Hooniverse Asks: What Failed Car or Truck Model Would You Totally Now Buy?

Do you remember that somewhat awkward or weird kid in school that you secretly had a crush on, perhaps because of their unique nature? You couldn’t act on that feeling back then less you face derision and ridicule by your peers, but should you hook up with that school yard crush years later and discover them to still be oddly captivating, maybe then, free from the demands of peer conformity you might just take action.
Cars are a lot like those schoolyard dalliances. How many of you have eschewed a certain make or model despite some personal interest because “you wouldn’t want other people to see you driving one of those?” There have been a number of automotive risk-takers that have flopped in the market because, at the time of their debut they were seem as awkward, ungainly, or just a square peg when all people really wanted was a round hole. Now, time heals all wounds and there’s surely a number of cars an trucks out there that, while they may have not been successes, they did have some intrinsic quality that perhaps made them attractive in one way or another. What we want to know today is which of those oddballs would you totally now buy if enough time had passed and a deal was to be had?
Image: TopSpeed

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53 responses to “Hooniverse Asks: What Failed Car or Truck Model Would You Totally Now Buy?”

  1. P161911 Avatar

    Any RWD Pontiac made in the last 13 years or so. GTO, G8, Solstice.

  2. GTXcellent Avatar

    Fiberglass bed sides? Fancy interior? Automatic transmission? That’s not a truck. No wonder they only sold a couple hundred GMC Suburban Carriers in 1955.

    1. dukeisduke Avatar

      And they used the Pontiac V-8, a big plus for me (along with the Hydra-Matic).

      1. P161911 Avatar

        Which means that unless you are doing a concurs restoration, the only proper engine to have in it is a Super Duty 455.

    2. Sjalabais Avatar

      I consider that a choice equal parts weird and enlightening.
      That’s why I keep coming back here.

  3. tonyola Avatar

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/267e268c1c761e656847379e45dcc3fe7f57f0be3d3fd03ca332e198dd4bb318.jpg I’ve always had something of a soft spot for the early-1990s Nissan NX2000. I’ve heard that they’re fun.

    1. Hatchtopia Avatar

      Yes! This and the Mazda MX-3 would definitely have space in the hypothetical Hatchtopia garage after I win the lottery.

      1. Kiefmo Avatar

        With the wee 1.8L V6, right? Right?

        1. Hatchtopia Avatar


  4. smalleyxb122 Avatar
    1. tonyola Avatar

      This was a landmark car, but what Honda should have done with this as an alternative was stuff in Civic Si suspension and mechanicals, give it real tires, remove those rear skirts, and make it a latter-day CRX.

      1. crank_case Avatar

        Nah, you’d dilute it from what it was meant to be. It’s too exotic in construction to ever be a mass market CRX type thing. It’s cool because it’s as focused and engineering led in its own way as the original NSX.

    2. JohnComposMentis Avatar

      I had one of those, in that color — only sold in the US for MY 2000. I wish I had kept it, but every time I see one I wonder how many expensive battery packs it’s gone through. I sold mine after 4 years in a moment of panic about battery longevity.

      1. salguod Avatar

        A friend had a last year (2009?) 5 speed and put a battery in it somewhere after 100K. His son totalled it in the snow or he’d still have it.

        1. theskitter Avatar

          Batteries are $2k, which is half what the car is worth. Better the devil I know. I just took a $400 gamble to recondition what is easily the 2nd or 3rd battery in my 2002 5-speed with 283k. If I can get another year out of it, I’ll be tempted by the repurposed lithium upgrade from old Nissan Leaf batteries.

          1. salguod Avatar

            I think he bought an aftermarket battery with some extra capacity that was also cheaper than the Factory. (I also feel like we’ve had this conversation before. :-D)

  5. Peter Tanshanomi Avatar

    I can’t delve into my Tuesday answers; the list is too big to fit through the interweb tubes.

  6. Alff Avatar

    Pretty much any Edsel and a Jensen Interceptor FF and a Porsche 914 and a Dino

    1. P161911 Avatar

      Any Cadillac V!

    2. nanoop Avatar

      I wanted to say 914, too, but they made over 100k of those. Not really a failure, although…. not a 911 so a failure to some.

      1. Alff Avatar

        I’ll gladly label it a failure if that’s what it takes to put one in my garage.

        1. nanoop Avatar

          Well, it’s definitely a failure then!

          1. Alff Avatar

            It may have been successful as an entry level Porsche but it was a failure as a VW, as was the predecessor to your toy – the 924. I wonder how the world would be different if VW had retained the right to market the 914 as a replacement for the Karmann Ghia. In the end, VW passed up the 924 for the Scirocco, so everybody should be happy.

          2. nanoop Avatar

            VW made 500k of the Scirocco, Porsche about 1/3rd of that of the 924, mainly due to the price​ point.
            I’m wondering whether or how VW would have dropped the price for the “VW 924” since engine and fabrication site were VW-based already. Even lower engines? Front driven versions?
            I also remember that for the last months of Scirocco production (mk3) they only earned DM20 per car, about USD50 then. One supplier flaw, and some Ferdinands would have paid people to drive a Scirocco…

          3. Alff Avatar

            Despite the Porsche pedigree and RWD, I would choose a nice Mk1 Scirocco over a 924 in similar condition today. Hands down one of the best drives of the 70s.

          4. nanoop Avatar

            “Porsche pedigree”, you’re touching a tender topic for some people right there…
            The Sciroccos are more rare by now, too! In Germany, less than one thousand Mk1s exist that are wearing a license plate, thanks to 70ies tin quality and 80ies 3rd owners’ quality.
            (Over 3k of the 924 (all years and engines) are rolling legally there, and and a five digit number of Scirocci including all mks).

  7. Sjalabais Avatar

    There are bucket lists, and then there are buckets of weird. Oddly pretty, and the list of odd decisions in a car conformity context is endless:

    1. Guest Avatar

      Hmm… That picture looks familiar…

  8. mdharrell Avatar

    “…oddballs would you totally now buy if enough time had passed and a deal was to be had?”
    That is the most succinct statement of my automotive principles I’ve ever seen.

    1. Victor Avatar

      From what I see your one qualification for a car is: Does it have tires.

    2. jeepjeff Avatar

      How good of a deal? Well, this should probably just be taken as an excuse to post pictures of what’s currently in the shed.

      1. mdharrell Avatar

        Nope. I’ve posted pictures of what’s in the garage and what’s in the driveway, but what’s in the shed is a secret until this year’s Western Washington All British Field Meet.
        I hope.

  9. Fred Talmadge Avatar
    Fred Talmadge

    I bought a TSX Sportwagon. Maybe not a failure but with just over 10,000 sold over a 5 year period, hardly a success.

  10. Hillman_Hunter Avatar

    Lexus GSxxx
    Acura RLX
    Acura ZDX
    VW CC

  11. SlowJoeCrow Avatar

    A Mazda5 because it’s still a relentlessly practical vehicle that’s fun to drive. I’m not sure if it qualifies as a failure in the sense of a total flop like the Lincoln Blackwood, but it never sold in high volume and was pulled form the US market because of low sales.

    1. njhoon Avatar

      I’m not sure a Mazda5 classifies as a failure. Perfect mini mini van, entertaining to drive. I’ve always liked them, and I’m pretty sure I am going to pick one up as a second car/people mover/commuter. Wait, that pretty much qualifies it for weird/fail status. Sort of like the AMC hornet I lust after..

      1. kogashiwa Avatar

        They’re fairly popular around here.

  12. CraigSu Avatar

    Funnily enough I was shopping a Lincoln Blackwood over at Hemmings earlier today (https://www.hemmings.com/classifieds/?makeFacet=Lincoln&modelFacet=Blackwood&adtypeFacet=carsforsale&year_min=&year_max=). At $26,500 I didn’t consider the price to be terrible but, if I’m going to own a truck, it has to be one that can be used as a truck. Carpeting the truck bed doesn’t help fulfill that requirement.

    1. P161911 Avatar

      My uncle has a Blackwood. I’m pretty sure that the only reason he got it was that it was actually cheaper than a comparable F-150.

  13. salguod Avatar

    I’ll take pretty much anything that’s been mentioned here.
    Solstice / Sky, ZDX, Fiero, NX2000 (I had a Pulsar NX SE), MX-3, Sundancer, SX-4,, XLR, Gremlin, Pacer, etc.

    1. rovingardener Avatar

      A https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/2edb2cd14ea79783145e450c5edb1b66132308b02c60ec7c0e70e871fd09bcc0.jpg would definitely be on my list. I think they look fantastic.

      1. salguod Avatar

        There’s one nearby that’s been sitting for a looong time. No idea why. I want to rescue it, assuming it’s not terminal.

          1. nanoop Avatar

            Here’s a pencil, a sheet, and a plastic bag for weather protection, now write down your phone number, put it into the bag and under the wiper, and wait. It can’t be much of a project, it’s a rather new car, right?

  14. stigshift Avatar

    Suzuki X90. Weird. Stupid. Generally useless. Always wanted one…

  15. Lokki Avatar

    For me, it’s a 1998 BMW M Coupe, in black, please. Ugly? You bet… but.. the girl’s got something. The worst part is that I coulda had one, but got all practical and shit* and ended up with a 328i instead.
    *The wife thought they were too weird looking, and when I said I’m attracted to weird beauties, she got all mad for no reason. Anyhow she said no.

  16. Krautwursten Avatar

    Some people or brands consider six digit lifetime sales a success, but the Suburban/Tahoe outsold them 8:1 and the Silverado outsold them 30:1 in 2013 which raises doubts, plus I can’t recall them ever being well received. But they’re just so beautifully oversized and overstyled for the little purpose they actually serve despite being marketed as the ultimate allrounder SUV truck mutant, it makes me want one out of pure immaturity. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/645b04cabf4d923e2a7d2b815bbbe468b5ae6b7d3a46e7d61587a203cd96ea04.jpg

    1. P161911 Avatar

      Bringing together the worst features of an SUV with the worst features of a pickup with none of the utility. My inlaws have one. I hate the thing, and I like big trucks and SUVs. At least you could get the 8.1L V-8 with some of them.

  17. neight428 Avatar

    Don’t know if you could call it a failure, exactly, but a GMC Typhoon scratches a lot of itches that are forbidden in today’s auto market. Two door RWD SUV with power that was top shelf for the day. There is literally no modern analog, but if one were possible, it would be glorious.

    1. Rover 1 Avatar
      Rover 1

      Ah yes…From Car & Driver. A friend of mine imported one to England, had great fun baiting Porsches.

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