(first posted 12/7/2014. I don’t normally repost old QOTDs, but there’s a lot of great stuff in the 358 comments. And you might find some newer cars since then to add to them)
Everybody always yammers about how ugly cars and trucks are nowadays, starting with their big-mouthed over-wrought front ends. Well, as nostalgic as we tend to be about the good old days, unless you’re wearing mighty strong rose-tinted glasses, this ’56 GMC truck is as bad as anything out today, if not worse. Was there ever an uglier front end? And it was sitting next to a car with another bad face.
Yes, this ’54 Plymouth’s face is a mess, even if it’s somehow endearing just because it’s from so long ago. But it was roundly panned at the time.
Misery loves company.
So new or old; what’s the ugliest automotive mug shot you can come up with?
Hmmm. Here’s my candidate (image taken from Wikipedia).
What on earth were Buick’s designers thinking?
That ’50 was sent to the orthodontist in ’51.
The 1951 and 52 looks way better than the 1950 IMHO.
Maybe they foresaw that grills would be a popular hip-hop fashion accessory.☺︎
I’ve just been reading about how stylists fuss over car “faces” in Mary Walton’s book on the [Catfish] Taurus. The Dodge Charger looks angry, like it got up on the wrong side of bed.
No way. That is one of the finest ever (all of them, from 47 to 54 at least) I think the newer Lexuses are almost mocking the old Buicks .
+1. I think the 50 face specifically is the best of the lot. That grille fit that shape better than the Cadillac eggcrate ever did.
Much more distinctive, too. Think of “1950 American car”, and this is what springs to mind.
So much for modern aesthetics. That 1950 Buick was considered very hot looking in 1950.
It’s a bit odd that the grille teeth go in front of the bumper, but I like that Buick.
Oh yeh, the buck toothed Buick. Seems to me , the Toyota Tacoma had that look for a year too , sometime around 2000.
Any Chevy grille from 1946 to 1954 is quite “butt-ugly” IMO.
How about any Spohn-custom car made for an American with more money than taste?
(Photo from Dezer Museum)
PS those GMC’s probably suffered from the designer’s having to mess with a fully formed Chevy that it had to be differentiated from.
This is UGLY, not the Buick or the GMC or even the Plymouth.
I saw this mutant on an episode of Chasing Classic Cars, and that Wayne Carini guy was all over this thing like it was some sort of masterpiece, he even paid some sort crazy money for it, it was either a joke or he was huffing paint fumes…..
What are we short on stories so we have to make up some?
Wayne Carini makes me laugh. He loves oddball cars that no one else seems to appreciate, so he overpays and then loses. Good thing he sells lots of Ferraris.
Wayne Carini rocks. Talk about a guy who got to make his career doing what he loved. Seems like a really genuine person on the show, not an actor, no script. Just giving us a window into his awesome automotive world.
No doubt, he has what I would consider to be a dream job, and usually has fantastic taste in cars, and he does seem like a pretty nice guy, but sometimes, when he goes ga-ga over stuff like that Spohn bodied monstrosity, we would have to politely agree to disagree.
Though sometimes I do get bored of the “15 quadrillion dollar” Ferraris……
I’m not saying he’s not a great guy or that I don’t enjoy the show. I do. However, he does take real flyers on some cars that wind up burning him because others don’t share his particular tastes. He even admits that. Right now he’s trying to dump that tech truck he spent so much money on.
And I also hate those other shows where they scream at each other over make believe deadlines while they ruin classic cars.
To FSDusk- Exactly, that tired ass formula of ‘tensions flare while phony dead-lines loom’ has always irritated me. It sprung from the original ‘insanely angry fake gear-head guys try to work together’ show Orange County Choppers. I can’t watch those anymore.
And so what if Carini indulges his own oddball automotive tastes now and then? That’s what being a real enthusiast is about.
Definitely a person I’d like to meet. Reminds me of the AACA guys I knew back in the 60’s and 70’s. I consider his show a breath of fresh air after things like “Dallas Car Sharks” and “Overhaulin”.
That Spohn thing is frightening. I suppose the full name would be “Spohn of the Devil,” I see it’s on sale for $125,000 US dollars. What a bargain! The engine is listed at a 331, so it probably started out as a perfectly good Cadillac, and then a horrible, horrible thing happened to it… Really, you can only look at this car for so long before you have to look away. The best way to view it would be to adopt the posture of a child watching a particularly scary episode of Dr.Who: While cowering behind a large piece of furniture, you catch an occasional furtive glimpse from time to time, when you work up the nerve.
The Spohn and the Daimler SP250 had a bastard child who was adopted by an unsuspecting Israeli couple: behold the Autocars Sabra… Israelis are better left in charge of developing things like 75 ton main battle tanks.
Not even a mother could love…
Ah, the Moby Dick of cars. I thought this was as bad as it could possibly get, until they ‘refreshed’ it….
Somebody at work has one of these…things. It’s worse up close.
I nominate the 1958 Packardbaker Hawk.
That was the first thing I thought of when I read the QOTD topic.
Ah, the Hurley Hawk! Nope, the colloquial name “honors” Packard exec Roy T. Hurley, who “had seen a Ferrari and Mercedes during one of his European trips and insisted that a special Hawk be designed to imitate them. The result … [was] a perfect example of the wrong idea, overpriced uncompetitive, overdecorated.” (Studebaker, The Postwar Years, Richard M. Langworth, Motorbooks International, 1979)
Many think it’s called the Hurley Hawk because it makes them want to hurl… but in its way, it’s kinda cute. Reminds me of Nibbler from Futurama.
The inspiration was not a Ferrari, but a Maserati 3500GT, with a body by Allemano, if I’m recalling correctly.
Even more hideous IRL then on this photo.
This Infiniti was the first thing that came to my mind. A neighbor has one (thank goodness only one) that always seems to be parked near my house.
These are the ugliest Infinitis I’ve ever seen. Try as I might, I never could like the front end styling of the most recent Infiniti models.
That is the car with the same look and function as a Beluga whale’s echolocation organ in its melon hood. Ever hear the horn on these? Sounds just like a Beluga. The gills on the front fender permit the Lexus Beluga to find breathing holes under the sea ice.
This vehicle is very popular with the Inuit and is protected by Green Peace.
It’s pretty hard to beat the ’61 Plymouth, though perhaps it is more frightening than ugly.
This is the ugliest I’ve seen Plymouth’s front end styling. I don’t know what they were thinking when they designed this beast.
+1. And the headlights are just slightly off parallel – weird.
That front end has grown on me over time. I’d take a ’61 Plymouth over a ’60 Plymouth.
Same. But then, I always kinda liked the ’60.
Agreed. The 61 Fury is one of the most horrible looking cars ever conceived!
surely these are the inspiration for current Lexii?
Also – were these the model year in “Car 54”?
Here’s another one perhaps inspired by Virgil Exner, the Polaris Slingshot 3-wheeler.
I actually kinda like ’61 Plymouths… they look so menacing. They seem to scream “Get the **** outta my way!!!” 🙂
Maybe that was the whole idea!
And yet VW decided to copy this face for the Type 34 Karmann Ghia!
Mean looking bird face , like the first generation VW bus
Seeing these ugly Plymouths while an apprentice mechanic at a DeSoto / Plymouth Dealer caused me to join the Marine Corps to get away from them.
What year was your favourite for ugly Plymouths? My favourite was the 1963 Plymouth Valiant.
Edsel, as a gentleman I decline to explain.
Yeah, the front of the ’58 Edsel is… evocative. if they’d just made the center section of the grille a bit wider, certain comparisons with human female anatomy would no longer apply, and it would have been a much better-looking car, especially by the standards of the day. 1958 was not a good year for automotive design!
And yet the look is so fetching on those who inspired it. Go figure. Guess some things shouldn’t be done in chromium.
Keep in mind, that three years earlier the Packard Request was the hit of the autoshows. The classic 1930’s Packard grille on a 1955 Patrician. And there were a lot of people who really wanted that car to appear in production for 1956.
That’s what the 1958 Edsel was TRYING to evoke. Didn’t quite make it.
Actually, I consider the ’60 Edsel the ugliest of the lot. Unattractive and boring combined.
The 1960 Edsel. About as rare as the 1961 DeSoto.
But much better looking.
You could make a case that Rolls Royce is to blame for all of the upright excess, in that others emulated that grill archetype on modern cars.
I’m trying my best to maintain respect for this site, I could go bad so easy.
But I’ve wondered if they had hired some quack psychologist that had some bizarre notion that certain shapes men would subconsciously find, well…thrilling. And be more likely to buy.
See the old joke of how an Edsel can be an Ethyl, my Dad called me this morning after he saw my comment. He insisted that I would post it, for the younger adults benefit. I choose to only refer to it. He’s a CC lurker, I’m doing my best to get him to comment, he’s a wealth of experienced knowledge, but shy.
What is unfortunate is how many men failed to find the spot directly above the Edsel grille, under the hood, that thrills the car to no end.
Guys were always in a hurry to take care of themselves, huh?
Today’s faces are still worse.
I actually didn’t mind the faces of the 1950s that much.
But, this has definitely been botoxed.
no worse than a 61 Plymouth..
Someone on Allpar observed that the ’61 Plymouth and Lexus faces are quite similar…
I like the new Lexus front end. It’s fresh, distinctive and not a copy of another brand. It came from the first IS250/350.
I knew my comment was not original… thanks for the reminder, just could not remember where I found the connection.
The Lexus front also reminds me of the 1958 Lincoln, but possibly the ’61 Plymouth is a closer approximation.
The Lexus looks better to me than many new cars which just have a huge black gaping grille that is roughly rectangular or trapezoidal in shape. I think Audi started this trend?
I think the first front end influenced by the ’61 Plymouth was this VW, which is a pretty cool car.
Yes the 2005 Audis started the trend, so it’s been 10 years now. Back then it reminded me of the Rolling Stones logo but now I’m getting used to it.
This Lexus front end is the most hideous thing on the market, I think there is no car uglier than these.
I agree. When I look at the front of a Lexus now, all I see is Predator.
I also agree. The Lexus looks like it has an ugly black BBQ pit grill slapped on the front. For God’s sake – why?
A friend of mine commented on current car design: “It is in your face”, as if this is a good thing! I said: Well, Rosanne Barr is in your face, but would not want to be married to her!
Nissan Juke is much worse IMO.
For me the Juke is so bizarrely ugly, that I’m oddly attracted to them. Though this may be based on my personal resentment of my HOA alone.
I agree, and I’m a Lexus fanboi. SC300 and LS430 I own, bought with Camry money used. That and the IS 250 I loath, but I see the 250s everywhere. The convertible is even worse. I think the buyers want something that at least looks like a Lexus, that’s ugly, rides way too stiff, gets poor mpg and no room, underpowered but won’t be ever mistaken for a Toyota.
LOL! This article is full of ugly car faces. This is the ugliest face I’ve seen from Lexus. What were they thinking when they designed this?
it doesnt really matter what they look like is how they figure I think. It might be an in joke with the designers.
What? Were they thinking?
– Fixed your punctuation! 😉
What do you mean?
Quite interesting, I didn’t know that Braun also makes cars.
That Lexus front end is just contrived. Not designed at all. Who in their right mind could think that looks good. Have Lexus sales tanked yet?
No, their 2014 sales are up 13.6% year-to-date. The industry is up only 5.5%. The only major luxury brand up more than Lexus is Audi at 15.4%. The new face seems to be helping.
The brand hurt the most by its front end styling is Acura.
Interesting. I’d say Mazda are doing the best Japanese face at the moment, but maybe that mean-looking spindle conveys the right message.
Mazda the best Japanese face – agreed.
Im ok with it. Just seeing a new 2 door makes up for a LOT.
Lexus front ends are based on Hustler magazine centerfolds.
These never did anything for me.
Just another car with an ugly face.
This “Bottom Feeder” trend has gone far enuf – ugly, ugly, ugly !!!
As in fish . . .
The E60 Toyota Sprinter sedans (1977-79) are pretty hideous.
Seems odd that Toyota apparently sprung for a unique hood pressing for something with such a relatively low volume compared to the Corolla it was based on.
There was a really eye-opening number of variations of this generation Corolla/Sprinter: six body styles, two different shells, different front clips for different engines, with Corolla and Sprinter versions of most and an extensive mid-life cosmetic facelift. The Corolla obviously was the big seller, but if the sales projections were reasonably accurate, they sold something like 450,000 Sprinters of the 1974-1979 generation, so I suppose they figured it was justifiable financially — aesthetically is another matter! The facelifted E50 Corolla sedans aren’t pretty either, but this is in the “What did you do?” category.
I looked up the brochure again and it looks like there were three different hood stampings for the sedans. Not only did Corolla 1400/1600 sedans have a different front clip than the 1200 or the Sprinter, all three hoods are clearly different pressings as well.
When this came out I thought it was so ugly it must be some kind of dare.
now they just seem normal
I actually like the GMC grilles from this period – 1955-59 for the most part. I think that they still have the excellent lines of the Chevy while adding more of a “tough” look and a little more expensive look with more front end parts such as shaped bumper bullets (guards) and more chrome. Much more refined body lines than Ford had at the time. Beautiful headlight eyebrows – sort of similar to the Cadillac of the time. I have dozens of original General Motors and Ford truck photos from the 1950s-1960s. I got these over 20 yrs ago when I worked for a truck service body manufacturer. This is one example that is very nice. It is GM date coded Nov. 1956. I have never published these photos before. I have several of the larger GMC truck as well that has the extra grille bumper as the article photo.
Keep in mind that back in the ’50’s, the GMC was the poor sister. Basically, they would design that year’s Chevrolet trucks, show the final design to the GMC designers, and tell them, “Make it very different without changing one sheet metal stamping.” Given those constraints, I’m amazed that GMC’s looked as good as they did.
Needs more fin.
I had a dog with that face.
I want to come to the defense of these mid-fifties GMC’s. Why can’t trucks have Dagmars? And, it doesn’t help that this example has those K-Mart auxiliary lights scabbed on, and it has lost it’s GMC nameplate from the hood. It would help too, if it had a grille color complimentary to the body color, rather more of the same. In fact, I consider the chrome version on these downright attractive.
Sadly, some examples from this era had the “Fleet Grille” option. Now that was homely!
I like the idea of a truck with Dagmars, but those on this GMC appear to have had partial mastectomies, which makes them look odd. They end up having the incomplete look of bombs with their nose cones removed.
The full-size 1970 Pontiacs. Sorry if I offended anyone. After triumph after triumph, starting with the ’59, then the stacked headlamps era, and the Pontiac beaked ’68-’69’s, what was this?? And that disjointed panel? Not to mention the Jeep Gladiator “nostrils” . As a teen, I was like, “what?? Is it finished? “
Those aren’t that bad, at least they had a theme – “American Jaguar”.
While I agree the 1970 front end’s were a downgrade to the 1968-69’s but I prefer the 1970 front end’s over the 1967 Pontiacs.
I agree completely. 1965-66 was a styling zenith for Pontiac, ’67 started getting a little weird (except for the front end of the Grand Prix, which is one of the coolest designs I’ve ever seen) and ’68 ’69 seemed like change for the sake of change… none of it good. But yeah, the ’70 front end revived some of the European style that Pontiac at least tried to emulate,on a grander scale.
Somehow the real thing never looked as nice as the illustration.
The original idea for this front end was to have it be Endura covered, but after DeLorean left in to head Chevrolet in 1969, the next Pontiac head was more conservative and thought the big Pontiacs should have more chrome on their front ends, so you got……this.
The fugly Buick makes “Christine” look like Mary Poppins.
Still, it looks like a swan compared to this wart:
I think ’59 Buicks look awesome.
The Daimler SP250. Ugly all round. Even on a dark night, in the rain, from a hundred metres away. What was Daimler thinking?
daimler sp250 a catfish w/a protruding lip
And, other than in a straight line (excellent engine), the performance was as bad as it looked.
Making a strong argument for a Daimler 2½-litre sedan, which is actually kind of pretty (being basically a Jaguar Mark 2 with a Daimler V-8 and a different grille).
The ’54 Buicks are among the ugliest IMO. They have an extreme droopy demeanor that makes it look like they’ve been injected with novocain.
Some Citroëns are beautiful as a result of their ugliness.
Citroens always had “different styling” When the one I own was designed apparently the brief was to make it as inoffensive as possible and they did its just a generic 5 door car.
Do you have a Xsara?
Yeah 98 TD
The ZX was their all time low, design-wise. Better said, a complete lack of design.
Generic European Car. And Citroen styling never used to be generic.
“Some Citroëns are beautiful as a result of their ugliness”.
Don’t know why but two letters just popped in my mind.
Somebody took the designers’ french curves away and only left them with rulers.
I won’t say that driving, even owning a BX, is something I dream about.
But it’s definitely some kind of weird fantasy I’m a bit ashamed of.
I must add it’s not just a BX. It’s a BX Gti 16v. Compared to this any other contemporary hot hatch was a wallflower.
When Citroen emulates Volvo.
Citroen NEVER learned when it came to coming up with FUGLY cars…
their future concepts, didn’t get any better…
like they wanted people to KNOW it was a Citroen.
The Citroen Kari concept of 1980…
This car has a good looking face, but the rest of the car is ugly.
And I thought the MOPAR fuselage era cars had a lot of tumblehome.
It’s like a 1990 Integra mated with the Luxor Hotel & Casino and had a baby.
Best comment on this thread!
It looks like a prop from a 70’s sci-fi movie….
“Capricorn 5…….you are now ready for Carousel…….”
I think it looks cool !! Much better than the 2cv.
Yes Flipper; you absolutely win this competition! Freaky ‘avatar’ you have there. I thought I had a flea on my computer screen.
It’s Twicki from Flash Gordon!
From Buck Rogers
The GMC in the original post is definitely not good looking, but I don’t think the Plymouth is among the worst, even if it looks a bit ‘wrong’. There are quite a few 50’s frontends that are ‘love or hate’ designs, but mostly they were coherent and well thougth out until 1958. There seems to have been a little crisis that year that lasted 4 or 5 years where there were a lot of extreme designs in both directions. The late 60’s/early70’s (Toronado, Riviera, Thunderbird) was worse I think. AMC’s attempt to put a bigger grille on the Pacer is also worth a mention.
1961 DeSoto. What a horrible way for a traditionally lovely car to go out.
I thought of that one, too. Automotive Multiple Personality Disorder, with simultaneous display of the conflicting personalities. Sad!
I think the designers were given the executive order to make something so awful that no one would buy it and then they could finally put poor DeSoto out of its misery.
Obviously, nobody cared anymore. Take the Chrysler and make it different.
Yeah, the second grille on the hood looks like a pig snout in that colour.
Newer Japanese cars, like the “guppy mouth” Mazdas, and the new pug faced Yaris. Yes, some of the vintage American cars were pretty odd looking, but we are looking at them from today. Maybe they looked different to people back then. IMO, all vintage cars looked MUCH better than most newer cars. I loved It when cars actually had grilles.
Not only does the front of the Toyota Mirai look hideous but the car itself is genuine contender for the worlds ugliest car.
A Darth Vader transformer.
Precisely. “Transformers”…THIS abomination is what happens when men who were children in The Awful Eighties grow up and design cars…they look like Japanese plastic toys from thirty years ago.
The looks of that thing actually make me feel physically ill.
So let me ask you this: Do you think perhaps older guys who were young in the 20s and 30s during the classic era might have thought the same about this La Galaxie?
The Marai to me reflects an attempt to make a car look like it’s in tune with the times and aesthetic of younger folks, as concept cars and such pretty much always have.
If you find the La Galaxie’s front end less hideous than the Mirai’s, I’m going to suggest that it’s because of an age bias. Nothing wrong with that, but it might help to recognize why older folks tend to hate stuff oriented to younger folks.
I would argue that the La Galaxie’s styling was a reflection of the jet age and as a concept it was designed to wow the crowds and make people think. The Mirai is a limited production car and is bone ugly without a reason. Those stupid scoops on the front aren’t even functional. Check out the side view. Seriously, what is going on here
Or the back. Don’t get me started on the roof.
I am glad I already had my dinner before you posted the side view.
To some extent, a persons age has an impact on what they consider a nice design. Even my eye has become used to all cars being sort of tall and narrow, and silver in color, with gray or tan interior and no chrome and funny lines. However a great design is always a great design. It could be a car from the 1930s like a Duesenberg, it could be a Continental like from the early 1940s, it could be 1956 Lincoln or a 1957 Thunderbird from the 1950s, it could be a 1961 Lincoln or 1961 XKE or 1963 Corvette from the 1960s, it could be a 1977 Seville from the 1970s – and even a few cars from today such as the Jaugur XJR. However I think that their are some decades that have had more finely designed cars than others. I think it was either Bill Michell or Harley Earl that said “In the future cars will still be more than just boxes”. Of course, with the design of most of today’s cars, he must be not only turning over in his grave, but spinning!
Now I know where Ford got the tail light design for the ’63 Galaxie.
I’m 26 and think the Mirai is very ugly. Maybe this Toyota tries with this to appeal to a wider audience that doesn’t really care about cars. Maybe it looks good as some kind of futuristic appliance, following the aesthetics of electronic devices? And therefore alienates us car loving people.
I’m not defending it or saying that I like it; just putting out the question to what extent demographics plays into design, or the acceptance of the current version of it.
And my bigger point is that a lot of cars from earlier eras were at least as ugly.
Same age, same opinion, I get what Paul is saying though and I agree with the point…
…But, I think the big difference is there was no issue of reality setting in when making production versions of wild motorama fantasy like the La Galaxie, because there simply was no intent to do so. These were idea cars, something to showcase the wildest ideas the designers within the company could come up with. The actual legacy of the La Galaxie is actually quite impressive since most of it’s details trickled down into actual production cars, I see quite a few of it’s rather repulsive styling elements prominently featured in an attractive way on the 61-63 Thunderbird and 61-64 Galaxie. Really the front end in particular almost looks like it was repurposed to serve as the rear on the Tbird, probably one of the Tbird’s most attractive assets no less. Plus it’s got the Breezeway roof that would eventually make it’s way into the Mercury’s 60s fold as well(not that it’s super attractive but that’s beside the point)
The Toyota Mirai on the other hand is production bound, it’s an already compromised for street use vehicle that will hit the showrooms as is. After a quick googling just now it’s apparently a hydrogen fuel cell car so, like certain other “green” products, it becomes more clear why it looks like that. It’ll certainly make a statement(why grotesque is the go to statement for hybrid, electric and now hydrogen I don’t know). Regardless, it merits scrutiny over a pure concept since this is for us to directly consume.
By the way the Chrysler Turbine styling looks like complete and utter plagiarism of the La Galaxie!
As Tesla (and the late Fisker) show, there is no rule saying you must produce an ugly vehicle in the environmentally-friendly car sector. The Mirai is ugly full stop and without any relation to ANY aesthetic. It’s proportions are all wrong and I have no doubt it will be a very strange 20-30 year old who would consider it as anything but ugly. And in case anyone asks, all of this applies to the La Galaxie – I think there’s something such as a universal idea of ugliness, regardless of era. Both vehicles qualify.
Or maybe the idea is to alert emergency services personnel that in the event of an accident, you seriously do not want to mess with this car?
I like La Galaxie, but it looks a little “La Bass Aackwards.” 😉
It looks the poor model is pointing and saying, “WTF?”
I love how designs like this have these big honking wide bodies and aggressive looking sweeps, yet roll on 195mm tires and completely flat wheels.
It’s appearance suggests a Nissan badge. They have a track record of hideous styling.
Viewed large and GIS’d with “that’s a Corolla with a bodykit, that’s gotta be a Corolla with a bodykit, please let that be a Corolla with a bodykit…”
Nope. They spent stamping-press money to get it to look like that.
Looks like one of the Tusken Raider sand people from Star Wars. 🙂
Another one was the Gaylord with those huge headlights, “Who” designed that one?, said the owl. Why, Br-hoo-hoo-ks Stevens.
They say the best shapes are found in nature……
Predictive of the 70’s pimpmobile look. 🙂
Yep. This and nearly all of Virgil’s cars. Sorry, hideous.
This car doesn’t look that bad.
My personal opinion is that time has been kind to those ’62 Chrysler products. And the complaint at the time wasn’t that they were that ugly, it was that they were too small vs the competition.
Barf. I forgot how hideous these really were.
Always liked the early fifties Buicks. Some real personality. And the mid fifties GMC pickups weren’t really that bad. Not great, but not FUGLY either. At least it was some nice differentiation from the Chevy, something missing for decades.
Definitely not a fan of this current catfish grill styling. Why does everyone have to copy the first manufacturer to start a trend?
Those Dodges were great cars. A friend has a 4 door with a 225 Slant Six and a/c. That engine was more than adequate for the B-body.
However, looking at it, it rather looks as though a Taunus is trying to escape through the front end.
I think the Dodge grille looked better.
I remember when these came out . My first thought was ” what were they thinking?” Of course that didn’t stop me from buying a model kit of these right away. Other than the grille, the rest of the design is not too bad.
Why has no one mentioned the Aztek? It looks like it was designed on purpose to be ugly.
Look at that Dodge again. The 1964.5 Mustang owes a lot to that.
I never thought about that. I think you are on to something there.
Thanks for nothing LOL. I will never look at my ’66 Mustang the same way again.
Oh well, I do have lots of fond memories of running around in my buddy’s ’62 Dodge in high school long before I ever owned a Mustang.
There a 62 Dodge phoenix on a local car lot you can see it on the cohort, well today I heard the sales spiel on the radio the voice blathering on about the sucess they are having selling Dodge Challengers and talking about the grand lady Phoenix from 62 extolling its 313 Poly engine and torqueflight trans and today we have the ugly car posts talk about CC effect.
I find it interesting what cars are considered beautiful by some and hideous by others. I recall being frightened by the new for 1994 Dodge trucks, but now I find them somewhat good looking. Maybe it’s the passing of time and getting familiar with them that makes the difference. Perhaps as children we did not judge these older cars so harshly. Maybe they evoke good memories that are more than skin deep.
At the opposite end of the world automotive market from pickup trucks, the world of Italian exotics produced the occasional bad miss in the quest for bold, distinctive designs. This 1963 Maserati 5000GT I would not nominate for ugliest front end ever, but it’s definitely not good.
Too true. A whole family of ugly faces for the 5000GT. Shame because some of the bodies were really nice.
Late nineties Corolla. (Courtesy SirPtr, Wikipedia)
Hello, I’m the happy face 2nd-gen Scorpio. I’m sooooo high. Want some pot ?
(Source : Rudolf Stricker – Wikipedia Commons)
Hyundai had a big snort of that and put it on their Sonata.
I always thought that the Scorpio and the DeVille looked uncomfortably similar, though the DeVille was well received while the Scorpio was panned, the Cadillac did square up the front end a bit more.
Whoa… I never noticed THAT before! Of all the cars to copy… 😀
Any car front end that had the stacked rectangle headlights haphazardly slapped on it in the 70s.
I thought of another odd duck.
The first gen Tiburon.
the only car I’ve thought looked good with the stacked headlights from the 1970’s was the Chevrolet Monte Carlo.
Not even that one.
Stacked rectangles are terrible. They look like goat eyes, with their weird horizontal pupils. Baaaaaaad.
The 2006 Ford Fusion had a similar effect going on, and it always bothered me there, too. In fact, the whole front end of the first Fusion bothers me – all the plastichrome trim on an otherwise nondescript, affordable sedan looks like costume jewelry.
(Off topic, but I detest the Fusion’s Altezza taillights too. Even in 2006, I associated that look with the second-generation Prius and questionably modified Civics more than with any Lexus.)
Any of the superfly pimp cars from the 1970’s mentioned last month on CC, https://www.curbsideclassic.com/auto-biography/my-life-as-a-pimp/
I find it very difficult to consider a car ugly. To me cars have always been pretty by definition. I don’t think current cars are particularly ugly either, and one has to remember that as time goes on regulations make the job of the designers more difficult. Complying with safety standards and aerodynamics forces them to work within tight parameters.
Having said that, I never liked the looks of this early 90’s Tercel, which was very common here in Chile (picture by order242 on Flickr). I thought it was very ugly, it has some kind of grumpy expression.
I’ve seen enough of the Tercel that the car’s appearance doesn’t bother me as much as it once did.
Always thought the first gen Tercel was pretty awful, but thought Toyota did a good job on the refreshed second gen.
I don’t think the Tercel looks bad at all. Have you seen the new 2015 Toyota Yaris ? Now that has an ugly face !
As her 1st car my sister owned a 54 Plymouth and I agree it is about THE ugliest car….or at least ugliest Chrysler produced car put on the road. Yet, from the windshield back it wasn’t too bad.
I don’t think the 54 Plymouth is too bad. It kind of reminds me of Humpty Dumpty egg fat face . Better than my dad’s 51 Plymouth.
The 61 Plymouth front is a thing of beauty compared to this
But the 59 was a breath of fresh air compared to the year before:
You’re right. the earlier Buick is worse.
The 1959 is still more sinister.
I prefer the 1960 Buick over either the 1958 or 59.
Is sinister necessarily bad? I kinda like the ’59 Buick’s face.
I think the 59 Buick is the archetype of the modern car face. Can anyone name name 1 current car WITHOUT Slanted headlights? I’m really struggling
I rather like the ’59 Buick, it is aggressive at least. I’ve always given it some credit for having the best implementation of a bad design idea – dual diagonal headlights. Think about the others who attempted this desperate attention grab:
Of that rather unfortunate set of faces, the Buick is best. Are there any other diagonal dragons that I missed?
1960 Imperial. Looks like very overweight old man with terminal heart failure.
This has one ugly m-f face. I wouldn’t be caught dead driving this ugly car.
They also had a drunk look. The diagonal headlights on other Mopars and the 58 Connie also looked drunk. Funny how we humans can read car faces as angry, surprised, lazy, ethnic, a fish or animal or a Kirby and on and on.
The ’60 Imperial looks hopelessly constipated…
Yes, yes- I can clearly see that, too. You gave me a good five minute laughing fit. Thank you!
The darn thing looks unhappy being a car. Can’t blame it, for being fat, drunk, and constipated with a bad heart and achy knees.
That’s funny. The ’59 Buick and ’61 Chrysler would both make the top-10 list of cars I’d most want in my dream garage. Not the Lincoln though.
The ’58 was overdone and ugly (especially considering that the ’55-’57’s were quietly attractive). The ’59 while strident and anything but subtle, was the best looking of the GM ’59’s because it was the only make that had a unity of design from front bumper to rear. It was ’50’s overdone, but it worked. And it wasn’t a design by committee like Oldsmobile.
Well all the other cars were derived from the Buick design, since GM was running scared due to the Forward Look Mopars, so it isn’t surprising that they are the ones with bumper to bumper unity.
The 59 Buick is a beauty, the best looking thing to come from GM in the era by far.
Count me in as a fan of the ’59 now that I am an adult. As a child there was nothing more frightening.
OOhhh, that’s a mean looking face !! Better get out of my way !!
How did comments get this far without anyone picking the egg-sucking Edsel?
I like the 1958 Edsel. I think it had a better looking face than either the 1959 or the 1960.
I don’t hate the Edsel, I actually find it kind of…ok….not bad.
The worst part of edsel was the whole idea of Edsel as a brand. I really don’t think the styling is any worse than the other Fords, Mercury’s or Lincolns. In fact I’d say it was the more attractive of two of them…
Looks like it’s ready to barf.
Ever heard of a Mercedes-Benz Colani ?
Didn’t the moms of the Morgan designers warn them about what would happen if they kept crossing their eyes?
That may be the winner right there. We were visiting a family out of town and the guy asked if we wanted to see his old Morgan. I said “it isn’t a V8, is it?” He said “sure is” and I was excited. When we got to the garage it was the version shown above. I actually had to say wow that’s a great looking car.
The same thing happened 20 years earlier. A friend of my Dad’s said he had “an old Toronado” and it turned out to be one of these.
Ugh God! If that isn’t ugly, I don’t know what is.
WTF is that??
Morgan Aero 8. A … bold… attempt to bring the Morgan formula into the 21st century.
Something areolar about those headlights.
Ssangyong Rodius, Pontiac Aztek, ‘catfish’ Taurus, and since it`s in the original post, that `57 GMC is a beauty queen compared with the `60. Eck. Looks like the rear of a `59 Impala sandwiched on top of the grille instead of a hood.
I still think modern designs are uglier, at least back in the 50s designers were constrained to work around the same basic sealed beam headlights, unlike now where they’re some fussy detailed mess of tacky proportions.
The grilles however I agree with, and I think it’s because, like cars today, most cars of the early 50s and prior all looked basically the same and there were a billion brands to choose from. Grille designs were pretty much the main visual tell back then between so naturally you got some weird bizarre designs along the way.
modern: Nissan Juke, Jeep Cherokee, or any of the open mouth front ends that adorn so many contemporary cars
classics: hard to say as even formerly hideous cars like the Edsel and the 61 Plymouth have aged gracefully into classic coolness but Id say the Bricklin fell out of the ugly tree and hit every branch coming down. Looks like it ate an 8-track but a blower makes it better
Actually what really makes that particular example better is that it appears to actually be painted, unlike factory Bricklens with their color impregnated scratch resistant body that looked flat and chalky when new, and even worse as time marched on.
Don’t forget the Bricklin was marketed as a “safety car”. That big front bumper makes more sense in that context. I always thought it went well with the chunky styling but am one of the few who doesn’t mind 5mph bumpers, at least on some cars.
+1 on the slitlights, er… headlights on the current Cherokees.
I just thought of another one… `46-`49 Chrysler. Front end just says “generic `40s car” but someone glued a bunch of chrome everywhere. The 3 strakes leading back from grille to wheel… why??
I went down into my gallery, and found some other candidates. First this Chery S21.
I’ve heard of SsangYong, but some of their cars has the ugliest looking front end styling ever to disgrace the front of a car.
There used to be a SsangYong dealer in the main street of Kilmore. Went broke. Wonder why?
I think the Aztek is even worse, but the ridiculously big and round Buick fascia on the Rendezvous looks totally out of place. A very ugly thing this early crossover.
I agree. Whoever designed the Buick Rendezvous should have his head examined. It’s the ugliest “crossover” vehicle I’ve seen since the 1996 Ford Taurus.
Keeping in mind that the Chrysler Pacifica, Pontiac Aztec and Buick Rendezvous were the original crossovers. The bar hadn’t been set yet as to what a crossover was supposed to look like. And yes, they were all minivans without the sliding doors.
Which was an idea that was immediately dropped by everyone else.
1974 full sized Cadillac, I never liked the front end’s of those Cadillac’s, I never thought the rounded headlights looked right with the side headlamps, fortunately they improved along the 1975-76 Caddies
1977 Datsun F-10 Sport Wagon.
I didn’t do it any favors by picking this puke yellow color, but would it really have mattered?
Although I don’t care for the colour, I do find it quite attractive for a Datsun of the 1970s.
There were so many great choices from Datsun. My personal favorite is the 200SX with the wrap-around bumper guards.
The S10 Silvia/200SX really looks like something that would have been hastily contrived by a movie studio prop department for some terrible late ’70s science fiction epic.
Agree with Aaron, but the 110 Skyline is one of the best lookers around. That language just didn’t translate down so well on the Silvia.
It’s a shame that the Skyline was never offered in the USA. This has a good looking front end.
They were very popular here in Australia. Then they started uglifying. Best looking Skyline until the R32.
I like this version of the Datsun 200SX.
That’s kind of like saying “I do find Charles Manson quite sane for a serial killer of the 1970s”.
Is it? They’re two different things. Charles Manson was/is a sick psychopath who ordered children to kill innocent people. This car, while not the most attractive car Datsun/Nissan offered at the time, isn’t ugly either.
looks like they copied the hornet?
Hard to believe so much design fail could be crammed into such a small car.
Another ugly car. From every angle, it’s f-ugly. I’d be embarrassed to be seen riding in the car.
There are those who think it’s cool. Maybe because it takes the chance of being a cartoon. I know a guy who loves his. He works for the Sesame Street productions (really).
Brooks Stevens did great things, and crazy things. Presenting , de Valkyrie…
WTH is this?
Another body by Spohn. But designed by Stevens. Probably, along with the Buick LeSabre, it was emulated by Spohn stylists when creating the look for their customs.
I find the Cube appealing, though I understand how it’s aesthetics are validly challenging to others. I like it for its glorious JDM bizarreness, it’s the closest thing we’ll ever get to one of those funky Kei cars. If it had the option of a Juke drivetrain and toys, I’d have one. I’m ok with being thought of as strange, but not wimpy.
Packard Concept Car.
So much awfulness.
No shit! If someone wants to bring back the Packard, fine. But this is god ugly! 🙁
They buried a ’49 Packard at the Pet Semetary and this is what came home…
Frowning Oldsmobile. Maybe just having a bad day
I think the 1949 Oldsmobile has a way better looking front end than this.
And yet the ’40s and ’41s were the prettiest GM cars.
Ugly fish fish face.
I always thought the Avanti’s front end was exceptionally awful.
Another one: Kia Opirus
Is this what it is? I thought it was an uglier version of the Amanti, already an ugly looking car.
We are both right, as the Amanti = Opirus, different names for different markets
I agree. I prefer the 1962 through 64 models.
The Amanti has a good looking ass end, but an ugly looking face.
Wait, that’s the better looking facelifted version. The original had a taller, narrower grille like this.
You are right! That one was even worse. I really don’t like this whole car, the front trying to look S-Type but with that almost “formal” rear pillar, it’s an odd looking mix.
I always think of laundry when I see that grill.
OMG I’m surprised no one has mentioned this but I thought the front end’s on the 1980-82 Ford Thunderbird’s were ugly looking, they looked nothing more than a tarted up Ford Fairmont sports coupe IMO.
So much talent! The Spohn is hard to beat in terms of pure ugly… The GMC lead in is pretty close though. It has a Cro Magnon look to it with that heavy brow. I’d certainly give the Daimler an honorable mention too.
I know my least a favorite mid 70’s mug is a 1974 AMC Matador, I just can decide which one:
I was thinking of posting one of those too but had the same problem — which do you go with.
Amazing there could be two such strong candidates from the same year and model.
I’ve always thought that the coupe was a very georgeous car. They look very nice in person.
When I saw pics of the fastback, I thought they would be beautiful in person, but that was because I imagined them to be the size of a J-Car, like a Skyhawk. When I saw them in 3D, they looked just so oversized. Sculptors are well aware that small pieces often have to be adjusted in proportion when they are sized up so as to match the brain’s expectations.
Come to think of it, I had the same reaction to the Pacer. Imagine if it was the size of a Pinto. it might have been considered gorgeous.
I’ve always found the Matador sedan and wagon more attractive than the coupe.
I agree, matador. There’s really nothing wrong with the Matador coupe that wider wheels and tires can’t fix.
What was BMW thinking when they created this disgrace of a car?
My parents had a 1974 Matador coupe when I was a small boy. At the time I thought it was the ugliest thing on 4 wheels. According to my mom, it wasn’t very reliable. Its V8 engine accelerated like a 6 cylinder or a 4 cylinder, but its fuel economy would be like a V8 engine; not very good. It wasn’t very good at accelerating up hills.
There was also this from around the same time.
The grille on this Pacer makes the face more hideous than the earlier grille.
I prefer the sedan over the coupe. I like its protruding front end.
The coupe is probably uglier as a whole but the sedan’s front end is way worse.
The sedan front is way worse. With the coupe you can see what they were aiming for, even if they didn’t quite make it. I have never been able to understand the thinking behind the sedan front, other than “make it different”.
I think someone mentioned the Aztek, but here is a picture. Since Pontiac/GMC dealers were common, it has family ties with the GMC.
cc here: https://www.curbsideclassic.com/curbside-classics-american/curbside-classic-2001-pontiac-aztek-a-face-only-a-mother-could-love/
A green frog mating with a gray one. You know, it doesn’t look as bad as when it came out. Lots of Vaderesque faces have muted my reaction to it. Never knew that would happen.
I too have noticed that it doesn’t look nearly as bad as when they first came out. I think you are right. There have been so many ugly designs to come out since. At least Pontiac improved it’s looks later by doing away with all that gray plastic.
It’s not so much that its time has come, but rather that we’ve become desensitized from over-exposure…
I don’t know that we’re over exposed exactly. A contemporary release with the Aztek was the then-new Ford Focus which had some pretty edgy (pun intended) styling of it’s own. It was a brave new world in several ways with the Aztek, essentially a new line of SUV, or SRV as GM called it, way edgy styling and aimed at active Gen X-ers.
IMO the Aztek concept was great, but the adaptation to the U-body minivan is where it fell down. At least many of the interior features were held over and it is a fairly decent place to spend time. I still think that if GM would have built it on something like a J body chassis in terms of size and weight, it would have been better able to hit it’s price target.
As it was, they were rather pricey for young folks and too well equipped in some regards. For a car that had optional plastic seat covers (to keep the mud off the upholstery) and a tent, full plush carpet was not a good idea, IMO. To really have pulled off the whole “outdoorsy” theme, a plastic or rubber lined floor would have been a much better idea.
I’m on my third one now, and still find I like driving it. Even though it’s about the same size as the G6, it seems more maneuverable and the cargo capacity is much easier to access than any car.
BTW, I’d really love to have the green one shown in the picture. That was a first year only color and that particular model appears to be a AWD Aztek GT. That’s a pretty rare beast for the 2001 model year. I have this one, though. A 2004 Rally FWD. It’s in my favorite color for this car, Liquid Silver.
Plus Heisenberg damn near made it cool.
Anybody else think that the worse car designs look like cats? Oh wait, no the Fish ones are worse. Then its the cats.
I had more issues with the Aztecs cheap Rubber Maid trim and other skinflinted qualities than the design. Just look at the prototype, it could have been a hell of a car. Cheapness is right next to ugly, yet inexpensive can still be done right. I like and respect the G8, but I think it suffers from ugly cheapness- they didn’t even bother to change head units, the volume knob is on the passengers side. A minor detail, that could bother me for years. Even the Northstar Bonnie still had that ridiculous Pontiac switch gear, but I’m sure it drove great.
Any of those last generation Bonnies drove great. They always drove “smaller” than their size. Still want a 2000+ Bonnie before I stop driving.
…..and the ugliest fast car of all-time. The Mosler Consulier
Every El Camino owner’s nightmare?
Mosler? I’d have thought it was designed by Grumman.
Super fast mail delivery!
This face is not as overwrought as others here, and it suits the rest of the car very well…by being hideous.
Devilish eyes !!
No one mentioned this yet? The original Subaru B9 Tribeca. So bad that they gave it a major nose job and fanny tuck right away.
From that stillborn Subaru meme that seemed to draw from the early Saabs.
And now you mention Saab, the redesign of the TriBeCa was the rejected proposal for a Saab badge-engineered version.
“meme”? It wasn’t a “meme”. It was a theme.
It looks better on the Impreza than on the B9 Tribeca.
I want one. I want to buy one when we return to the US next year, and I’m completely serious about that. I really like how this car looks. Its ugliness suits me.
I’ll admit it’s no design winner, but the high quality is redeeming- no cheapness type ugly.
“Beauty is only skin deep, but ugly goes right to the bones…”
Great addition, and it is the front end that is particularly offensive on the Tribeca. Man those things were expensive, too!
Historical wise, i would have to nominate the 1958 Oldsmobile as the ugliest front and rear ends ever. Seriously it looks like the front and back ends of the car were designed by two different design teams who not only did not compare notes but were probably in two different continents.
I would also have to nominate the Citroen H Van for ugly front end also. It looks like somebody took great aunt Mabel’s tool shed and slapped 4 wheels on it.
For current car, I would nominate the current Acura TL. With that butt ass ugly “power Plenum” grill and sloping rear, you don’t know which end of the car is the front.
A recent contender in the Baleen Whale class
Yeah I own one of these. Almost passed on it because of that front end in favor of the more generic looking Ford Edge, but couldn’t resist the deal that was being dangled in front of me (since when did a Lincoln cost less than its Ford equivalent?). 9 years later it’s grown on me. Maybe because it’s been such a great car that I can forgive its looks. Or that I always park nose-first in the garage and parking lots, so I rarely look at its face.
Another one from China. A Shanghai Maple, a ridiculous name for a Citroën ZX with a front that thinks it is an Audi. Ugly and pathetic.
The Chinese know how to build a lot of things, but they wouldn’t know how to build cars to save their careers. 🙁
GM doesn’t think so… all their parts are made there. 😛
That is *so* unforgivable. It’s bad enough that we have to rely on other countries to build our cars, but China? I wouldn’t count on China if my life depended on it. I’d rather rely on Australia. At least their cars are built durable, to withstand Australia’s road conditions.
Many Chinese companies are already making some really nice looking cars. See here for instance the MG6.
And remember that in terms of manufacturing only, they already made Honda Fits in China for Canada, and soon will send their Volvo S60 L to the US.
Chinese car design has come a long way in a short time, there is no denying that. Now that they have mastered the sedan they are branching out into CUVs. Here is their latest, the $22,000 “Landwind X7”. If I didn’t know better I would say it was from Europe.
If I didn’t know any better I’d say Range Rover has grounds for copywrite infringement. Anything’s cheap if you plagiarize the real stuff.
The 63 Imperial nose is right up the list for ugly too. Pay close attention to the headlights… this look was only tried by one manufacturer – once.
I tend to disagree. I like the 1961 and 62 Imperial grille.
They went to the junkyard for some headlights off a Model A
Love these cars… but what the heck was Chrysler THINKING… by putting the turn/parking/signal lamps ABOVE the headlights??
Looks like Bizarro Superman designed that front.
Always, puzzled me, as a kid in the 70’s, when I saw these Le Barons driving around back then.
I know I’m deep in the minority on this but I like that layout. The inverse would make it another 76 Oldsmobile inspired clone like the Panther LTD Crown Victoria, which neither it or the Olds look any better with the marker/turns on the bottom in my opinion. It’s a very generic headlight/marker layout that at least Chrysler experimented with a bit. I like the high mounted markers on the 70 Barracuda for the same reason.
You’re not the only one. I thought it was a simple, yet bold move on the Chrysler stylists at that time. It was so wrong, yet so right.
I agree, I don’t think the LeBaron is any worse looking than most of its late-70s competition. I have fond memories of a friend’s mom’s ’78 Town & Country.
When I look at that generation LeBaron, and then its Dodge Diplomat clone, I imagine this conversation between Chrysler engineers and stylists: “We just ran out of tooling budget, but still need a way to differentiate the Diplomat from the LeBaron. Oh, and the Chrysler needs to look more ‘upscale’ of course. I know, let’s just flip the whole headlight unit upside down!”
“Great idea, boss, but on which one?”
“Ummm, I think putting the parking lamps on top says – ‘I AM worth an extra $453.’ So flip ’em over for the LeBaron!”
“Done! It’s Miller Time.”
Also, let’s NOT forget this monstrosity… looks like something you would see, go by you in a bathosphere, while deep sea fishing on an episode of Jacque Coustea.
The alien-like, Fiat Multipla… as much as Wayne Carini(Chasing Classic Cars) loves Italian cars, I think he would vomit if he opened up a barn, and found these extra set of eyes peering back at him.
It is nonetheless an amazingly practical family vehicle and most of its very odd design contrivances serve that purpose, so unlike some of the other monstrosities here, it is at least a brave triumph of function over form.
I had just forgotten that, and now you have to go and show it again. Urk!
Gotta love the Edsel, eh?
It had a face, only a gynecologist could love. LOL
Check out that bumper…
You could play a game of chess, on that beak. LMAO
I think the styling was inspired from the statues on Easter Island.
Well done. Reminds me of another famous wedge face, The Dale.
The E65 7-Series. I hate that car’s face so much, and it’s just as ugly as everything else on this list. I’m down with flame surfacing and the way Bangle tried to hide the increasing bulk of the cars with new safety regs, but good god, did he and Van Hooydonk have to put such a hideous face on it? I hate it so much, it’s one of the few cars on the road that actively inspires my vengeance fantasies.
It looks like a confused, inbred geriatric stumbling down the road. I don’t know how it doesn’t drool all over itself or stop itself from constantly falling down.
I do want to add, however, that I think that the more “ugly” cars that are on the road the better. If every car looked like the last of the Cutlasses I think that the world would be a dark, terrible, and lonely place.
I don’t think the front of that BMW looks ugly. I would describe the look as “inoffensive”. It has the grille from a Pontiac and the headlights from an early 2000’s Chrysler product (eg: Chrysler 300M, Dodge pickup).
“It looks like a confused, inbred geriatric stumbling down the road. I don’t know how it doesn’t drool all over itself or stop itself from constantly falling down.”
Behold one of Exner’s more fascinating works…Hamtramck Gothic, aka the 1959 Dodge. Even in pink it looks pissed off at the world…..
Paint it black and it could be the standard police cruiser for the Gotham City Police Department.
Have to agree with the 74 Matador. The 61 Ambassador ranks up there as well as the 03-05 Saturn L Series
200-odd posts and nobody mentioned this (Ford Australia’s own version of the catfish-inspired design plaguing Ford everywhere during that period). The US Ford Taurus from the same era is just as bad. I said it before on another post, they are in my opinion worse than some of the desperate Russian attempts at updating 30 years old Soviet designs. What drugs were these people on.
I’m surprised no one has mentioned this rolling mudfence…
Oh, that and rest of the angry chipmunks like it.
My choice, I miss so much.
Another favor to ugly mugs on old vehicles, nothing with a plastic nose will look that awesomely evil when it’s beat up!
Particularly menacing in the Netflix show, The Man in the High Castle.
De Valkyrie… never seen one in the metal before (thankfully). The Fiat Multipla appears to have been beaten pretty thoroughly with an ugly stick…. and wow, I forgot about the Consulier; well engineered but door stop ugly…
2nd Gen Nissan Murano, looks like it has shark teeth.
But the new Juke, looks like ick.
The ’58 Studebaker-cum-Packard. They knew the jig was up and ceased pretending not to, as evidenced by the googly dual headlamp treatment on the Packard in order to differentiate it from the Stude.
The new 2015 Toyota Yaris !! You couldn’t even give me one !! What happened to my friendly looking 96 Toyota Tercel ??
That thing ate it…
The Toyota Yaris has to be the ugliest damn car Toyota has ever built. The current Prius and Prius V come in a dangerously close second as being the next ugliest Toyota.
How about a VW eagle beak face ?
No, I love the VW Bus. It might be considered homely/cute, but not ugly. There’s a subtle difference. It’s the functional honesty of the whole design. No wasted lines, every curve has a purpose. I think all the really ugly cars we’ve posted here have peculiar pointlessness to their shapes. A lot of untalented designers who were just trying too hard to make something different simply for the sake of being different.
I agree. I’ve always appreciated form follows function design in a car or truck. That’s what I’ve always liked about German built cars and Australian built cars.
That’s why I like the second generation VW bus, nice simple front end styling , a one piece windshield, and without that quirky looking bird beak.
I agree. I like the 1st generation VW Bus and the 2nd generation VW Bus. They’re simple, but still attractive.
Le Sabre XP-8 – Inspired by the Beluga Whale?
As much as I love old concept cars, I couldn’t help but notice some interesting similarities here.
Actually it’s inspired by the F-86 Sabre Jet, hence the name.
True, but that’s not as funny as the Beluga Whale analogy.
Toyota based this look on a Stephen King clown, right?
4 Runner – or – Pennywise?
UGH! Reminds me of JAWS of 007 fame.
Oh yes! An Oldsmobile on steroids.
I’m surprised in this long post that no one brought up the ’49 Lincoln Cosmopolitan. Was there ever a droopier, sadder face?
I think I like this choice better than the 1961 Plymouth or 1958 Packardbaker. The ’61 Plymouth looks like something out of a Japanese sci-fi movie, while the ’58 Packard looks like a catfish. IOW, way more outrageous. By comparison, I can only think of the ’49 Cosmopolitan being in an old forties comic book like, say, Batman or Dick Tracy. The ’49 Cosmopolitan, while bad, comes across as substantially more mediocre and uninteresting than the other two.
Just happened to think, the droopy 1949 Lincoln front was quickly “facelifted” the next year in 1950 by straightening out those horizontal grille components. Much better, if a little generic, but there’s still something a bit sad about it, maybe it’s those sunken eyes!
The truck design must have been based on a gargoyle on some gothic church.
As for todays gaping maw’s and predator faces no wonder people are buying trucks.
Also I’ve noticed a lot of the SUV/CUV things look like they have used the prow of DUKW for the design of the front end.
So many hideous designs.
The last Toyota MR2 (Spyder). Looks like a frog.
I’d always thought “What’s up with those big ugly headlights?” on the last-gen Prelude, but ended up realizing I didn’t need to look at ’em from the driver’s seat. And in fairness, they were very bright on many a dark night.
While at a swap meet some years ago, a vendor had old car magazines from 1958 on display.
One of the cover blurbs was something like “Did Detroit styling cause the recession?”.
I don’t recall the name of the magazine, but with auto sales dropping as much as 31% in ’58 it sure had to be a factor.
Now, in 2020, with the “ugly ass styling” continuing unabated for at least 6 years now, I don’t see it getting for quite a while.
I am pretty sure we had an Ugliest Car ever on CC at one time, where I posted this one. This to me is one of the homeliest cars ever with the front all angled and weird features all about. 1958 Lincoln, with angled headlights, dagmars on the bumper, a strangely plain but huge eggcrate grille, impossible angles upwards at the ends of the bumper, pointy shape front of hood.
Yes, the 1958 Lincoln is bizarre, which explains why the 59 and especially the 60 were toned down, to the point that the latter has a conventional bumper for the times.
And yet, I think the market spoke in volumes, or lack of sales thereof, of the Chrysler Airflow, from 1934. I may have found this photo on CC at one time.
Photo refused to attach, retry.
Non-US Chevrolet Cobalt, an Opel Corsa D dressed to Halloween. In person it’s even worse…
My favorite ‘plug-ugly’!
Current Toyotas could fill up this list.
I’ll nominate the CHR which I mistakenly went searching for the HRV which is Honda’s subcompact crossover.
It’s the face that never seems to end.
But the 4Runner is a good one too. As is the current Avalon and Prius. Going back, the SC430 was pretty unattractive to look at too.
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Lets not forget a couple truly ugly Toyotas from two decades ago – the Toyota Echo and first-gen Prius. Those made the final Tercels appear sleek and stylish!
Happy Motoring, Mark
I’m belaboring this, but C-HR is supposed to stand for Compact High Rider.
I noted how it appears you don’t get much ground clearance for a crossover so I checked:
2019 C-HR = 5.9″
2019 Corolla = 6.7″
I didn’t read all the comments, so maybe someone said this already, but no matter how ugly some old time cars’ fronts could be today’s are worse because the old cars at least had round headlights, which neutralized some of the ugly to me. Today there are always angry looking pointy squinty triangular-y lights, which for those of us that see faces in cars makes them look like demonic creatures or something. Okay for an 80s Ozzy or Dio album cover but not nice to see everywhere all the time.
I’m impressed that 385 comments in that this homely soul appears unmentioned….
That’s another of one of the saddest faces in car history!
The quad headlight version of the Dodge Charger/Plymouth Turismo built in the mid to late 1980’s, I thought these cars looked better with the dual headlights.
Not necessarily the ugliest of all time, but because this is what greets my eyes when I open the door from the house to the garage every day. I miss the days when Toyotas had conservative front ends.
1965 full sized Mercury’s, did not like the front end of these cars at all, I thought the 1966 front end was everything the 1965’s should’ve been
Is that because of what might be considered oddball vertical parking lamps/turn signals? Sort of like the 1963 Plymouths (bottom photo)?
I don’t mind them so much and think that their successors in both cases looked too much like GM cars of the same era.
I personally don’t like those either, I think it’s because they’re exceptionally dull. Like the early 1950s Mopars, they look like vague drawings of a car of their era. There’s no one design detail the makes them stand out in a positive way- I actually think the Mercurys with the Breezeway window look much better because they have something distinctive about them.
It was known as ‘grand but bland’ in the styling business. The vertical parking lights were just a touch of novelty for one year to add a minor spark to the frontal countenance.
I always hated this front end. Like it’s sniffing dog poop.
Me too, I always thought the headlight/hood/quarter area was just awkward and like the “designers” just stopped working on it, and somehow management approved it. I definitely think the mid 60’s to mid 70’s was the top of the heap as far as styling went. Ford was always on the edge of ugly and starting with the ’71 Mustang(Sorry fans) they had tipped over. What followed after that for many many years just seemed bizarre to me, GM and Mopar lost their way a few years later, when the (IMHO horror show) Colonade cars came out, and the ’75 B Body Mopars were hideous. GM’s styling never reached the level of badness that Ford’s did, but the EXP and some others were contenders. Now it seems like Ford’s stuff looks OK, Mopars look great as far as the larger SUV’s and muscle cars go, and GM is totally lost with the awful looking Silverado, Camaro, and C8 Corvette. Anything with a giant grill(s) is ugly, BMW!!
1960 Bedford CA van. Hands down, a winner in the ugly department.
This cross eyed wonder must be one of the ugliest cars for sale today (and further proof that money can’t buy taste).
My vote goes to this miserable looking thing.
As a ’53 Packard Clipper owner, I still have to agree. I think of them as the ‘sourpuss Packards”!
I have to go with the new BMW 4 series. From the rear and sides, the car looks fantastic, but the front of the car has the appalling buck-tooth grill treatment. What’s even the point? It doesn’t serve any functional purpose, half of it’s blocked off! And it’s barely integrated into the styling. Most everyone I’ve talked to has hated it as well. Not sure what BMW is going for with this new thing, but it certainly isn’t landing.
Here’s a rendering of the 4 series without the grille, I think this one is substantially better looking.
Surprised no one mentioned this ghastly thing. Just horrible. Proof you can sell anything if it’s seen as trendy.
How about the Aurora Safety Car concept?
I have to admit that may be the worst looking car ever. It looks like what would be produced if you ate a ton of mercury and cellophane and waited a day to see what you, um, “made”.
Reworked Audi front end – almost carlike.
I needed some laughs and the old and new comments did it! Thanks. The Nissan Cube is to me A-Plus ugly front and rear.
Without a doubt Subaru tribeca
1974 AMC Matador with the “Jimmy Durante” nose. They tried to make the car longer in length but still waned to use the old front fenders and pretty much the same hood. The new for 1974 Matador Coupe was also ugly in the front end.
Also a lot of the 2020 and 2021 Toyota cars have ugly front ends like this Corolla.
I must have mental illness. There’s plenty of the ’50s and ’60s “ugly cars” that I like very much. I think the GMC pickup in the lead photo is wonderful. I want to own a ’59 Buick. Lovely, and menacing. I thought “Christine” should have been a ’59 Buick.
Maybe it’s just a matter of being used to them.
My “ugliest car”? A Bullet-Nosed Studebaker, AFTER the owner modifies it by removing the front bumper and attaching structure.
Some good candidates but the Mitsuoka Orochi grosses me out because even though other colors are available it seems to have been designed but with this slightly sickening flesh color in mind:
And from the past, the 1958 Lincoln Continental.
Yeah you’ll never be able to unmake that mental association that made
Virtually every Lexus and Toyota product today, with a front end swiped directly from my Mom’s ’61 Plymouth Suburban wagon, a face even my mother couldn’t love. Hideous, and hilarious to me that Toyota’s “designers” try to pass it off as current or ground-breaking.