Fifty Ugliest Cars of the Past Fifty Years, according to Business Week

Here at Hooniverse, we really have no respect for publications that stray from their area of expertise. Take this pictorial from Business Week highlighting Fifty of the ugliest cars of the past fifty years, in we object to some of the entries on this list. (Thanks to Rob in Ocala for the tip!) Make the jump and see if you agree with us….

Credit: Wikimedia/IFCAR

There seems to be a lot of ugly vehicles that we can all agree on like the Pontiac Aztek, the Citroën Ami, The Suzuki X-90, and the Honda Element. But when Business Week starts off with the Chevrolet El Camino, you have to wonder about the rest of the list.

Credit: Wikimedia/CZMarlin


Business Week also had the audacity to name the Gremlin as one of the 50 ugly cars. I’ll admit, its not for everyone, but c’mon man….

Credit: Wikimedia/Thomas Doerfer


The experiment from Canada, the Bricklin SV-1, was also named as one of the 50 ugly cars. How about one of the 50 most awesome cars….

Credit: Wikimedia/Nicholas Wourms


This should insult everyone who is a regular Hooniverse reader. Business Week named the Volvo 240 as one of the cars in the list of ugly cars. Now I can’t take this list seriously at all.

Credit: Wikimedia/CZMarlin


Same goes for the Lagonda…… This was so ahead of its time, and awesome by the way…

Credit: Wikimedia/Subaru Bratman


They also named the Subaru Brat as ugly… So Ugly, you can’t help but take it home with you…

Credit: Wikimedia/LSOSL


The DeLorean DMC-12 was also included as one of the ugly cars. How can you not like the Stainless Steel wonder from Northern Ireland?

Credit: Wikimedia/Tony Harrison


And can you really take a list seriously when they include the Awesome LM002?

Credit: Wikimedia/CZMarlin


Let me know what you think of the list, and what are the other cars you may or may not agree with Business Week.

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  1. IronBallsMcG Avatar

    I anxiously await the Hooniverse analysis of the Q1 technicals and their market implications.

    1. Deartháir Avatar

      I should totally start writing that article…

  2. rtfact32 Avatar

    – Ahem –
    I love the 240. It's square, boxy, purposeful. Exactly like the Honda Element…another vehicle that falls squarely into the Hoonsastic world…mine even has a five-speed and steelies…
    It's at least as comely as the Gremlin…
    I think a retraction is in order…

    1. Deartháir Avatar

      Keep in mind, Jim is listing off the cars he doesn't think belong on the Ugly Car List… just in case anyone missed that. 🙂

  3. TurboBrick Avatar

    Businessweek writers and readers obviously don't have as refined palates as we do. I made it through the first 10 entries and stopped. That Mustang II piece was nothing but a hack job and completely forgets that the Torina/Granada and LTD of the same age were much uglier AND forgettable.

  4. P161911 Avatar

    Seems for about half of them they are confusing ugly looks with just bad car. I have never found the Chevette, Yugo, or Pinto to be ugly. Horrible cars maybe (even that's debatable for the Pinto) but not especially ugly.

    1. Maymar Avatar

      I'd even suggest the Chevette was about as good as the Pinto – supermarket cashiers needed a way to get to work.
      I'd also banish any car from the list that was unattractive solely on account of being small or simple. I get the Gremlin/Pacer because they were almost deliberately weird. On the other hand, cars which just weren't styled (which seems to be a large portion of this list( is unfair – it's like complaining about the fast food meals with the worst presentation.

      1. tonyola Avatar

        The Chevette was simple, cheap to run, and pretty tough – have to give it that much.

      2. patrick Avatar

        I would also put out there that the particular Pacer in the article, with all the dressings, is on down the road toward ugly, but that the basic design is way too interesting to be called ugly.

  5. 240 on the DL Avatar
    240 on the DL

    Look for 50 Best Looking Cars to be published in Cosmo next week, including the Porsche Panamera and the Cadillac Escalade.

  6. tiberiusẅisë Avatar

    I love ugly cars and am proud of it.

  7. OA5599 Avatar

    So the Prowler, which went into production because enough consumers saw the concept car and asked "When can I buy one?" and was designed by someone noted for his design sensibilities is one of the 50 ugliest of the half-century, but the Tercel wagon is MIA?
    <img src="; width=500>

    1. dukeisduke Avatar

      The car with the ATM on the back!

    2. austinminiman Avatar

      I still can't figure out where to enter my PIN.

      1. OA5599 Avatar

        Post it here, along with your account number. I'm sure someone will help figure it out.

  8. muthalovin Avatar

    I thought when I first clicked on over that the list would be really bad, but scrolling through, each car that Jim presented, I got angrier and angrier. RRRAAAAAWWWRRRRR.
    Business week has no business determining the handsomeness or ugliness of anything. Ever. So fuck them, anyhow.

  9. alcology Avatar

    I inherently don't trust a list of ugly cars from a magazine that doesn't have a list of 50 best looking cars. And the best car feature every year shows pictures of bland cars. Plus this is like Golf Magazine doing a list rundown on the best running shoes. Which is funny because the author wrote an article about the top 25 coolest sneaker designs of 2009. In fact about half this guys articles for business week are just list articles. I'm not bashing you Damian, I just hope this article paid a good portion of your rent or bought you that late 2006 camry you've been lusting after. In all seriousness, everyone here wants to know the car you lust after, what is it Damian!

    1. mdharrell Avatar

      I don't normally go by my middle name, but okay, I'll answer the question. From that list, it's the Lightburn Zeta, followed closely by the Ami. After that, it's essentially a tossup between the Bond and the CitiCar. Had it been any other Bond besides the Bug, however, it would rank ahead of the Ami but still behind the Zeta.

      1. alcology Avatar

        I might've skipped something there. Damian Joseph wrote the article on BusinessWeek. It's not you. It's him. But very interesting information!

      2. Alff Avatar

        I'll give him one thumb up for knowing what a Lightburn Zeta is, and two middle fingers up for putting it on this list. At least he left the Lightburn Zeta Sports unsullied.

  10. tonyola Avatar

    Stupid and unknowing list. How could they leave off the 1978 Sbarro TAG Function Car?
    <img src="; width=500>

    1. Jim Brennan Avatar
      Jim Brennan

      That is one of the most Awesome Cars EVER………

    2. Jim Brennan Avatar
      Jim Brennan


  11. dukeisduke Avatar

    They should stick to business, and stay away from cars.
    Here's a little nugget: in the picture of the Ford Pinto, isn't the red car hiding behind it a Pangra? Does anyone else remember the Pangra?

    1. Joe Dunlap Avatar
      Joe Dunlap

      As a former owner of a Pinto, from 72 to 80, yes, I remember the Pangra kit. While it may have improved the aerodynamics (very debateable. Wind tunnel tests found the stock Pinto more aerodynamic in reverse) it certainly did nothing for its looks IMHO. The comments here I do generally agree with. Not a great car, but certainly not ugly. And yes, the gentleman, and I use the term in jest, who wrote this article, is a tool.
      /someone, PLEASE, get him off my lawn!/

    2. scoutdude Avatar

      I think it is a Pintera but yeah I noticed the dressed up Pinto.

  12. mdharrell Avatar

    None of my cars made the list. This is because, as I keep trying to explain, all of my cars are beautiful.

    1. dukeisduke Avatar

      Dude, none of mine made it either. Is that a good thing, or a bad thing?

  13. dukeisduke Avatar

    So what's wrong with the Skoda Roomster? Jeremy Clarkson liked it.

  14. P. Frere Avatar
    P. Frere

    It would have been a better use of Bloomberg/Businessweek’s resources to give us a list of the 50 ugliest cars in business terms. Ro80 that killed NSU? Beta that destroyed Lancia? I have never seen such an article and think it would be interesting. And then there is the opposite side of the coin–the most beautiful in business terms. What would be on that list?

    1. IronBallsMcG Avatar

      Great ideas.

  15. Rust-MyEnemy Avatar

    A ridiculous list clearly based on an office poll among non-enthusiasts. Total un-journalism and completely outside the remit of Business Week. Non motoring publications:- know your limits!
    Also, no Golba Violcar means instant fail and slaps around the chops for not-enough-research-ness.
    <img src="; width=400>

    1. PowerTryp Avatar

      I never knew they made a car for girls who want to overcompensate for small tits.

    2. Maxichamp Avatar

      Quick, Ace and Gary!

  16. Hopman Avatar

    Okay, they list the VW Thing.
    In my book, the Thing falls into the same "so ugly it's cute" catagory as the AMC Pacer. I want one.

  17. ZomBee Racer Avatar

    Ok, given the sampling I've just seen, I see no reason to actually go read the list. Half of it appears to be just parroting what has already been said, the other just arbitrarily made-up.
    Sure, the Gremlin and Pacer were oddities in their day, but half the cars on the road today use the same cues and are even weirder and uglier by the same standards. And a Brat?? Seriously. 3 out of 4 cars that pass my house are vurps. Brats aren't even close to being ugly.
    They say "Polarizing". I say "Lack of talent."

  18. rtfact32 Avatar

    Really? Everyone else on Hooniverse thinks the Element is ugly too?
    I may have to rethink my defection from that other jalopy related place…

    1. Deartháir Avatar

      Not everyone. I think they were poorly executed, but the design of them is just fine. (Need more powerful engine options and a better AWD system) Amber even owns one.

    2. skitter Avatar

      I like the later ones with reduced color-contrast…

      1. Brett MacPherson Avatar
        Brett MacPherson

        Seconded. The restyles made them really attractive. Its a shame it was too late.

    3. Jim-Bob Avatar

      I've always liked the Element because it is just so damn practical. The rubber floor and wide opening doors would make it fairly easy to haul engines with. I just don't like the fact that it uses that huge 2.4 litre engine and probably guzzles gas. However, if gas was under $2 a gallon I could definitely see myself using one as a parts runner/daily driver if I didn't have the Frontier.

  19. Cretony38 Avatar

    Too easy targets. Most of these are taken out of context by many decades. If compared to their contemporaries they were more in stride with all the the others from ugly eras. Slow news day?

    1. TurboBrick Avatar

      Well MSN had a headline today "Animals that can kill". Really???

  20. BlackIce_GTS Avatar

    The New Beetle? I loathe new beetles, but they aren't actually bad looking. That's a pretty flattering shot, as well.
    There's quite a few that I think are quite good looking, and even more that I wouldn't say are ugly, but I'll just single out the Prius. The first and third generations are horrible, why did the author pick the second? I really like the design, if it were shorter and wider I think it'd be a great looking car.

  21. Jim-Bob Avatar

    Well… Perhaps I should feel relieved that my beloved Geo Metro did not make the list. However, many of the cars on the list are in my dream car garage. Citroen Ami, Yugo Koral, Subaru BRAT, El Camino, Nissan S-Cargo, Wartburg 353, Pacer, Gremlin, Tata Nano, VW Thing (Seriously…who DOESN'T want a civilian variant of the Kubelwagen?), Volvo wagon (especially with a diesel and a 5 speed), Toyota iQ, Delorean DMc 12, etc. Some of them do belong on there though like the Ferrari Enzo and the Fiat Multipla but even they are not without their charms. i do truly hate the Hummer H2 with the white hot intensity of a thousand suns though and would love to be the one whose job it was to shred every last one of them. Silly vehicle with even sillier owners.

  22. alcology Avatar

    It's one of those days where my sarcasm meter is not working.

    1. mdharrell Avatar

      Well, aside from being the wrong Damian, I was serious about my preferences. I just figured you wouldn't get a response from the right Damian anyway.
      The Wartburg would be next. Still no sarcasm. Honest.

      1. alcology Avatar

        I believe you about the preferences. I think I would go for the suzuki x-90. Always had something for that pig.

  23. facelvega Avatar

    Maybe everybody who reads Businessweek does, though. Ick.

  24. Black Steelies Avatar

    Wow, some of you take the term 'ugly' pretty personally when it comes to your favorite rides.
    When I call a car ugly it is usually more of a compliment. "Hot damn that thing is ugly!.. It for sale?"

  25. ptschett Avatar

    What an awful list. I agree with maybe seven of the cars being on the list, but the rest either are form-follows-function designs (microcars, the light trucks, the Eastern-bloc products, Prius), or were considered quite stylish in their day (Mustang II, PT Cruiser, DeLorean, etc.), or are French and strangeness is just to be expected.

  26. BЯдΖǐL-ЯЄРΘЯΤЄЯ Avatar

    This Damion guy must have myopia somewhere in the two digit range. (the first digit higher than 2)

  27. rovingardener Avatar

    Ungainly looking, some of them, but weak journalism. I guess this is what you do when you have a hangover and need to phone it in.
    I have what could be considered an ungainly looking car, a 2008 Forester, which I like very much. It's pretty much a mid-term refresh that only hurt the originals style.

  28. GTP_Sultan Avatar

    They forgot to add the 2008 STi. Or, in more general terms, the 2008 Impreza hatchback.
    As a passionate (for lack of a better word) Impreza fan, I pretty much cried when Subaru unleashed this abomination.

  29. PowerTryp Avatar

    I think I get what he's trying to say from here, from a completely asthetic point of view these cars are not the prettiest on the road and he's even willing to sacrifice safety for beauty. I kind of agree with him which is why all cars on the road should be something like this.
    <img src="; width="600">

  30. FuzzyPlushroom Avatar

    The LM002 was hideous, but it was awesomely hideous. I'm mostly offended by the 240 and S-Cargo, I believe. Admittedly, the coffinhood/quad-square-lights combination of the early '80s models left something to be desired, though I'd have nominated the 740 sedan for its rear roofline alone (along with, perhaps, the Mercury Cougar from at least 1980 onward, and particularly the Dodge Dynasty, for the same reason) if that's the sort of anti-box standard being applied. The S-Cargo is just hug-it-and-squeeze-it adorable. Oh, and if I may say so politely, fuck 'em for including the New Beetle – impractical, maybe, but well-styled until the 2006 facelift.
    Honestly, I disagree with half the list – and I suspect the average remotely-car-aware individual would agree on at least some of my points. My idea of ugly is either total ugliness excused as functionality or overstyling by committee. On the former point, an old Volvo, a mid-'90s Camry or Accord, a Prius, or an old pickup truck can easily be excused because of how well they perform their intended tasks without offending the eye, while a Hummer H2 is offensive gingerbread on a Tahoe. On the latter, the new Camry. Nobody who buys a Camry would be offended if it looked nearly identical to a scaled-up 2001 model, so why do its flanks and nose bulge awkwardly? SImilarly, I'd imagine most Sonata and Fusion buyers aren't attracted by enormous chromey smiles, but by the underlying competence and vague whiff of sportiness compared to the above Camry. Then there's the Crosstour…

  31. Buickboy92 Avatar

    That article was written by someone who doesn't know cars! All those cars are awesome. Every. Single. one.

  32. Steve Avatar

    This is a great collection! I've got a page based on the 5 ugliest cars you can buy today if anyone is interested 🙂

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