History is filled with interesting facts and events that'll last throughout the ages. Be it good or bad, there are some things that will forever be written in the books: the beginning of the Civil Rights Movement inspired Dr. Martin Luther King, the struggles of World War 2, the very first rocket to be launched into outer space, and the inauguration of President Donald Trump. Some are beautiful and some are evil, but they will never be forgotten.
Cars are similar in that way, too, where productions of the 1969 Mustang or Corvettes of the '60s will be imprinted in the minds of enthusiasts for generations. I, for one, would trade any modern Ferrari just to spend the rest of my days cruising around in a blacked-out 1967 Mustang Shelby. These beautiful machines changed the game, mixing beauty and speed so perfectly that people still strive to own these 50-to-60-year-old cars.
History is also filled with useless facts that are easily forgotten—and deservingly so. Unfortunately, the same principle applies to cars as well. From rebadging already garbage cars into worse versions of themselves to using engines 10 years behind their times or just absolutely devastating design flaws, this list will show you some of the cars that the history books purposely excluded from our sensitive eyes.
25 1975 Bricklin SV-1
Have you ever dreamed of driving a sports car? That's cool, but Malcolm Bricklin decided that a "safety sports car" would truly blow people's minds.
By incorporating gullwing doors (yes, before Mercedes started using them), a sports coupe body, and a Ford-built V8, it had almost all it needed to be a great speedster. Except for one thing... that V8 produced a pathetic 175 horsepower.
To make things even worse, the only transmission available was a 3-speed automatic straight from the stone ages.
Moreover, it sold for $3,000 more than a Corvette of the same year.
24 1982 Cadillac Cimarron
Smooth, luxurious, beautiful, powerful. These are all words typically associated with Cadillac.
In 1982, they tried to challenge that by going full hipster, doing the exact opposite of the words listed above with the Cadillac Cimarron.
Based on Chevrolet hardware, the Cimarron was extremely underpowered for its class, with a price tag above its main competitors. To make matters even worse, the car came with a slew of mechanical issues early in its life and is regarded as one of the lowest-quality "luxury" vehicles of all time.
23 1985 Merkur XR4Ti
In the '80s, BMW was absolutely killing it in Germany and the USA. This made the word "German" resonate with people as being the best.
Struggling to stay relevant, Ford decided it would be a marvelous idea to rebrand one of its already lackluster vehicles as the Merkur XR4Ti, giving it a more German-sounding name.
Although the naming might've tricked a few people early on, this abomination failed miserably and was quickly forgotten as BMW reigned supreme.
22 Chrysler TC
The Chrysler TC was marketed as the Chrysler built by Maserati, including the engine. Seems pretty awesome.
What people didn't know, however, is that the engine itself wasn't actually built by Maserati at all. A Maserati-branded cast valve cover was the only thing Maserati about it... a damn cylinder head.
Although it churned out 200 HP, it was nothing close to what people believed it to be.
Let's not get started on how ugly it is, too...
21 Dodge Dakota Convertible
The Dodge Dakota, a truck that has lasted through the ages, ranging from the average joe in need of an ego lift to the everyday landscape worker.
The soft-top convertible, only seen on the lower-end cars like the Beetle—not always the prettiest way to go topless but still topless nonetheless.
Now, pair those two together, and you've got yourself a Dodge Dakota Convertible. Honestly, it didn't look too bad, but people were left extremely confused and unwilling to buy it. Poor sales led to the quick axing of the car and very little memories of it.
20 Eagle Vision
In its day, Eagle was a decent brand that people respected.
The Eagle Vision was meant to be Eagles' brand-new, super-aerodynamic vehicle that would be better than anything they've made before.
Unfortunately, the only thing aerodynamic about the Vision was how quickly it went from the sales floor to the junkyard. The brutal design didn't impress a single customer, and the poor sales made this the most forgettable Eagle of all time.
19 Dodge Neon ACR
The Dodge Neon was never known as a great car. It was ugly, slow, and full of issues.
Instead of axing it off for something better, Dodge decided to soup it up into a "sports" car. With a turbocharged 4-cylinder engine, the Dodge Neon ACR was still shockingly slow compared to other economy sports cars and was riddled with 10 times more problems than the basic Neon.
Gladly, people quickly learned of its quality and opted for the better options.
(Hello there, GTI & STI).
18 Cadillac Catera
Oh, the '90s... a time when strict regulations made the majority of cars take a turn for the ugly, and Cadillac was the master of it.
Rebadging the Opel Omega B as a Cadillac was never a wise choice, especially when it looked like this. This behemoth looks like the worn-out running shoes you purposely forgot in your closet before you knew what "style" was.
Its engine and features weren't very strong in comparison to the BMWs and Mercedes-Benzes of its class, leaving it in the junkyard of time with no one to care.
17 Isuzu VehiCROSS
The Isuzu VehiCROSS was, at its core, a very capable offroading vehicle. The problem, however, was its rather rambunctious design.
A 2-door SUV with odd lines and angles, horned headlights, and plastic around the entire body were some of the many bizarre design cues that didn't make much sense.
Although the car itself was pretty impressive, buyers didn't buy into its style, and Isuzu only produced 6,000 of them before ceasing production.
16 Chevrolet SSR
The Plymouth Prowler was taking the world by storm. Was it ugly or cool? Nobody was quite sure, but everybody surely knew about it.
Jealousy raged through Chevrolet's blood as they tried to compete with it by creating the SSR. The only thing it accomplished, though, was solidifying the question of whether it was ugly or cool. Not only was the SSR way uglier; it was also a worse car in almost every aspect.
People simply didn't care for it.
15 Acura ZDX
Hey, everybody... let's take our hugely successful RDX model and morph into some sort coupe-shaped extraterrestrial and remove any sense of headroom or comfort... I'm sure it'll do great!
That must've been what was said in the executive meeting for this atrocity, also known as the "Acura RDX." Although it still had the excellent 3.5L V6 found in other Acuras, its incredible lack of interior space and more-than-polarizing looks were enough to make it Acura's biggest failure.
In its final year of production, 2013, Acura sold only 312 of them... enough said!
14 Saab 9-4x
The Saab 9-4x was the company's brand-new SUV, ready to take on the market by storm. Saab was struggling to stay relevant with a constant array of vehicles that paled in comparison to its competitors in terms of both reliability and style.
Although the 9-4x did seem like a step in the right direction, the company went bankrupt after producing only 1,000 of these, leaving a very tiny and forgettable imprint on car history.
13 1959 Facel Vega HK500
The Facel Vega HK500 was quite the machine. It was fast, it was luxurious, and it was beautiful.
So, why should this be forgotten? Well, when a famous writer died in his HK500, the company also died 4 years later.
The only thing people associated with the Vega was death, so nobody wanted to even step into one. For this reason, it's safe to assume that it's been happily forgotten over time.
12 1976 Citroen LN
The Peugeot 104 was an underwhelming vehicle. In 1976, Citroen figured they should make it even worse just so they can make this list.
Rebadged as the "Citroen LN," it removed the already weak engine with... wait for it... a two-cylinder engine operated by hamsters.
Making an underwhelming (and ugly) car even worse, the LN was easily forgotten.
11 Reliant Robin
Cars have 4 wheels. The Reliant Robin had 3.
I feel like this should already be enough to prove its uselessness, but Top Gear took it a step further and pushed the Robin to its limits.
When Jeremy Clarkson nearly crashed and died while filming in the Reliant Robin, its death-trap reputation was truly solidified.
Gladly, people realized that this shameful creation was absolute trash, turning it into more of a joke than an actual purchasable item.
10 1984 Alfa Romeo 90
The 1984 Alfa Romeo 90 seemed like any other Alfa. It had a typical but sleek Italian design, a decent price, and a range of fuel-efficient engine options, ranging from a small diesel to a 2.5L petrol engine pushing out 151 hp.
What makes this car so forgotten? It had more problems than a high school girlfriend and was built out of "papier-mâché" at the hands of a toddler.
It's known today the worst built Alfa Romeo of all time.
9 1983 Lonsdale Saloon/Estate
This car had people confused and uncaring from the get-go. This boat on wheels, also known as the "Lonsdale Saloon," was the flop of 1983.
Built in a Mitsubishi factory (not a good look) and rebadged as a car that was already poor elsewhere in the world (The Sigma), the Saloon had incredibly poor sales and was axed a year later.
8 1991 Sao Penza
The Sao Penza was quite the awful idea. Taking the already underwhelming Mazda 323 and building it in South Africa, the Sao Penza was a cheaper, less-equipped version of it.
What they didn't tell people was that it was based on the OLD 323, so people were paying for a new version of the older car... except uglier, slower, harder to find, and of lower quality. Needless to say, this car was forgotten as quickly as it was created.
7 1968 Subaru 360
What in the world was Subaru thinking?
The Subaru 360 was powered by a 356 cc engine churning out... only 25 horsepower. That's about enough power for a modern riding lawnmower. Consumer Reports attempted to go 0-60 in this, recording a dangerously slow time of 37 seconds!
Subaru wasn't hiding anything, though, as they marketed the 360 as cheap and ugly. Car and Driver tested it out and called it the ugliest car ever made.
6 Mercury Bobcat
Another rebadged car. This time, the Ford Pinto as the "Mercury Bobcat."
Personally, this Bobcat pictured above is actually pretty handsome, but people generally had pretty polarizing opinions on it.
The Pinto wasn't exactly known to be a great car although it was quite popular. This impersonator took everything bad about it and made it worse (seems to be a recurring theme on this list).
It drove harshly; it broke easily. All in all, it was trash.
5 Vauxhall Viceroy
Once again, we have ANOTHER rebadged failure.
Vauxhall took the Opel Commodore and called it the "Viceroy." That's about all they did, as people didn't even sniff at the opportunity of purchasing one because the option from Opel was already unattractive in the first place.
Maybe a change in its bland design could've helped?
4 Chevrolet Vega
When Chevrolet came out with the Vega, it had some seriously high expectations, especially after winning Car of the Year upon its first year of production.
Oh, what a mistake that was...
This Chevy has such a long list of insane problems that it nearly ruined GM as a whole. It was so bad that junkyards would refuse to salvage its parts. Pairing these pains with a generic look and a disenchanting 80 hp engine, the Vega happily remains vanished in history.
3 Porsche 968
The Porsche 968 is as unfortunate as it is great. It was pretty to look at and fun to drive, so what is it that makes it so easily forgotten?
The Boxster. Porsche released it very soon after the 968, which was literally an upgraded version of it. It had a similar body but with way more beauty, a stronger version of the same engine, and better handling, too (people also love convertibles). It's for this reason that the 968 is happily obscured from our memories albeit being a decent sports car.
2 AMC Gremlin
When one thinks of Gremlins, the odd folkloric movie comes to mind.
I couldn't tell you why AMC decided to name its car after such an odd creature, but upon further inspection, it became quite clear: the AMC Gremlin is quite literally an odd, ugly little thing.
It was marketed to teenagers, as it was cheap, but that didn't fool anyone. Its low quality and ugly looks made it hated by teenagers everywhere.
1 The Trabant
The Trabant makes this list for a reason unique to all the others: war and politics.
Produced by VEB Sachsenring (try saying that 10 times), it was made in East Germany and had a very strong association with Communist Russia. Although it did survive production for over 30 years, people no longer wanted them after the fall of West Germany.
The political images associated with the Trabant steered people clear from ownership, leaving it as a forgotten piece of history, unlike that of which it comes from.
Sources: jalopnik.com; autocar.co.uk