News Culture

The Mustang II and 8 Other Deliciously Ugly Cars

So bad we can’t look away.

Blue cheese has a putrid sort of loveliness. It’s well past fresh, literal trash food that’s decomposing. Beneath that off-putting marine-blue fuzz, however, is an umami pleasure-splosion; from that ickiness comes a supreme tang. In the spirit of the world’s deliciously gross, we’d like to present our take on the deliciously ugly cars percolating in our automotive brine—the cars whose proportions, stances and surfaces are anything but classical, yet who reward regard with a strange pleasure-through-repugnance. They’re the stylistic crashes from which you can’t look away, the many-haired mole on the frau across from you on the subway. In these cars, we’ve found shapes so grotesque that, if weighed on a proverbial bathroom scale of aesthetics, the needle would do a full rotation. And there we are, exactly where we’d like to be.

That is, except for number one. That thing’s just gross.

9. 1964 Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud III Mulliner Park Ward fixed head coupé


Rolls-Royce! Yes, Rolls-Royce. Known originally as the “Chinese Eye” (oof…) coupe, this Mulliner-bodied Silver Cloud sported canted headlamps and an even more monolithic grill than the standard car. The combo was wonky and parodic, an uncute cartoon.

8. 2005 Buick Rendezvous


The Buick Rendezvous had one of the biggest butts in the business. But without curve, verve or shape, it came off like tennis-skirt ass, covered in chrome. Sir Mix-a-Lot, were he to ride in one, would lose his knighthood.

7. 1959-1962 Plymouth Valiant


That’s “Valiant” as in, “Valiant effort, chaps, but the car still looks like a geriatric otter with an overbite.”

6. 1974-1978 Ford Mustang


She ain’t bold, she ain’t beautiful and Lord knows she’s lacking under the hood. That’s the Ford Mustang II, folks, sullying its forefathers in both looks and performance. Everyone who bought one of these should’ve saved a few bucks and just slapped some pinstripes on a Pinto. Oh, wait.

5. 1976 AMC Matador


“Matador” is an undeniably robust name, yet the car was limper than the ramekin of spoiled banana pudding it resembled. Especially in period-correct chestnut brown, the Matador really put the “bull” in bulls….

4. 1999-2000 Hyundai Tiburon


Ack. The eyes that have it—”it” being some infernal arachnid disease. It’s a face even Charlotte, wise spider and lover of all things, would shun.

3. Wartburg 353


Which is worse: The looks of this Wartburg, or its name? The 353 was an ill-begotten East German frumpmobile, whose aesthetics recalled the lowest echelon of refrigerator design or maybe a rusted toolbox with googly-eyes pasted on. Once unification brought Volkswagens and Mercedes into the area, the ‘burg was frozen off the market like the plantar it was.

2. Marcos Mantis


Prey tell, what’s this? It’s the 1968 Marcos Mantis, the unholiest collection of bulges and creases since Judah’s robe. One might hope that this creature would behead victims before any couplings were undertaken, not after.

1. 2016 Toyota Prius


You didn’t think it could get worse, did you?