Special Edition Cars That Really Weren't That Special

Car Culture / 57 Comments

Just calling something a special edition doesn't make it special.

In the marketer's armory, the special edition model of a car can be a potent one in the right hands. Whether it's creating a cool and desirable take on a car or tying it directly to another brand, the effect can be strong. It doesn't have to be in attracting people directly like, for example, Harley Davidson Edition Ford trucks. Brands can inject themselves into the zeitgeist and bring attention to their product for a halo effect as Nissan did tying in the Rogue crossover with the Star Wars movie, Rogue 1. It was cheesy and a stretch, but it worked by putting Nissan in the minds of kids and adults alike by riding on the back of a title from one of the greatest cultural phenomenons in modern history.

While the special edition car is a potent weapon, it needs to be in the right hands and done well. When they're done badly, well, you end up with things like these.

Fiat 500 Abarth 695 Tributo Ferrari

What's the best way to pay tribute to Ferrari? With a tiny 4-cylinder economy city car of course. It's not that the 695 Tributo Ferrari was a bad car, it's a fearsome little ripper of a Fiat 500. The issue we have is that Fiat put a paint scheme inspired by the Ferrari 430 Scuderia on it and tried to make the connection. We can only hope that, somewhere, someone driving one of these has found them sat in traffic one day when the real thing pulled up next to it.


Jeep Wrangler Call of Duty MW3

We love some straight up first-person shooting action and Call of Duty is a benchmark game franchise we've spent many hours playing and getting owned at by teenagers in their parent's basements. However, painting the identity of a game that fetishizes military special forces onto a Jeep for spoiled kids with rich parents to drive is eye-rolling at best. We can probably assume Soap MacTavish wouldn't be seen dead in one.

Chrysler PT Cruiser Couture Edition

Couture is a French word that means sewing or dressmaking but has come to signify fashion. Whoever slapped that name on a Chrysler PT Cruiser at the end of its life span was either all out of ideas or was being sarcastic and ran it through corporate just to see if anyone was paying attention. Either way, that two-tone paint separated by a red pin strip was a thing. And if that doesn't bake your noodle, try wrapping your head around the fact that at least one person bought one.

Pagani Zonda F Clubsport Final Edition

Anyone that's seen the trailer for the movie Final Destination 5 can probably see where this is going. The Pagani Zonda F Final Edition did not actually signify the end of the Zonda, but rather the start of a series of special editions.

Scion tC Release Series 7.0

The Scion tC Release Series 7.0 was the 7th in the Release Series of tarted up Scion tCs. Quite what Scion was trying to denote with the number naming system we don't know. Possibly they were leaving room for bug fixes and maybe if the Scion brand hadn't of died prematurely we would have eventually seen the Scion Tc Vista edition.

All Indianapolis 500 Pace Car Editions

We look forward to your comments, but the reality is that slapping the Indy 500 Pace Car logo on a car is not cool, and never has been. Sure, it's an honor for a manufacturer's car to be used as the Indy 500 pace car but your neighbor isn't storing that car in his garage. Plus, it's a bit weird when he wheels one out for car shows and grossly over-exaggerates its collectibility level and fiscal value.

AMC Levi's Gremlin

To be fair, this was more a bad idea for Levi's Jeans than it was for AMC. In the early 1970s, denim was truly hitting the mainstream and Levi's was marketing its cheaper and more downmarket Orange Tab branded jeans hard. The press release explains: "Now a Gremlin with upholstery that's like blue denim Levi's. Has orange stitching, the buttons, even the famous Levi's tab on both front seats… Levi's Gremlin. The economy car that wears the pants."

Bugatti  Veyron Grand Sport L'Or Blanc

When it started to become clear there was going to be a struggle to actually sell 300 units of the Veyron, Bugatti started playing the special edition card hard. We had the Grand Sport Vitesse which made sense, but then there were names like the Bugatti Veyron Grand Sport Venet that was named for a sculptor, the unwieldily named Bugatti Veyron Grand Sport Vitesse Legend Meo Costantini as part of a series of six special editions, and the inevitable Bugatti Veyron Super Sport World Record Edition.

The Grand Sport L'Or Blanc takes the prize though. The one-off Veyron is as tacky to look at as the name suggests (L'Or Blanc is French for "white gold"), despite the painful amount of man hours crafting the genuine porcelain elements for the exterior and interior design.

Buick Regal Joseph Abboud Edition

When a struggling Buick needed to inject a bit of style into its cars, the American carmaker associated with the Regal Joseph Abboud fashion line to, well, add two-tone seats and a steering wheel to the Regal. That was honestly about all that actually happened.


SsangYong Korando Sports DMZ

SsangYong Motor Company is the fourth largest South Korea-based automobile manufacturer. That's South Korea, which is adjoined with North Korea and between them is a 160-mile long, 2.5-mile wide, buffer known as the De-Militarized Zone or, more commonly, a DMZ.

We've recently been reminded of the DMZ by the President Of the United States and fellow baggy trouser enthusiast Kim Jong Un enjoying a stroll through there together, but it's not the first the Korean DMZ has been used for some questionable PR.

Ssang Yong

Citroen 2CV 007 Edition

The humble yet often unfairly maligned 2CV got a spectacularly weird special edition after being featured in a spectacular car chase in the 1981 James Bond movie For Your Eyes Only. The French carmaker capitalized in the most ham-fisted of ways following the release of Rien Que Pour Vos Yeux by slapping on huge 007 stickers on yellow 2CVs. But that still wasn't lame enough, so the marketing department also added some stick on bullet holes for good measure.

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