By on August 27, 2020

Ford Tbird 2002. Steve Lagreca/Shutterstock

I was channel surfing over the weekend and stumbled upon 2002’s Die Another Day, the last entry in the Pierce Brosnan era of James Bond flicks. Arguably the worst of the four. I’m a GoldenEye man myself, in no small part due to the video game that was big among my social groups in high school and on into college.

Anyway, while watching Die for about the fifth time this month (hey, it’s on Showtime a lot, what can I say?), I took note of the scene in which Halle Barry’s character pulls up to the ice-palace hotel in Iceland in a Ford Thunderbird. One of those retro models sold from 2002-2005 that came out with much fanfare — it was even a Motor Trend Car of the Year — before sales fell off a cliff.

Thing is, I always thought that generation of T-Bird looked great. I still do. But it sold poorly after the first year.

That T-Bird was one in a long line of cars cranked out in the 1990s and the Aughts, mostly by the Detroit Three, that attempted to capture buyers based on retro styling but either was a let-down in terms of performance or simply wasn’t marketed well. In the T-Bird’s case, a quick Google shows that reviewers at the time praised its looks but dished out mixed feelings about its performance. They seemed to like the V8 and dislike the five-speed automatic, and were upset by shakes and rattles. The consensus seems to be that the car would sell well and be thought of as a boulevard cruiser and not a sports car.

Other cars on the list of “hyped then, looked back upon with wary eyes now” include the Plymouth Prowler, Chrysler PT Cruiser, Chrysler Crossfire, Chevrolet SSR, and Chevrolet HHR (non-SS).

There were other models that attempted to snag sales, not with retro looks but modernist styling, that also flopped like a just-caught marlin – think Cadillac XLR.

What car were you once hyped about, only to later learn it wasn’t all it was cracked up to be?

Maybe you test-drove one of these vehicles and found out the hard way? Or you bought one in a fit of temporary madness? Perhaps you had extensive seat time for some reason – someone else in your household had one and you drove it on occasion, or you worked for a dealer that sold these abominations and you had to drive one every now and then? Maybe, like me, you spent a month in one that the rental-car company foisted upon you while your Accord sat lonely in a body shop waiting on parts after being smacked by a Saab wagon that went wild due to black ice?

Yes, friends, I “owned” a PT Cruiser for about a month while my poor Honda awaited the surgeon’s touch.

This question has been on my mind not just because I saw a T-Bird in an 18-year-old movie, but also because the upcoming Bronco could disappoint. I don’t think it will, based on its specs and Adam’s first-ride report, but we won’t know for a while yet. Hopefully, the return of the Bronco goes over better than the return of the Thunderbird.

Until then, I want to know what car got you all hot and bothered, only to find out that it was the automotive equivalent of a cold shower?

[Image: Steve Lagreca / Shutterstock.com]

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52 Comments on “QOTD: What So-called ‘Special’ Car Let You Down?...”


  • avatar
    snorlax

    New NSX. (I’m sure it’s great to drive, but it’s overpriced and ugly).

  • avatar
    Lie2me

    Prowler would be my #1 choice, but since it’s already been mentioned I’ll go with the Jeep Commander we were talking about recently. When I needed to replace my WJ Grand Cherokee I thought the Commander could be the answer, because the newly introduced Grand Cherokee WK went off in a direction I didn’t like.

    I was wrong, the Commander was loud, tinny, uncomfortable, expensive and just an all around disappointment. Jeep lost me at that point :(

    • 0 avatar
      karonetwentyc

      Don’t forget that the Commander was also thirsty, not terribly powerful for the amount of engine that it was given, and had interior quality that was inexcusable on a vehicle in its price range.

      Jeep is starting to lose me as a customer as well – the focus on ‘Wrangler all the things’ to the expense of the rest of their lineup is giving me reason to also jump ship.

      • 0 avatar
        Lie2me

        When the Commander came out it was definitely Jeep’s low point under Daimler, I heard the Commander is what German engineers thought Americans wanted in an SUV. They were wrong. I think Jeep has redeemed themselves, but there are a lot of good crossover/SUVs to choose from. Once a car company loses a customer it’s hard to get them back

        • 0 avatar
          rudiger

          In Daimler’s defense, the Hummer was a big thing back in the early 2000s. And then there was the Mercedes Gelandewagen. So, at the time, the Commander, as poorly designed and impractical as it was, made sense in that regard. Of particular note was the tiny, third row seat in which no ordinary-sized adult human could fit (unless they had no legs).

          Unfortunately, in typical Chrysler fashion, the timing was horrible as the Commander began hitting Jeep showrooms at the exact moment Hurricane Katrina began wreaking havoc with gas prices. With the Commander getting fuel mileage in the low teens (if not single digits), combined with all the other negatives, it never had a chance. They couldn’t give those things away (especially the V6 versions), even at fire-sale prices.

          • 0 avatar
            gearhead77

            Commander was introduced at the wrong time, much like another failed product, the Chrysler Aspen. The indifferent Chrysler build quality and thirsty engines did nothing to help either vehicles case. The Aspen Hybrid was a few years too early and suffered all the ills of the base vehicle too.

          • 0 avatar
            rudiger

            In addition to the Aspen, Chrysler had another, similar loser in the Dodge Nitro. It was based on the Liberty but, without the Jeep cache, all of the Liberty’s flaws were brought to the forefront. The rather bland styling of the Nitro was the final nail.

            Chrysler has a long history of trying to badge-engineer a successful model to another division which then goes nowhere. One of my favorites was the original Chrysler Cordoba. It was a terrific success (one of the few for Chrysler in the seventies) but the nearly identical Dodge Charger sold only a fraction of the Cordoba. The problem was the Charger history was generally considered a performance car and couldn’t make the transition to personal luxury the way a Chrysler could.

      • 0 avatar
        ttacgreg

        Just in time for Ford to jump on that ship with the Bronco.

  • avatar
    karonetwentyc

    Pontiac Fiero. Always wanted one from when they were launched in 1984, and then I drove one. It wasn’t so much the dynamics that put me off – those can be tweaked – but something that never seemed like it would be an issue: the instrument binnacle.

    GM went as cheap on Fiero instrumentation as they did just about everything else they were cranking out at the time, and the approach of a blandly-vertical dash with instruments stuck in it as though they were put there with the aid of a hole saw just let the entire car down for me. It may seem like a relatively trivial thing to be disappointed by, but for as many times as I’ve tried to work around that, I just can’t seem to do it.

    • 0 avatar
      ttacgreg

      Good one. The Fiero was frustrating to my mind. The original had absolutely knockout, timeless stying, simply a pleasure to visually behold. but the machine underneath was an awkward, cobbled together bastard stepchild from the parts and platform bin. Then they got the mechanical side worked out in later models, but concurrently completely ruined the styling.

      • 0 avatar
        karonetwentyc

        It’s funny, but I’m also a fan of the original snub-nosed cars. Changing that out for the Pontiac Corporate Beak for a couple of years was not an improvement in my book, though I have gradually come to accept the 1988 bodystyle as mostly tolerable these days.

        There’s a 1988 Fiero that’s been sitting in a local driveway for at least three years at this point, clearly a project that somebody stopped working on some time ago. Every time I go by I have to restrain myself from stopping and asking about the car, because a dilapidated-but-complete one would make a good starting point for a 3.8-litre conversion, and the ’88 already has the decent suspension.

    • 0 avatar
      DungBeetle62

      I valet parked during the early 1990s and had wondered about getting one of the “after they fixed it, before they killed it” 1988s and one look at that dashboard… no way in hell. I’m tallish and while I fit in the seat, the gauges pointed at my gut. Did not help that the one I drove had a manual with as much side-to-side slop in gear as in the neutral part of the gate.

  • avatar

    I, too, liked the looks of the T-Bird, but never got the chance to drive one. I did test drive a PT Cruiser as it held the appeal of utility with a look that I liked. Since the test drive was not “extensive” the only thing I came away with was it felt like I was setting “up high” like a pickup. I was driving an 84 Shelby Charger at the time so that may be partly to blame for the feel. Compared to most of the folks who comment here, I am not so hung up on the “fit and finish” side if I like the looks of a vehicle. I can overlook those things if I am smitten with the design. The Fiero was a desirable for a time for me also. Was it the ’86 model that was felt to be “up to snuff”? I’d still like one – if it was 1986 – just due to the looks. I am sincerely glad there are those folks who care about the stuff that I don’t care about as much. It gives me an idea of what I may deal with realistically if I choose to own such a vehicle.

    • 0 avatar
      Lichtronamo

      My dad had a 2002 T-Bird. Was a nice cruiser but the car got scary at plus-legal speeds on interstates. Loose steering and floaty. Good for what it was however and a nice niche car.

    • 0 avatar
      el scotto

      @THX1136 My mom had a 55 T-bird in college. Then she met dad, got married and was hauling me around in a Galaxie convertible. Nice thing about having a fighter pilot husband/dad: it has to have the biggest engine possible. Fast forward to 2002. Mom looked at a new T-Bird and decided to keep her Miata. The old fighter pilot is mostly interested in fast golf carts these days. Mom got another 55 T-bird in daily driver shape after her last grandchild got his masters. Now when ford was putting truck engines in passenger cars all was good in the Blue Oval universe.

  • avatar
    Gregg

    The Thunderbird sold well for what it was. It was not a flop. It was Ford who had unrealistic ideas about projected sales numbers. This was an expensive 2 seater, in a shrinking category even back then. Two door coupes even with a back seat were beginning to be on their way out, as a redesign didn’t get more than an 18 month boost before sales fell off. A car like the Mustang could buck this trend, but few nameplates that used to have a two door coupe option has kept it. Even Mercedes is going to abandon the C, E and S coupes going forward. But two seaters? They get an even smaller audience. Ford learned that lession by putting in a back seat in 1858, causing sales to soar. Sales also got a boost when they reduced the price and bulk in 1977. But apparently Ford forgets its own history. The 2002 Thunderbird should have been seen as a niche or halo model. If they wanted more sales, they should have installed a back seat, or made it into a 4 door “coupe.”

    • 0 avatar
      rudiger

      Personally, I think the thing that sealed the retro-Thunderbird’s fate was outrageous dealership gouging. At a more resonable price, Ford might have actually had a shot at getting closer to projected sales numbers. But with the ADM that dealers were tacking on, there were lots of stories of new Thunderbirds being (in industry parlance) ‘nailed to the showroom floor’ for years.

    • 0 avatar
      Dave M.

      I was surprised they didn’t use the Mustang chassis for a 4-place T-Bird; I also though they could have used the chassis for a new Cougar before Mercury exited. It wouldn’t have cost much to lux up the interior and add new fenders and endcaps.

  • avatar
    redgolf

    That would be a 1980 Buick Skylark, X car, I had a silver one on order with a $50 deposit, well I was working for Dana Corp. in Michigan, had 12 years with them then the bottom fell out , Dana closed our plant, the dealer called me and said the car I ordered was in, I had to tell him I can’t except it and could I please come and get my $50 back, “sure no problem, we won’t have any problem selling it”! How disappointed I was as I knew of 2 friends that had bought one. Little did I know how that would save me from a miserable ownership experience!

  • avatar
    Gregg

    The Thunderbird sold well for what it was. It was not a flop. It was Ford who had unrealistic ideas about projected sales numbers. This was an expensive 2 seater, in a shrinking category even back then. Two door coupes even with a back seat were beginning to be on their way out, as a redesign didn’t get more than an 18 month boost before sales fell off. A car like the Mustang could buck this trend, but few nameplates that used to have a two door coupe option has kept it. Even Mercedes is going to abandon the C, E and S coupes going forward. But two seaters? They get an even smaller audience. Ford learned that lession by putting in a back seat in 1858, causing sales to soar. Sales also got a boost when they reduced the price and bulk in 1977. But apparently Ford forgets its own history. The 2002 Thunderbird should have been seen as a niche or halo model. If they wanted more sales, they should have installed a back seat, or made it into a 4 door “coupe.”

    • 0 avatar
      rudiger

      Sadly, the Thunderbird’s failure killed what arguably could have been a success, and that was the Mercury Marauder convertible. Ford had went so far as to build a very nice looking prototype but plans for production were quickly shelved when the Thunderbird fizzled.

      Ironically, a similar thing happened over at GM with the unlamented SSR convertible-pickup and Bel-Air concept car. Bob Lutz had a very nice, quasi-Tri-Five convertible built but, instead of putting that into production, went with the weird SSR which, like the Thunderbird and Plymouth Prowler, just didn’t go anywhere.

      Speaking of the SSR, it might have had a chance if it weren’t for that expensive, electric folding hardtop. If GM had offered a much cheaper, non-folding top version, things might have turned out differently.

      That’s the real killer of these failed retro-mobiles: price. The manufacturers all try to go for the big score right away, and it keeps buyers away in droves. An example of how to do it correctly is the PT Cruiser. That one was priced well within the means of ordinary consumers and, as mediocre as it might have been, it sold in terrific numbers until the novelty wore off.

  • avatar
    Vulpine

    The photo at the top clearly emphasizes my disgust at what Ford did with the ‘throwback’ Thunderbird. It carried none of the classic lines and only gave lip service to the one feature that made the old Thunderbird a classic. I would far rather have the original version over the newer one that failed so miserably.

    But Ford isn’t alone. My wife and I fell in love with the Chrysler PT Cruiser… until I drove it. After test driving many similar type vehicles, including the Toyota Matrix (and its Pontiac twin) and even the Pontiac Aztek, I ended up purchasing an all-new model: the Saturn Vue. With a similar L4 engine to the others the Vue just felt stronger and quicker than all of them and gave us 13 years of reliable service before we sold it to the in-Laws. They, too, were surprised by the performance and the economy…my Father-in-Law actually amazed that he didn’t need to buy gas as often as his other vehicles despite having a smaller tank than those others.

    Every brand has disappointed at one time or another but those are my most significant ones.

  • avatar
    la834

    The Honda CR-Z was hyped as the return of the CRX, now with hybrid efficiency, but lacked the appeal and sportiness of either generation of CR-X hatchbacks. I was also a bit disappointed with the Fiat 124 Spider, which somehow was simultaneously too much like the Miata, not enough like the Miata, and not enough like the old 124 Spider.

  • avatar
    threeer

    Surprisingly, the new Mazda MX-5 RF. Love the idea, but took the keys from one that was at my (then) local VW/Mazda dealership a few months ago and was disappointed at how rough it felt. I came close years ago to buying an NB Miata, and I get that they are supposed to be sharp handlers, but that RF just felt punishing to me.

    Second disappointment…the reborn Camaro, especially the first iteration. Just could not get over what I thought was Playskool interior design and build.

  • avatar
    theflyersfan

    Building with the Bond theme here, I would have to go with the 1st gen/model year Z3. I too fell in love with it after seeing Goldeneye (and my circle of friends was just as addicted to the N64 game as Tim was). The exterior was beautiful, the interior was well styled…but it left me very cold after the first drive. Why? The 1.8L 4-cyl. It didn’t have the right sounds, the right feel, or enough get-up-and-go. It was well mated to the stick shift, but the engine couldn’t back up what the exterior promised.
    Eventually it got the smooth 6 cylinder engines, and it could back up the looks with the right powertrain. But to start out with the weaker 4-cylinder engines was not the right decision in my mind.

  • avatar
    eggsalad

    Somebody has to say “New Beetle”, so I will. It was pretty much a Golf or Jetta, with less practicality, with a body vaguely reminiscent of Hitler saying, “You will make this work, or I will send you to the camps”.

    • 0 avatar
      SCE to AUX

      Agreed.

      In 2002, I visited the dealer planning to buy a Beetle, but it was too short on knee room and the back seat was a joke. Then I test drove the Jetta, and it was just a bit small. I ended up getting the Passat V6 (a poor ownership experience).

      So much for nostalgia.

    • 0 avatar
      gearhead77

      The 2nd generation New Beetle (?) felt much improved on the space utilization and bringing the feel of the original Beetle to the new one. I liked the wheels that look like the original steelies on the 2nd gen car. But still too much of a compromise to steer me, personally, from the Golf I did buy.

      Unfortunately, the Beetle suffered from the same problem some of the cars that will likely be mentioned in this thread did: The second gen couldn’t capture the magic or sales of the first gen because those who wanted one already bought one and wouldn’t buy another for whatever reason. Or the first gen did so poorly that a second gen wasn’t coming.

      We all know late 90’s, early 2000’s VW products had their issues for quality too, which would chase away sales.

      See also Scion Xb. Toyota had a decent hit with its first gen box, but no one bought the second gen. I test drove a second gen Xb “Release edition” with a bunch of TRD stuff already installed. It just wasn’t as fun as it should have been, but the utility was there. Kia has done a decent job with the Soul in comparison.

      • 0 avatar
        Dave M.

        I agree – the New Beetle did nothing for me except maybe a twinge of happiness VW chose to bring it out, but the new generation was much more cohesively designed IMO. Especially in dark colors it looked like an early model 911. On the New Beetle I thought the 36″ long dashtop was a big sacrifice to the altar of style.

    • 0 avatar
      Erikstrawn

      I just sold my ’06 Beetle TDI. What a turd. No more VWs for me.

      I was going to say the Chrysler Crossfire really disappointed, not because of performance, but just because they were overpriced, didn’t sell well enough for affordable used examples to make it to market, and don’t seem to have had enough reliability to garner any kind of respect. I rode in one once and it was reasonably quick and comfortable.

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    The entire short-lived Scion brand did that for me.

    I owned an 05 xB1 (5-spd) for 7 years, and it remains one of the best cars I’ve ever had.

    But the bloated xB2 was a major departure from the lean theme of the Scion brand, and even Toyota didn’t know what the brand should be. Supposedly marketed to first-time buyers, it was actually middle-agers like me who bought Scions.

    After I moved on from the xB1, the brand had nothing novel to offer. Buyers responded with silence, and the brand folded.

    • 0 avatar
      eggsalad

      I loved my xB1 in town, but hated it on the highway, where it felt thrashy and underpowered. Now that I’ve learned the xD was basically the same platform but with more engine (I know, I’m slow) I kinda have my eyes open for a clean used one.

      • 0 avatar
        SCE to AUX

        I could tolerate 2 hours of highway in the xB1. I once had to drive it 10 hours in one day and it nearly killed me. Thankfully, I had installed the aftermarket cruise control.

    • 0 avatar
      Dale Houston

      I had a 2005 XB with the 5-speed until about 2011 when it went to my stepson.

      It was perfectly fine to drive and held a genuine crap-ton of stuff. Maybe not great on the highway, but I did a few road trips in it.

      I replaced the back latch twice, and one really cold winter ice build up dragged some of the electrical cables down to the ground. Also it liked turning on the check engine light and turning off the stability control and traction control in the middle of the rain or a snowstorm. Which was hilarious.

      • 0 avatar
        SCE to AUX

        I had that trifecta of lights occur several times, until I traced the root cause to the trailing O2 sensor (of all things). It was the only bad part on the car, and the problem never recurred after I replaced it.

  • avatar
    JMII

    The new Supra. Turn out to be just an ugly BMW.

  • avatar
    ajla

    0. Cadillac ATS. If you go way back to when this was announced my comments show that I was looking forward to it. In actual production trim, I could forgive some of the issues, but for the prices GM wanted I couldn’t forgive all of the issues.

    1. FRS/BRZ. The TTAC coverage got me pretty hyped up. I wasn’t expecting it to be the king of the quarter mile, but I also wasn’t expecting it to be slower than an Avalon.

    2. Mazda6 Signature. I know it has its fans on here but at least with the one I drove it didn’t come off as particularly fast, particularly sporty or particularly well built.

    3. ’10-19 Taurus SHO. I know these can be tuned to turn in ridiculous drag strip times, but it really should have been call the “Taurus Limited Ecoboost” because it wasn’t built to be much of an enthusiast car.

    • 0 avatar
      el scotto

      @ ajla Dad had a baby blue with white interior Bonneville convertible. pimp-tastic and a car that was bought the yard. At Pontiac’s sad demise the Bonneville was some plastic clad thing stuffed with gee-gaws and general gimrackery. The ATS was a continuation on GM’s theme of it’s as good as a BMW, no really! No, neither cars could spend fours straight on the Autobahn, not no how not no way. Full disclosure: I almost bought a CPO ATS.

  • avatar
    gearhead77

    I haven’t driven one, but the Gladiator is not the small truck I wanted. Egress and sitting inside of one reminds me why I don’t like Wranglers, as does the sticker price, even with the discounts now. I don’t off-road, so that all means nothing to me. I can get a really well equipped Ranger 4×4 with a 6′ bed for the basic cost of a Gladiator Sport shortbox. But at 7/8’s size of a full-size truck, I don’t really dig the Ranger or the GM twins either.

    There were 2wd Comanche pick-ups in the 80’s, I’d prefer something like that but I know I’m a minority too. Make small trucks smaller and cheaper again. Hell, for my purposes, bring back El Camino, Ranchero or even Dodge Rampage or VW Caddy.

  • avatar
    Lou_BC

    Pretty much any domestic car in the 1970’s was a disappointment after the peak muscle car era of the 60’s.
    If one looks at pickups, I wasn’t a fan of much in the 80’s since 1979 was the last year of the straight axle in Ford pickups. Emission sh!t of that era hit pickups later than cars.

  • avatar
    conundrum

    Subaru BRZ. Well, I suppose the Scion FR-S, actually, since it was the first one of the type I got to drive. I followed the online hype for six months until I got to drive the thing on May 31, 2012, just a few months before my retirement. I was going to have one for pleasure and fun. Got myself all excited. C/D’s Robinson said it was a home run. Sure. EVO soon blew the lid on the piece of crap. Haven’t trusted Toyota since. Like the “new” IS350 reveal a couple of months ago — absolutely nothing to see there, folks, old wine in a slightly new bottle. But the pre-release hype promised Godzilla.

    I arrived for the FR-S test drive in my 2008 Subaru LGT. The dumb young salesman managed to bark the FR-S tires from rest, trying to impress me. Wow, dude, completely heroic. He said he had to drive the car off the lot and onto the road for insurance reasons, a complete crock of sh!te. Then he stopped and I assumed the driver’s seat. Within a 100 yards up the long grade I’d never ever before noticed on city streets to the urban expressway, I discovered a completely anemic engine that couldn’t pull the skin off a rice pudding in third at 30 to 40 mph. Once on the freeway all I heard was a bucket of bolts engine, and a periodic zizz-zizz overtone that sounded like an old VW Beetle engine in distress. No juice whatsoever, either. Foot flat to the floor at 55 to 60 mph in fourth made so little difference except in noise, it was a joke. Left at the next exit and explored a subdivision I knew. I put on a total of five miles and I knew that weedwhacker motor wasn’t for me after the first 1000 feet. Disappointment doesn’t even begin to cover my feelings.

    I’d been driving for damn near 50 years by then, owned all manuals but two, and I’d much prefer any of my older cars. Compared to the LGT, the BR-Z was a limp wrist cheapie. Compared to my old ’90 Eagle Talon TSi AWD, it was a complete joke.

    The BS excuses from fanbois flew far and wide from that time on and has continued ever since. The old momentum theory beloved of owners of 1954 MG TD’s with 52 hp and a scarf trailing in the wind was floated by people too young to have a clue what they were nattering about. Give me a break. The car is useless for everyday fun use. It has no get up and go. There’s two in my subdivision, both driven by a Daddy’s girl at minor speeds like a Corolla, which is what it is but with sporty clothes.

    For an enthusiast, the engine makes the car, and the BRZ engine was and is a dud. I subsequently test drove two actual BRZ’s over a period of six months at my Subie dealer. You know, just to make sure I wasn’t dreaming. I was not. Biggest letdown of all time for me. Overhype and underdeliver, that’s Toyota for you so far as I’m concerned. If you want to plod around like the common herd and talk about resale value, they make star non-mobiles. Oh what a feeling. Not.

  • avatar
    DenverMike

    That T-Bird was priced basically the same as the SVT Cobra and Lightning F-150 sitting across the same showroom.

    Its 0-60 (later years) was similar to automatic 5.0 Fox Mustang convertibles with much better handling/brakes. I’d like to get one and see how it would react to 4.10 gears in it. Cheap fun probably.

  • avatar
    SilverCoupe

    1984 Isuzu Impulse. A beautiful exterior design by Giorgetto Giugiaro, but nothing to back it up underneath. A turbo version came out eventually, but I could not wait that long, and got a Chrysler Laser instead.

  • avatar
    nrd515

    The “retro” T-Bird is #1 on my list of failures. Partially because of the ridiculous dealer markups it had at the beginning, but mostly because IMHO, the styling was a colossal dud. So many things wrong with it, the weird line along the bottom of it, the weird melted cheese look in general, and of course, the missing EYEBROWS the original had. A neighbor bought one and kept it looking like new, and got a little more than average KBB price when he finally figured out it wasn’t going to be the jackpot he thought it would be. His was black, the best color for a turd.

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    For me it is the new Ford Ranger which is bigger and more expensive. Not a bad truck but it is just too big and a turbo 4 although quick is not something I would want to own for the long haul.

  • avatar
    ponchoman49

    The 1999 New Beetle with it’s dog underperforming oil using Mexico engines
    The BRZ that my current V6 Impala family car will out accelerate.
    The new ugly BMW Supra with automatic only

    In this order

  • avatar
    gsdupont

    2004-2006 Pontiac GTO. I know it’s a Holden Monaro but the styling was horrendous and should never have been called a GTO. The G8 corrected that problem.

    1978-1983 Dodge Challenger. What a horrendous POS that was. Just google it.

    1983-1987 Dodge Charger. See comment above regarding the 78-83 Challenger.

    • 0 avatar
      Funky D

      Styling aside, the GTO was still a great muscle car in every sense of the word, except that it had handling to match its horsepower. The REAL disappointment was how quickly GM abandoned it in the parts department. Otherwise, I’d still be driving the one I bought new.

  • avatar
    -Nate

    A few years back (on that _other_ site I think) I asked about the failed transmission in my buddy’s PT Cruiser he’d bought new .

    He loved the car but was badly caught in the failing economy, (mostly his own stupidity truth be known) , he held onto it and now has a $3,500 rebuilt tranny and still loves it .

    I think the worst turd I ever polished was a 1962 VW #151 DeLuxe convertible we pulled out of a field, I used discarded speed limit signs to replace the gone missing (rusted out) floors and repainted it the original forest green, fell in love with the damned thing and kept it as a daily driver…

    _RUST_NEVER_SLEEPS_ plus it causes all manner of weirdness few Mechanics ever encounter, it’s a wonder I have any hair left .

    -Nate

  • avatar
    DungBeetle62

    Had a friend who was with Microsoft at the peak time it was cool to be with them. I was going to buy his 1994 Accord Coupe because he was moving uptown to the BMW dealership. He took me along for the afternoon of test driving various permutations of 3-Series. I could not have bene more disappointed in the M3. I’d owned a 1978 Camaro and while it did have shocks and springs when you looked beneath, I can’t believe they had anything to do with the suspension or ride of that vehicle. Like the 1978 Camaro, the M3 rode as if the wheels were bolted directly to the car (though it DID corner better). Cost was no object for my friend (remember : Microsoft) but when asked for my opinion I favored the 328is with the sport package. “If I had to have that M3 as my daily driver I’d shoot myself”

    Although within 2 months he bought a boat. And than bought a Dodge Ram to pull it with, so maybe the M3 would’ve worked for him?

    But that Accord Coupe did not disappoint. Holy smoke that was a great car.

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  • el scotto: Which business traveler hotel chain will be the 1st to put in chargers and advertise that fact? All of the...
  • Carrera: Oh boy, I see an acute need for tow trucks all of a sudden. There will be some dead cars on the side of the...
  • deanst: The point is – why sell to rental if you have great consumer demand? Is asking for logical consistency...
  • Superdessucke: Proud of Hertz. Proud of Tesla. Just hope it’s embraced nationwide and not a case of go woke go...

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  • Adam Tonge
  • Bozi Tatarevic
  • Corey Lewis
  • Mark Baruth
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