For every cool, flashy car that hits the market, there are several others that just don’t have what it takes to wow consumers. From poor engineering to lackluster designs, these lemons are infamous for being among the worst cars ever made.
The Chevy Chevette was a disaster from the start. Released in 1976, the Chevette was a three-door hatchback with a long hood. Consumers were less than impressed with the shape of this car, but aesthetics weren’t the only thing that led to the Chevette being a market flop. Beneath its unseemly hood, the Chevette featured manual transmission and a dismal engine with only 51 horsepower. And, to make matters worse, that tiny engine was super loud and sounded like it was about to give out at any moment. It’s no wonder this car failed to sell.
Though it gained the love of audiences worldwide for its appearance in Back to the Future, the DeLorean DMC-12 was a major dud without all that Hollywood magic. When it was released in 1975, consumers weren’t feeling the stainless-steel body and clunky gullwing doors. They were also left wanting with the car’s terribly slow engine. Considered overpriced and underpowered, the DMC-12 failed to make headway in the car market. It was only after its starring role that this lemon started to gain a cult following.
Meant to be a combination of car and boat, the Amphicar was brilliantly innovative yet doomed to sink. Made available to the public in 1961, the Amphicar was a dual-purpose vehicle that was designed to drive and swim. Unfortunately, it fell short of both intended purposes. On land, the vehicle reached a mediocre top speed of 110 kph (70 mph). It was even slower in the water, with a top speed of 11 kph (7 mph). Worse, the Amphicar wasn’t fully waterproof, which led to more than a few incidents of sinking. Despite not being very good at any kind of transportation, the Amphicar did make waves in its day—production of these cars lasted seven years, with almost 4,000 units being sold to daring consumers.
First hitting the market in 1971, the Ford Pinto remains an infamous example of negligence and corporate greed. This car is probably the worst car ever made because of a serious safety issue: its exploding trunk. During a rear-end collision, there was a high chance that the trunk of the car would erupt into flames. 27 people died in Pinto explosions while dozens of others were left to recover from serious burns. The worst part is that Ford Motor Company knew the design of the Pinto made it susceptible to catching fire, even in low-speed collisions. In a heartless show of greed, Ford continued selling the defective vehicles because the cost of victims’ settlements would be significantly less than issuing a recall. The Pinto was discontinued in 1980, but you can still find a few of these notorious cars rumbling on the roads today.
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