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What Do You Think was the Worst Car Made?


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#81 thatz4u

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Posted 29 October 2012 - 05:18 AM

style wise .......the new Camaro

#82 Craig Irwin

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Posted 29 October 2012 - 11:58 AM

style wise .......the new Camaro


Yes! And it took some going to out ugly the Aztek.

#83 Modelmartin

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Posted 29 October 2012 - 04:45 PM

Bad cars I have read about - The first Rotary car, the NSU Ro 80. They replaced so many engines they almost folded! The early Minis. Now I am a Mini lover but Issigonis thought the first customers were R & D people. The first year of production almost bankrupted them with all of the engines and gearboxes they replaced under warranty.

How about the infamous Cadillac 4-6-8? In addition to the previously mentioned Chevette diesel, I do believe GM did produce a Pontiac Grand Prix deisel and of course the Cadillac diesels. Are there any Olds deisels or GM diesels at all still running? I read that some of the high performance engine builders liked to take the heavier duty diesel blocks and convert them back to gas!

#84 mnwildpunk

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Posted 29 October 2012 - 05:27 PM

Ooooooh yes I forgot about the wonderful 4-6-8 the car that my folks had that used more gas running on 4 cylinders then when it was running on 8 or so my dad claimed. I just remember there was always something wrong with it. Not to mention that it couldn't get out of it's own way.

#85 slusher

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Posted 30 October 2012 - 03:29 AM

How about the new Fiats I wonder how they are going to be in car history...

#86 Ace-Garageguy

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Posted 30 October 2012 - 04:37 AM

Bad cars I have read about - The first Rotary car, the NSU Ro 80. They replaced so many engines they almost folded! The early Minis. Now I am a Mini lover but Issigonis thought the first customers were R & D people. The first year of production almost bankrupted them with all of the engines and gearboxes they replaced under warranty.

How about the infamous Cadillac 4-6-8? In addition to the previously mentioned Chevette diesel, I do believe GM did produce a Pontiac Grand Prix deisel and of course the Cadillac diesels. Are there any Olds deisels or GM diesels at all still running? I read that some of the high performance engine builders liked to take the heavier duty diesel blocks and convert them back to gas!


While we're at it, lets bash the much venerated '32 Ford V8, the 'Deuce', too. Here's an excerpt from a knowledgeable article about the first Ford flathead V8 engines....

"FLATHEAD TEETHING PAINS

If buyers were wary of the new V8, they had ample reason to be. Rushing an entirely new engine into mass production in only 16 months would have been daring even if the development and testing process hadn't been so cavalier. In a taped interview with Owen Bombard in the early fifties, engineer Larry Sheldrick lamented that Ford had basically used its customers to do the testing that should have been done by the factory.

The early V8's problems were extensive. Block cracking was common, and piston failure became almost routine. Oil consumption was often massive; one quart every 50 miles (76 km/liter) was not unusual. The fuel pump was prone to vapor lock in the summer and freezing in the winter. Overheating was a constant issue, particularly on the more heavily stressed commercial models.

Some, although by no means all, of these problems were rectified in the first year or two of production. "
___________________________________________________________________________________



Was it junk? A bad car? Depends on your point of view, I guess.

Innovation has its price (as anyone who's ever actually built anything original would know) and marginal reliability of unproven designs is sometimes a part of that price. The NSU Ro80 was THE pioneer in the Wankel rotary engine business, and much of what NSU discovered helped fellow Wankel-licensee Mazda to do a first-rate job with their own version of the rotary.

The early Mini may have had some teething problems as well, but it's good to remember it was another first, and the progenitor of EVERY front-wheel-drive-transverse-engined car on the planet.

I have to admit, the 4-6-8 idea was a lot better on paper than in reality, but if there are not many of the GM diesels running, part of the reason is that more than a few owners destroyed them by stupidly putting gasoline in the tank, but blamed GM for the subsequent failure.

A vehicle manufacturer cannot possibly anticipate EVERY idiotic action an operator may take, but it seems like more and more, consumers want to be entirely relieved of ANY personal responsibility for behaving intelligently.

Edited by Ace-Garageguy, 30 October 2012 - 05:48 AM.


#87 Jantrix

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Posted 30 October 2012 - 05:40 AM

I recall some of the big Japanese companies (Nissan, Mazda, Infiniti, Honda) released a few models with active four wheel steering in the late 80's/early 90's. I'd heard those were kinda nightmarish.

#88 Monty

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Posted 30 October 2012 - 06:35 AM

If we're talking internationally, then the answer is the Trabant. It featured a two cylinder two-stroke engine that made more smoke than power, and had a body made of poor man's fiberglass (resin plastic reinforced with cotton or wool fibers. It's pretty much Bakelite). One redeeming feature: Eastern European farmers discovered that the bodies could be dismantled and fed to goats and pigs. Certainly a serendipitous discovery, as the mfr only used this material for the body as a way to avoid paying the high cost of steel.

Worst US-made car? The Vega. I wonder how much scrutiny the engineering degrees posted on the wall at GM Powertrain got after they released an engine that had an unsleeved aluminum block engine with an iron head. Apparently GM didn't do nearly enough testing on this combo, as these engines overheated and warped, and the unsleeved aluminum block was more of an exotic sieve when it came to oil control. Stories from back in the day indicate it wasn't uncommon to have to replace one of these engines under warranty in under two years. Unfortunately, those same stories also abound with instances of new Vega bodies rusting on the dealer lot.

Chevy certainly wasn't alone in helping drive American car consumers to foreign brands, but they may be the most culpable.

#89 Mr Dedo

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Posted 30 October 2012 - 07:55 AM

Chevy Geo

#90 MrObsessive

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Posted 30 October 2012 - 08:52 AM

Are there any Olds deisels or GM diesels at all still running? I read that some of the high performance engine builders liked to take the heavier duty diesel blocks and convert them back to gas!


IIRC, one of the HUGE reasons the GM diesels were so bad, was because the engineers tried to base the engine on a gasoline block. :o

Now I owned a Mercedes diesel once upon a time, and I remember the compression ratio was something like 21:1, where your gasoline engines typically run maybe 10:1. Well, you guessed it, the diesel engine blocks were cracking after less than 50,000 miles, and most if not all were eventually replaced. It's been YEARS since I've seen an original GM Olds or Cadillac diesel on the road. If one is seen running, it mustn't have many miles on it as it's not gotten around to losing its compression yet due to a cracked block! ;)

#91 sjordan2

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Posted 30 October 2012 - 09:09 AM

The most unreliable cars I've ever owned were my first five cars, all meticulously and lovingly maintained, and serviced by the book by factory-trained mechanics (4 Alfas...59 Giulietta Super Spider Veloce, 66 GT Sprint Veloce, 71 Spider Veloce, 77 Alfetta GT, and an 84 Porsche 944). All were service nightmares and I won't go into their recurrent and common problems, but I still love them more than any cars I've owned. I know, I'm a glutton for punishment, but nothing handled like those Alfas and I would buy that 59 Giulietta again.

Things got better when I bought my 93 Corvette coupe (not without its share of headaches in later years), and never had any trouble other than brakes with the 3 Infiniti G35s I've owned since then.

Edited by sjordan2, 30 October 2012 - 09:12 AM.


#92 Junkman

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Posted 30 October 2012 - 10:00 AM

The worst car ever made is usually the one I currently own.

#93 gray07

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Posted 30 October 2012 - 10:03 AM

I think we all have had cars that we had problems with, there are cars that people said they had problems with, and ive had the same cars and i never had a problem with. The car that our family has been having problems with is, my mom bought a brand new chevy cruze, it has got around 3000 miles on it now and its been in the shop more than its been on the road, and iam sure there are some owners that say they dont have problems with theres. But i will say, Yugo, what were they thinking.

#94 Ace-Garageguy

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Posted 30 October 2012 - 10:06 AM

Chevy Geo


Interesting. I've got a convertible with 220,000 miles on it that I purchased from the original owner, a woman, after maintaining it from new. Nothing ever went wrong with it until it needed a valve job at 160,000 miles. It's still on the OEM rear brakes and clutch, and has never needed an alignment or front brake rotors. When I pulled the oil pan to check the rod bearings at 215,000 miles (just 'because') they still had plenty of life left and would have happily gone at least another 20,000 miles.

There's a lot to be said for competent maintenance and Mobil One full synthetic oil from the beginning.

IIRC, one of the HUGE reasons the GM diesels were so bad, was because the engineers tried to base the engine on a gasoline block. :o

Now I owned a Mercedes diesel once upon a time, and I remember the compression ratio was something like 21:1, where your gasoline engines typically run maybe 10:1. Well, you guessed it, the diesel engine blocks were cracking after less than 50,000 miles, and most if not all were eventually replaced. It's been YEARS since I've seen an original GM Olds or Cadillac diesel on the road. If one is seen running, it mustn't have many miles on it as it's not gotten around to losing its compression yet due to a cracked block! ;)


The GM diesel was an entirely different block from the gasoline engine, significantly reinforced. Yes, it was BASED on the GM corporate / Olds 350 design, but it was not the gas block.The real problems with the powerplant were weak head bolts and the lack of a good water separator in the fuel system. The high compression ratio led to stretched head-bolts which led to failed head-gaskets which led to water in the combustion chambers which led to 'hydraulic lock', which could bend con rods, shatter pistons and crack blocks. Poorly trained techs replaced head gaskets and re-used the same old bolts. A recipe for disaster....again.

And don't blame the engineers. Corporate bean counters and management rushed the market intro of the engine without sufficient development and test time.

Edited by Ace-Garageguy, 30 October 2012 - 10:10 AM.


#95 MrObsessive

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Posted 30 October 2012 - 10:24 AM

The GM diesel was an entirely different block from the gasoline engine, significantly reinforced. Yes, it was BASED on the GM corporate / Olds 350 design, but it was not the gas block.The real problems with the powerplant were weak head bolts and the lack of a good water separator in the fuel system. The high compression ratio led to stretched head-bolts which led to failed head-gaskets which led to water in the combustion chambers which led to 'hydraulic lock', which could bend con rods, shatter pistons and crack blocks. Poorly trained techs replaced head gaskets and re-used the same old bolts. A recipe for disaster....again.

And don't blame the engineers. Corporate bean counters and management rushed the market intro of the engine without sufficient development and test time.


Oh Ok..........I knew that the diesel was somehow related to the 350 gas engine........but not that it was solely based on it. My Mom once had a brand new '81 or '82 Cadillac Eldorado with the diesel. Needless to say she had many problems with it almost from day one. My Mom is quite the outspoken one and she demanded that they replace the engine with a gas one.

And yes, the engineers always seemed to get outdone by the bean counters and management.........a practice which still goes on to this day. :(

#96 Ace-Garageguy

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Posted 30 October 2012 - 10:31 AM

My Mom once had a brand new '81 or '82 Cadillac Eldorado with the diesel. Needless to say she had many problems with it almost from day one. My Mom is quite the outspoken one and she demanded that they replace the engine with a gas one.


Sounds like you have a pretty cool mom. More consumers like that and manufacturers would have to pay a little more attention to what goes out the door.....

Edited by Ace-Garageguy, 30 October 2012 - 10:32 AM.


#97 Chuck Most

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Posted 30 October 2012 - 11:05 AM

And don't blame the engineers. Corporate bean counters and management rushed the market intro of the engine without sufficient development and test time.

Same thing doomed the Quad 4. Eventually they did get around to fixing its major issues, but not before it had already established its infamous reputation.

#98 Agent G

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Posted 30 October 2012 - 11:18 AM

Corporate bean counters account for most of it in my opinion. We took posession of 12 '85 Crown Victorias in the traffic division. All came equipped with what I recall as a 65 watt alternator. Really? Radios, red lights, sirens as well as the car itself powered by that? In what was touted as a "police package"?

G

#99 Ace-Garageguy

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Posted 30 October 2012 - 11:56 AM

The most unreliable cars I've ever owned were my first five cars, all meticulously and lovingly maintained, and serviced by the book by factory-trained mechanics (4 Alfas...59 Giulietta Super Spider Veloce, 66 GT Sprint Veloce, 71 Spider Veloce, 77 Alfetta GT, and an 84 Porsche 944). All were service nightmares and I won't go into their recurrent and common problems, but I still love them more than any cars I've owned. I know, I'm a glutton for punishment, but nothing handled like those Alfas and I would buy that 59 Giulietta again.


A glutton for punishment maybe, but man, when those run, they're heaven to drive. All of the cars you mentioned, with the exception of the Alfetta (not that I don't like the Alfetta....I just don't find it to be as finely balanced or as pretty as the other Alfas) are still on my favorite-100-cars-of-all-time list, even though I've worked on them and am all too aware of their shortcomings. But like a beautiful woman who sometimes has....a few bad days.....I've always thought they were all worth the aggravation.

Edited by Ace-Garageguy, 30 October 2012 - 01:09 PM.


#100 sjordan2

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Posted 30 October 2012 - 12:37 PM

A glutton for punishment maybe, but man, when those run, they're heaven to drive. All of the cars you mentioned, with the exception of the Alfetta (not that I don't like the Alfetta....I just done find it to be as finely balanced or as pretty as the other Alfas) are still on my favorite-100-cars-of-all-time list, even though I've worked on them and am all too aware of their shortcomings. But like a beautiful woman who sometimes has....a few bad days.....I've always thought they were all worth the aggravation.


That's why I bought four of them. Sadly, the worst one was the Alfetta GT, which is the only one I bought new from the factory. And you're right - I have often compared my choice in Alfas to my luck with women. Pininfarina was quoted as seeing the Giuliietta 1300 Spider as a nublie 18-year-old girl. I was 18 when I got mine in 1966, which looked showroom-fresh, and 18-year-old girls certainly liked it, but they didn't last any longer than the car did.


It was identical to this one. I wore it like a second skin, and it seemed to respond as much to my thoughts as to my mechanical actions, like I merely had to will it to do what I wanted. We were one. To this day, I have never found a car that I loved and respected so much.

Like my girlfriends, however, it proved fickle and faithless. But completely memorable.

Posted Image

Edited by sjordan2, 30 October 2012 - 01:19 PM.