Hooniverse Asks: What Special Edition of a Forgettable Car is Worth Remembering?

Every cloud has a silver lining… No, that’s not the right metaphor. How about, even a broken clock is right twice a day? Nope, that’s not it either. I’m not sure what the apt comparison might be but suffice to say that there have been a huge number of cars over the years that, while generally terrible, have had a few redeeming special models. Which of those not so terrible cars do you think are the most interesting today?
Image: BeaterBlog

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  1. Monkey10is Avatar

    A broken cloud gathers no moss?
    A silver clock is worth two in the bush?
    (I’m not really helping.)

  2. Mallomar Avatar

    It even had the logo embroidered on the tan and navy leather seats.

  3. GTXcellent Avatar

    Cobalt SS – especially the ’08-’10 turbocharged models. 260hp, 5 speed, legit 0-60 in 5.5 seconds and 1/4 mile times under 14.

    1. Maymar Avatar

      For what it’s worth, I have a friend that has owned (in this order) an SS/SC, an SS/TC, and an Ion Redline (so basically an SS/SC with weird doors) – I think he actually likes the supercharged cars more, but raves (justifiably) about them all.

  4. Tiberiuswise Avatar

    What terrible car is the most interesting today? Since I didn’t see the word desirable anywhere in that, I present a Mustang with pretensions of luxury.
    It has been quite a while since there was a terrible Mustang. In fact, most cars have been pretty good for some time. Apparently not being terrible wasn’t an option in 1978. Arguably peak malaise. Build quality, durability, performance? Nope, nope, and puh-leeze. Chrome, vinyl, and badging were the orders of the day. Even the Mustang fell victim. Interesting? Like a train wreck, I dare you to not sneak a peek.

    1. neight428 Avatar

      At least they have the tools to put it out of its misery close at hand.

    1. Tomsk Avatar

      It reminds me of this music video, which uses Eurosport VR stock/promo video footage.

  5. Lokki Avatar

    The metaphor you are searching for is:
    “Even a blind pig finds an acorn now and then”

  6. Jofes2 Avatar

    Is it a Talbot? Is it a Sunbeam? Is it a Lotus? Don’t answer, I prefer the mystery of not knowing.

    1. crank_case Avatar

      in a similar vein, the Vauxhall Chevette HSR

  7. 0A5599 Avatar

    I was going to go with Dodge Spitit R/T, but I think turbomunivan is even more appropriate.

  8. engineerd Avatar

    The Mondeo-based Ford Contour was supposed to be Ford’s world car. Until Ford NA cheapened it up so much that it bore little mechanical resemblance to it’s European twin. However, SVT took the Contour and made something special out of it. A family sedan with 200 hp and a 5-speed manual. A couple hundred horsepower in a family sedan isn’t all that special today, but considering most small family sedans at the time were making do with 150 to 170 hp, getting those extra ponies could help get Junior to daycare quicker.

  9. The Real Number_Six Avatar
    The Real Number_Six

    I might be biased because I owned one, but the 1984 1/2 Mustang GT350 was peak ’80s Special Edition. It’s worth remembering because it took a really average car and added bordello-red interior, neat horsey badges, and factory louvers. http://www.allfordmustangs.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/1984-gt350-turbo.png

  10. theskig Avatar

    Alfa Romeo Arna 1.5 Ti 🙂

    1. Fuhrman16 Avatar
  11. tonyola Avatar

    1986 Buick LeSabre Grand National

    1. Batshitbox Avatar

      Oo I knew I should have clicked that blue ‘see one new comment’ banner before I posted!

    2. Hatchtopia Avatar

      Please tell me there’s still glass underneath that tacked-on plastic panel.

      1. tonyola Avatar

        Don’t know – I’ve never seen one up close.

      2. Fuhrman16 Avatar

        I would assume so. That’s what they did with the quarter window of the 90’s Impala SS.

      3. Tomsk Avatar

        Nope, they actually fitted smaller quarter glass.

  12. Batshitbox Avatar

    Take a Buick Regal, remove all that personal luxury coupe drek, and add some awesome. The cure for mid-’80s Malaise. Have fun showing C3 Corvettes and Fox Mustangs your tail lights.

    1. Batshitbox Avatar

      Oh, and then put some of that personal luxury coupe drek back in, and make it faster. Regal Turbo T Limited

    2. neight428 Avatar

      On a related note, while third gen F-bodies have their own gestalt, but I always thought the Trans Ams with the turbo Buick V6 had a different cut to their jib.

  13. salguod Avatar

    The Citation X-11 is generally regarded as a surprisingly good version of a rather terrible car.

  14. salguod Avatar

    It seems that GM was pretty good at this in the 70s, 80s and 90s. Plenty of mediocre cars with decent or interesting specials.
    Citation > X-11
    Vega > Cosworth
    Beretta > GTZ
    Regal > GN
    Fiero > GT (especially the ’88)
    Lesabre > GN
    Olds 88 > LSS

    1. Tomsk Avatar

      I’d add the Quad 442 and Achieva SCX to that list.

    2. wunno sev Avatar
      wunno sev

      Bonneville > GXP
      Cobalt > SS
      Regal > GS
      they’re still good at it.

      1. salguod Avatar

        Yeah, but they’ve improved their game on the bottom end a fair bit.

  15. salguod Avatar

    Olds 88? Yawn. But strip off some chrome, apply a tasteful body kit, tighten up the suspension and call it the LSS and you’ve got something interesting.

  16. Tomsk Avatar

    I quite like the 2005-’06 Toyota Corolla XRS. Sport suspension, front and rear strut tower braces, mandatory 6-speed stick and the same high-po 2ZZ-GE engine as the contemporary Celica GT-S, Matrix XRS and Pontiac Vibe GT (albeit with 10 fewer horsepower).

    1. wunno sev Avatar
      wunno sev

      forgot these existed until i saw one at work yesterday. that body kit is so stupid, but that car is so intriguing.

  17. XRSevin Avatar

    A front-wheel drive V-8 Buick Lacrosse with 300 hp, 0-60 in 6 flat and rock solid on the highway. It was Super. Except for the transmission.

    1. Tomsk Avatar

      I love that GM bothered to do an LS motor specifically for transverse applications. Almost makes me want to look for a 308 or Urraco with a fragged engine so I can put one in it…