Crappy Cars

Cars are great. They move us around, sound (and sometimes go) fast, and might even get the driver laid! However, for every ounce of good there is in a car, there must be bad, which only allows for the most craptastic rides ever...

I would read this article before buying a Yugo...

...or a Geo...

...or any car from Cuba.

Just The Facts

  1. There are two types of Crap Cars; Store-bought and self-made.
  2. Store-bought cars are just for people who hate themselves and think they deserve to suffer before going to the job they hate.
  3. Self-made are cheap people who think getting their car fixed at a auto body shop is a waste of good money.
  4. Those people in fact 3 also don't get laid often.

Store-Bought Crap Wagons

Everybody who designs cars has one goal in mind; to make a car as sexy and awesome to be around like a Ferrari or something as awesome as a bacon double cheeseburger.

Or a bacon cheeseburger pizza.

However, only a few cars (mostly Italian) get to be that awesome. Most get to be average, like a Ford Taurus. It's not great, but I would drive it, mostly because it's a car. However, some people fall into a trap in buying crappy cars that they think are awesome, or are simply morons who think all a car is meant for is driving from point A to B, propped up on a stiff foam seat that would not move back, with no chance of getting heat on even though the engine is overheating, and the radio is stuck on AM playing a horrible fusion of country/gospel music, while trapped in bumper-to-bumper traffic on the freeway getting to a crime ridden city where someone would jack your radio, if it wasn't, in fact, stuck on AM playing a horrible fusion of country/gospel music.

At least they can't take your dignity.

If you can't make a mental image of what I just described, I'll give you the facts on some real store-bought crap cars:

The Yugo

Some cars just don't get a chance of even trying to be good. The best example in the bad boy above; the Yugo. Better known in non-American countries as the Zastava Koral, it was sold in the United States in 1985, up past the end of the Cold War, and by the early 1990's when the Zastava factory was bombed by NATO (they missed the Arms devision of the factory) and trade embargoes slowed the exports of this fine, fine piece of Communist crap down to nothing.

The man who brought this amazing piece of Yugoslavian turd was this man, Malcolm Bricklin; an "automotive entrepreneur".

He had the great idea of bringing a cheap car for people who need, well, a cheap car. In the early 1980's, he helped form Yugo America, and imported Zastava cars from Yugoslavia, which was based on the Fiat. It was also styled in Turin, the international capitol of automotive design. It was built by a handpicked staff paid more money, just to ship a car over to the United States, in which two people would add the over 500 necessary safety equipment and parts to help it meet American standards, like "taillights" or "seats".

Or a roof.

This car sold for an unheard of $3,990 (USD), which is one-third of a base model Hyundai Accent, and one-fourth of that of a base model Toyota Yaris. It came with an 1100 cc motor, which probably got 80 horsepower, brand new and on a flat, dry road.

People bought the car because it was the cheapest thing to buy, but the poor build quality and weak engine kept a lot of broke people away and using public transport. Honestly, it's a good thing NATO bombed that factory, because it will keep those cars off of the road in America, however, the craptasticness of the Yugo didn't stop GM from making...

The Geo brand

Shown above with it's cost saving "only one hubcap per car" policy, the Geo brand was a division of GM (to be exact, it was a division of Chevy) founded right at the end of the Cold War so GM could jump on the "let's all drive Japanese cars" bandwagon.

Thank God we learned our lesson.

Inexplicably, instead of selling these cars a Chevy cars (which they did later), they made a brand of cars specifically marketed to those hip, young, urban people; a whole decade or two before the hybrid came out. The craptastic lineup included the Metro, Prizm (yes, Prism with a 'Z'), Spectrum, Storm, and the Tracker. Almost all of these cars were models or already being sold Suzuki cars which were rebranded and sold as lame Geo's. However, the best car was probably sold by Geo was the Prizm, which was based on the Toyota Corolla, which was also the car that outsold it. It won awards from everyone in the auto industry, however, being that it's Geo and they shared floor space with Chevy cars in the showroom probably kicked its chances of being sold in the nuts.

Though, the writers at Cracked all agree that one Geo sucks more than the others; the Geo/Chevy/Suzuki Tracker/Sidekick

Shitty cars tend not to have roofs.

As we should know, SUV's in general have higher centers of gravity, making them very prone to rollovers and side-slides. That is why many SUV's are being required to have Electronic Stability Control and Rollover Control, to help curb that. However, this SUV was released in a time that rollover control was the two hands on the steering wheel.

It just looks like a disaster; it's a mini-SUV designed for someone who doesn't have the space for an SUV but wants one anyway. It would roll like a rock off of a hill, and look like shit while doing it. The two-wheel drive recorded a 3.1 fatalities per 10,000 vehicles in 1995. This was three years before Geo fuzed with Chevy, so take that for what you will.

Cadillac Seville (1980-1985)

"Cadillac," you may be asking me, "really? Why would a Cadillac be on here?" Think about this, how bad does a Cadillac have to be to be crappy? I can give you at least two;

1) Diesel Engine What? A car, IN AMERICA, with a diesel engine? Are you kidding me? I am not, my good reader. In the 80's, as you might have noticed, wasn't a good time for American automakers. Their cars weren't selling, and gas prices were expensive as hell. So what was the normal solution? Sell smaller cars. What was Cadillacs solution? Make a diesel engine.

Now, diesel is all well and good. It's less refined, which means it doesn't take as much energy to make it, and it gives you more torque, which equals "get up and go" in a car. Okay then, but whats wrong with the diesel engine, if I just gave you all of the good about diesel? As Richard Porter put in his book Crap Cars, the diesel engine would give off black smoke which would "make your neighbors phone the EPA".

2) V8-6-4 Variable Displacement Engine Hunh? What is a Variable Displacement Whatever-the-hell? It's when there is a computer in the engine that shuts off cylinders that you don't need in your engine (for instance, making your V8 run on only four cylinders) to save fuel economy. Good idea, no? Well, it wasn't in the 80's, because it did so as subtle as the riots in Egypt and would fail so many times, it would actually repeat the second grade. You had a better chance of just ripping out the cylinders yourself.

Nothing could go wrong.

Chrysler K-Car

Just like today, in the 80's, Chrysler was broke. They were so close to failing that Ford and GM didn't even count them as a threat. They needed a car that would just sell, they didn't care if it was that good or not. Enter The K-Car.

Sold as the Dodge Aries K and Plymouth Reliant K, Chrysler used these two (using the gay little pentagon badge) starting in 1981. These two being sold opened up the Chrysler LeBaron, the Dodge 400, and the minivans being sold in the 80's were all based on the K-car platform.

That's a Plymouth Voyager, but it doesn't matter because they are all the same damn thing.

Why was it bad? It was the same damn thing every time; all cheap, thin cars without anything truly unique about them. You could smash the front end of these piles of metal and shame into a brick wall, and the wall would make the car look better. It was a miserable ride, and thinner than an anorexic starlet, and as boring as C-Span. When a car company makes three versions of the same thing, and doesn't bother to mix it up a little between brands, you know shit isn't good at home. And for Chrysler in the 1980's, it was like having two alcoholic parents divorcing. For ten years.

Ford Mustang II

"Woah, Cracked!" You, you automotive-minded reader you are, "the Mustang is a great ride. Why would a Mustang be a crap car!?" Well, first, my ever-eager Cracked readers, you must have a little history lesson;

In 1973, America was subjected to an oil embargo by OPEC, and so roarin' muscle cars and oversized land yachts fell out of contention, and the marketplace beckoned for a smaller, fuel-sipping ride. Unwilling to let the Mustang name die, Ford decided to downsize the Mustang by basing the second generation on the Pinto.

The problem? The Pinto had a tendency to ignite when rear-ended.

The Pinto was an economy-minded car for the economy-minded driver, but the Mustang didn't deserve the type of car it was based on. However, you might look at these words and say, "well, that's all fine, as long as they had a V8 in that little time-bomb." Uhm, sorry, but they didn't even have a V8 as an option until 1975, and even then it was nothing to write home about. The base engine was described as "truly pathetic" and the V6 was described as "underwhelming" by Edmund's Inside Line. Consumer Reports even recommended that the AMC Gremlin was better than the Mustang II, and Road & Track's opinion was that the Mustang II wasn't good at going fast or handling.

Consumer Reports was probably paid to say that.

However, this poor excuse of a pony car sold well during its era, even getting Motor Trend's Car of the Year award. Sales were astronomical; the first year sales were 385,993, which increased to over one million over four years. However, you can't shake the idea that if you get rear ended, your car will explode, and, oh yeah, it had Firestone 500 tires, which the treads would separate at high speeds, which was no problem, because with the Mustang II, it couldn't get to "high speeds", unless you call high about 25 MPH. Then, yes, it could get to a "high" speed.

The Hall of Custom Crap Car Fame






(PS: Those are Sunoco Stickers)