Thursday, February 15, 2007

What's the Ugliest Car?

Beauty is subjective. But as usual, you're at the right place to get the CORRECT opinion!
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Although cars look much more "alike" in 2007 than they did in, say, 1967, there is still a wide variety of car-looks to tempt discriminating car shoppers. (Unlike in China and Russia, where all the cars look alike, and are all painted primer gray. And except for the ballerinas and figure skaters, all their women look alike and are painted primer gray. Hahahahahaha!) (God Bless America!)

The ugly-car champion for years and years was the AMC Pacer. Surely the undeniable ugliness of the vehicle landed it a part in the movie "Wayne's World." Remember the classic scene where Wayne and Garth are laying on the hood of the Pacer, staring up at the starlit sky and spouting deep thoughts? Actually, talking about a babe… and Garth gives her the ultimate compliment by saying, "If she were a president, she would be Baberaham Lincoln." But I digress.

In my (correct) opinion, the Ugly-Car Crown was finally snatched away from the Pacer, by the Pontiac Aztek, in the late '90s or thereabouts. Criminy – whoever(s) designed the Aztek should be flippin' burgers with Kevin Federline! What were they THINKING? It looks like an ugly car on top of some kind of weird ugly-car box-spring foundation. (A comparison might be made with the boxy little Scion… but its ugliness has a certain ugly-duckling appeal. GM went WAY beyond "cute-ugly" with the Aztek.)

But – they sold some. They also DIDN'T sell a lot of 'em… my brother-in-law Steve, who travels extensively, says they were a staple of the rental car fleets for a long time… you had to pay extra for a non-Aztek. (The more self-conscious renters were willing to pay the difference… particularly those who were worried that they might see somebody they knew while driving.) Thankfully, I believe General Motors dropped the model, although they continue to lose billion$ every year – obviously Aztek Collateral Damage.

HONORABLE MENTION goes to another vehicle… the noisiest, stinkiest, and likely widest. The Dodge Mega-Cab Diesel Dually pickup. You can hear it comin' a half-mile before it arrives. (Sounds a little like a Massey-Ferguson tractor.) You can smell it a half-mile after it's gone. (Belches black smoke like, and smells like, an Allis-Chalmers.) And the thing is almost 21 feet long, and 8 feet wide! (An 8-foot wide vehicle in a 10-foot-wide traffic lane… do the math!)

NOTE – I'm only addressing factory-stock vehicles here. There are people – kids, mostly – who take a decent-looking vehicle and deliberately make it ugly by putting a big ol' aluminum carrying handle / "wing" on the back, cover it with cheap plastic J.C. Whitney ornamentation, replace a couple quarter-panels with a different color, etc. There are also people who spend thousands to make their vehicles even noisier than the Dodge Mega-Diesel. Maybe somebody's out there trying to make his vehicle even stinkier, too!

If you drive a Pontiac Aztek… I'm sorry! My advice to you would be to drive it off a cliff, then call the cops and tell 'em somebody stole it!

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