcher

    Musekatcher Tele-Holic

    Probably already nominated, but a Champion is worthy of another vote. Reminds me of Scaramanga.



  8. Generic Schmoe

    Generic Schmoe Tele-Meister

    Oct 23, 2015
    Huntsville, TX

    Click & Clack - the Tappet Brothers (used to host NPRs Car Talk - still running on the local NPR affiliate, but they're all reruns of old shows) used to say that Volkswagen was the German word for "junk". I had an 89 Jetta (bone stock, standard Jetta) and it was a good car for a long time. My father had a few VWs with varying success. Some died young. Some lasted longer than they should have.

    I'd still love to get my hands on an old 60's Beetle.

  9. David Barnett

    David Barnett Poster Extraordinaire

    It was supposed to look like an airplane.

  10. boris bubbanov

    boris bubbanov Telefied Ad Free Member

    I love these, but they rushed them to market and there were quite a few that got delivered that were just not ready. Body panels that didn't fit right, but they had orders to fill so they pushed 'em out the door.

    Of course, Raymond Loewy's later Studes are masterpieces.

  11. Zepfan

    Zepfan Poster Extraordinaire

    Nov 30, 2013
    Horn Lake, MS
    I don't think any of the Chevette engines were made to last. My mom had one gas 4 cyl. take cooled off too fast and locked up the entire motor.
    Interesting thing about the Chevette, the first design showed at the 1974 Auto Show as a concept design. It was a Hybrid with the same setup found in the Toyota Prius.

  12. Paul in Colorado

    Paul in Colorado Telefied Ad Free Member

    Mar 17, 2003
    Fort Collins, CO
    One of my buddies had a '57 Plymouth. It was white and everyone called it "The Fin-Mobile."

    Just wanted to give it a mention.

  13. TimothyC

    TimothyC Tele-Afflicted

    May 12, 2016
    aircooled VW's rule the desert out here. All in varying degrees of restoration or originality. I see some aircooled VW's pushing less than 10 second quarter miles, still aircooled just with a turbo bigger than the block itself. The aircooled VW owners definitely look down on anything thats newer or liquid cooled. I'd love to find an old VW
    Zepfan and Generic Schmoe like this.

  14. VictOr358

    VictOr358 TDPRI Member

    Dec 17, 2014
    Moscow, Russia
    Mine was a pretty rare 90, not 99.
    99 was one step older, 90 was a transition model. It shared the same front with 99, but the rear was already 900 sedan.
    boris bubbanov likes this.

  15. David Barnett

    David Barnett Poster Extraordinaire

    We had those in the US, they just didn't give it a different model number. It was a 99 Combi in some countries.

  16. Skully

    Skully Doctor of Teleocity

    Jun 12, 2003
    Glamorous NoHo
    It was probably hard to get pulled over because it looks like something that would be driven by plainclothes law enforcement -- probably feds. I just remembering now how my next door neighbors had a black Chevy Caprice company car in the early '80s that they could use to pull others overs because it looked so much like standard-issue cop car. Saying that now, the move sounds so serial killer, but they didn't murder anyone. As far as I know, anyway.

  17. Paul in Colorado

    Paul in Colorado Telefied Ad Free Member

    Mar 17, 2003
    Fort Collins, CO
    I had three VW's. A '63 Bug with a cloth sunroof, a '66 Bus that caught fire because there was no clamp on the carb end of the fuel line, and an early Squareback that had dual carbs. I liked the SB the best of all. It could carry a lot of gear and the pancake engine had just been rebuilt after I got it. It had a lot of zip. I had the '63 Bug the longest and I drove it to death. Several trips from the bay area to Tucson and back and I had it when I moved to Humboldt County for college and escaping the bay area. It seemed they were always in need of maintenance or repair, but they were fun cars. I don't know how well they'd do here in Colorado.

    Back to appealing ugly cars...
    TimothyC likes this.

  18. stephent2

    stephent2 Poster Extraordinaire

    Jun 22, 2003
    To me this is ugly. It's like they weren't even trying and they still think you'll eat it up.

    Most of the other cars in this thread I think are cool, not ugly. Certainly some designs failed, but at least there was an original idea, a swing and a miss rather than this mediocrity.

    boris bubbanov likes this.

  19. RomanS

    RomanS Poster Extraordinaire

    Jun 21, 2006
    Vienna, Austria
    Tony474 and stephent2 like this.

  20. Toto'sDad

    Toto'sDad Telefied Ad Free Member

    Jun 21, 2011
    I had a 49 skylight coupe. It was...

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