OK, I’ll admit it, sometimes I fall for clickbait. If it’s not clickbait for cats, it’s clickbait for cars. These are the two topics worth wading through disappointing pages that are overloaded with advertising nobody reads.
The clickbait is usually headlined as “The Ten Ugliest Cars of All Time”, “The 25 Absolutely Ugly Cars Ever”, or something similar. If you’re really bored and have a lot of time to wait through page crashing, there are the “100 Absolute Ugliest Cars Ever Built”.
The overabundance of ads is an annoying enough liability of these pages. Once you get past the clutter, then you discover that the people who compiled the lists don’t know the difference between cars and trucks. Rarely do you find one of these lists that exclusively features automobiles.
There are maybe only a few of us who take notes when visiting car clickbait. In doing so, I can attest to the fact that the lists are purely subjective. What looks deplorable to them, isn’t always very ugly, and some of the cars that make my flesh crawl never appear on the lists.
A few vehicles appear on most lists, they include Ford’s Edsel, the AMC Gremlin, AMC Pacer, East Germany’s Trabant, any car built in the former Soviet Union, Chrysler K-Cars, and anything built in France. The Nissan Juke, and the Pontiac Aztek are the most common vehicles on lists that don’t differentiate between cars and SUVs.
There are several cars that rarely, if ever, appear on the lists that really should show their ugly faces. These are mechanically good and honorable cars but are eyesores in the styling department. The Swedes make high quality products, but Saabs and Volvos just look awkward and clumsy. In my opinion, the most horribly styled American cars were any year of the Nash Ambassador. The ugliest Ambassadors are those that look like overturned bathtubs.
There are some borderline cars that I think are actually beautiful in some of their forms. The best example is the full-size 1959 Buick line. They are stunningly beautiful as convertibles and two door hardtops, but nasty looking as sedans and station wagons. Few cars are as ugly as a 1959 Buick that has rotted out.
The one ugly car list inclusion on some lists is the Delorean DMC 12. That seems entirely wrong because the Delorean is a very attractive vehicle. I guess there’s no accounting for taste.