These cars quickly ended up in the junkyard and straight into our hearts.
What do cars such as the Pontiac Aztek, Chevrolet Vega, Yugo GV and Ford Pinto have in common? They have earned a very rare and special place amongst the general public as absolutely horrendous pieces of scrap metal disguised as cars that are loved anyways. These misunderstood works of art only come about when car makers no longer have the ability to perceive, let alone respond to their customers' needs and desires.
When discussing automotive horrors that car connoisseurs remember fondly you have to start with the Ford Pinto. Nothing says party wagon quite like the Pinto. This baby often came in a deep mud brown color or a yellow so bright it could lead to blindness. Due to the brilliant idea of putting the fuel tank in the back, drivers had an amazing chance of turning any normal rear-end fender-bender into a possible death sentence. This did wonders for the popularity of the Pinto with junkyard owners the world over.
The Chevrolet Vega is the car so many loved but just refused to love its owners back. With a nice design that was true to its make, big things were expected of the Vega. It made a splash in the 1970's for all the wrong reasons. Most notable of all was its reputation to rust. It was even joked about being the first car ever built that would actually start to rust before ever leaving the showroom floor. It was also known to quickly fall apart a day after its standard three year warranty would expire. This rust bucket must have been really fun to drive while it lasted.
It would be an injustice to mention the name Pontiac Aztek without including the word revolutionary. This is not because it may have destroyed an 84 year old brand or is the ugliest thing to ever look at besides Marilyn Manson or Steven Tyler, but because amongst its legion of believers, the Aztek was the first ever crossover vehicle. One thing is for sure, memories of the 2001 debut of the car with the silly looking gray cladding will live on forever.
Last, but certainly not least is the electrifying 1985 Yugo GV. Loyalists of the brand often get defensive when they hear people describe their most prized possession as a laughingstock. Giving new meaning to the saying "You get what you pay for," the car was very cheap to buy because it was also very cheap to build. At around $4,000 a pop in 1985, it remained a tough sell due to constantly breaking down and the high risk of injury from even the most minor of accidents. There really is nothing like the "Yugo to hell."