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The Worst Cars in History

Rows of cars headlights.

The automobile industry has produced some engineering marvels with cars that are so top-notch that it disrupts the entire industry. However, out of the many excellent cars produced by this industry, there have been some that makes one wonder how such a car even exists with their hideous and ghastly aspects. Many reasons exist behind certain cars receiving the title of one of the worst in history including poor features & engineering, unjustified prices, deficient implementation, ugly look, but most importantly, having a product-oriented view which means completely disregarding the view of the consumers and failing to incorporate it in the planning and production process of the car. 

The list of the worst in the history of cars is unfortunately quite long and that made it tough for us to pick. In this article, we are going to discuss the lemons of the automobile industry and the reasons behind them being so poor. Be ready to cringe. So, without further ado, here is the list of the most woeful cars in the history.

Ford Pinto

The Ford Pinto was born in 1970 and ran from 1971 to 1980 with its model years and offered three body styles with a two-door sedan, a three-door hatchback, and a two-door station wagon. Over its life, Ford produced around three million units. It is a part of this lemons’ list because of a deadly flaw in safety features which the engineering departments completely missed out on. 

The reputation of the Ford Pinto dwindled after its deadly fuel tank design which caused several fires that proved to be fatal. This design fault attracted the attention of regulators, media, and the consumers. The fuel tank, because of its design, ruptured on impact when the car was involved in a rear-end collision. However, following some surveys, it was concluded that the Ford Pinto was similar to its competitors and therefore it was Ford’s ethics that were called into question. Nevertheless, the Ford Pinto, due to its fatal design flaw, is one of the lemons of this industry.

1975-1981 Triumph TR7

Triumph TR7 is one of the many bad cars that were produced in the UK during the period between the seventies and the eighties. The Triumph TR7 was a sports-car produced between the years 1975 til 1981. Triumph TR7 was known for its poor quality and unreliability because of the many persistent issues that existed in all its yearly models.

The 105-horsepower engine of the sports car did not live up to its name and had performance issues in addition to reliability. Moreover, the coil suspension had issues with both front and rear suspension and added to the host of issues this horrendous car had. Triumph also used Lucas’ electronic parts which were also known for their poor reliability and quality standards which again added to the overall unreliable reputation that this car held. 

Moving on, the Triumph TR7 had a very poor quality and a bad interior with cheap looking plastic and unstable dashboard with almost little to no storage space in the interior. Aside from this, the engine of this car started to overheat as the car neared high speeds as tested by Motor und Sport; this information was kept confidential for over nineteen days and the manufacturer knew about this but failed to disclose this to the public and the users. And, lastly, there were many issues with the management and the factory workers which led to strikes and poor quality of the car. All in all, the Triumph TR7 has a justified reputation of being one of the lemons of the auto industry.

1982-1988 Cadillac Cimarron

The Cadillac Cimarron was a part of the entry luxury cars category and was produced between 1982 and 1988 and targeted to provide a tough time to other similar entry-level luxury cars which were imported to the United States from Europe. It was a 4-door sedan with a four-cylinder and 4 & 5 speed manual and 3 speed automatic transmissions with variations in the Engine as well with different models. The Cimarron was discontinued due to its poor sales with many reasons.

Firstly, the interior of this car gave off claustrophobic feelings as the seats’ size was too inappropriate for the shape of the car and this was primarily due to Cadillac’s poor planning and execution of this car. Moreover, it was simply a Chevy Cavalier with some changes and was rebadged. The engines of the different models of the Cimarron were underpowered as compared to the 125-horsepower engines of the time and the transmissions were limited.

Another issue with the Cimarron, perhaps one of the significant ones, was its retail price as it was set too high at $12,000 as compared to other entry-level cars such as the BMW 320i and Audi 5000 which were all better choices. The $12,000 were double of the Chevy Cavalier with some additional features that also failed to justify the price difference. All in all, too high of price, underpowered engines, re-badged Cavalier, and squish brakes all led to this car being in the worst cars in the history of cars.

1958-1960 Edsel

The Ford Edsel was doomed to fail as the planning and execution was completely poor and became the primary reason behind its downfall. The Edsel was a brand launched by Ford to capture more market share than its rivals Chrysler and General Motors. There were so many faults and errors with this car that many historians and business analysts have formed different theories behind its failure and is one of the favorite business case studies of Bill Gates. 

One of the primary issues with the Edsel was its marketing and perception, so much so that products with poor marketing are nicknamed “Edsels”. The vehicle was advertised with blurred glimpses of the car and as E-Car which confused the consumers about what to expect and most of them thought it would be a car of the future. Aside from this, the concept of this car was never tested with consumers as this was especially important because of the radical style this car had. The name of the car was quite poor as well even though the advertising firm came up with 6,000 names, the name failed to provide a perceptive brand image to its potential customers and caused a lot of confusion.

Besides the poor marketing strategies, the launch of the Edsel was at the wrong time. An economic recession began in end of 1957 and therefore reduced the chances of success. Moreover, the pricing was too high as it was priced near to the Mercury. In addition, the medium-priced market segment that Edsel was entering had been shrinking and many other competitors were facing financial losses. It also had design flaws and reliability issues with the engine and quality control. In a nutshell, a car that deserves to be on this lemons’ list. Besides the Edsel, here are some other worst cars made in the 1950s.

Reliant Robin

The Reliant Robin was produced between 1973 till 1983. This car had a very interesting look with the three-wheels, the front single wheel was for steering while the duo at the rear were for driving the engine. It had a 850 cc engine that provided top speeds of 85 mph and had relatively good economy mileage. However, the Reliant Robin was a constant butt of jokes from many comedians including The Bean show and others for not only its weird look but other issues as well.

The primary issue was the safety, this was because of a single front wheel which caused the propensity of rolling to increase and required expert drivers who were cautious and skilled enough. Moreover, there were many reliability issues with this car which included leaky trunks, poor quality dashboard, and others. The speed was quite slow because of the front single wheel as it could go up to only 85 mph. All in all, a car that was unsafe and dangerous for regular drivers and therefore it was also named the worst car of Britain. 


The automobile industry is full of hideous and ugly cars which disgust the enthusiasts and are complete nightmares. We can see that there is a common reason behind most of the cars listed here which was poor quality control, reliability issues, and poor planning & implementation. We would like to also bring to your attention that the list here of the lemons is our opinion and based on significant research.

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