5 Cars That Failed So Spectacularly They Became Legends
They say there’s no such thing as bad publicity, and these five cars took that phrase to heart. These rides were supposed to be game-changers, trendsetters, and legends in the making. Instead, they became infamous for all the wrong reasons.
These cars are the automotive equivalent of a train wreck—you just can’t look away. So buckle up and prepare to cringe as we explore five cars that failed so spectacularly they became icons.
Have you ever heard of the Tucker? Not many people have, though you might recognize it if you grew up in the early 20th century.
Preston Tucker was the man behind this innovative car that featured a rear-mounted V8 engine, a safety perimeter frame, and a Cyclops eye headlight that would put any Greek god to shame. Sadly, the Tucker company didn’t last long, but the car’s legacy lives on—but if you want one now, you’ll need a cool million bucks to spare.
Back in the day, if you wanted to show off your wealth and style, you didn’t just buy a car; you bought a Duesy. These were the finest automobiles in the world, with a price tag that could make even a king’s wallet weep.
These beauties had it all—bespoke bodywork, supercharged V8 engines, and enough horsepower to make a cheetah blush. Celebrities and royalty alike clamored to get their hands on a Duesenberg, but sadly the company couldn’t weather the storm of the Great Depression.
1974 Dodge Monaco
Picture this: It’s 1974, and Dodge, one of the biggest car manufacturers in the U.S., has just released the Monaco, a massive car that looks like it was designed by someone’s grandpa. Unfortunately, it arrives just as the oil crisis hits, killing sales.
Luckily, it wasn’t wholly destined for the scrap heap, as it got its big break on the silver screen. In The Blues Brothers, the duo takes the wheel of a Dodge Monaco police car, and suddenly this gas-guzzling, boxy relic becomes the coolest ride in town.
1975 AMC Pacer
Once upon a time, there was a car that looked like a giant bubble—the AMC Pacer. It was supposed to be a small car with lots of space, but its design was so bulbous that it made Jabba the Hutt look svelte.
Motoring writers couldn’t contain their laughter, with one even describing it as a “glassine bolus of dorkiness.” It was voted the worst car design of all time in a survey commissioned by Hagerty Insurance. However, the Pacer’s luck changed when it was given a chance to shine on the big screen in the hit movie Wayne’s World.
1981 DeLorean DMC-12
The DeLorean DMC-12 was sleek and shiny and had doors that opened upwards like a bird stretching its wings. But as it turns out, looks aren’t everything, and this car was kind of a dud.
With an engine that struggled to move its hefty body, it was more tortoise than hare. However, this car became an icon thanks to some time travel shenanigans in Back to the Future. So, who’s really winning here?