Have you ever gone to the hardware store in your station wagon, only to realize that your Ford Escort was about three feet shy of a good work truck? Have you ever felt like putting a snow plow on the front of your super-subcompact because you were literally too lazy to buy a snow blower?
When we have money burning a hole in our pockets, it’s easy to frivolously spend on extravagant purchases that we really don’t need. For the rest of us in life, we seldom know the luxury. Sure, tax time rolls around and you hurry up and spend that refund before your next credit card minimum payment date passes; but aside from that, people really don’t have the money to burn on things we thought used to be cool.
Many of us drive beaters and oddly enough, we noticed something really weird about the beaters that people were driving around. A lot of times, they fall into either one of two categories: the extremely cheap beater that tries to take 10 shortcuts to save a buck and the posing beater that tries to make $10 look like $100.
The two different types of beaters are practically built with opposite goals in mind but each of them shares a few unique qualities with each other: they’re both useless (despite intent), and they're both pug-ugly (despite intent).
As a matter of fact, you’re about to be disappointed with your fellow man, right here and right now.
20 Slow Plow
This car is about as confused as you can get. It wants to be so many things, so badly. But it just fails at everything it does! This is what happens when you try to level up your life in ways that don’t make sense. If you want a snow plow, buy a snow plow. If you want a racecar, take the Dubs off of. If you want a donk, lose the plow!
It’s inconceivable to even think of this thing trying to push a load of snow off the blade of that plow but somebody is confident enough in his hot 307 to give it a go anyway! He also doesn’t look like the AAA type, either, so watch out for him obstructing the flow of traffic as he gets towed home behind his cousin’s Astro van with a tow strap.
19 Challenged Challenger
We’re going to say this right now, we fully support women and their automotive aspirations; if you want to be a racecar driver, more power to you. If you want to paint your Challenger pink and purple, by golly, the world is your playground. However, there is a very fine line that should never be crossed with any form of muscle car, although, apparently, that line may not always be crystal clear. I’m pretty sure this thing blew past it a long time ago. Between the geometric sinfulness of the wheels and the predisposition for useless features, the mighty Challenger is all but lost in the chaos. But if you look really, really close, you may find that the Challenger was never really there! (See it yet?)
18 Enough With The Doors
It’s not just donks and fake Challengers with Lambo fever; nobody is safe! This brain virus can infect anybody. So, as a public service announcement, we want everyone to know: it’s over. It’s done, it’s gone, and it’s over. You’re not going to bring it back with your 18-second Civic, try as you may. This is essentially one of those mods that went away for a good reason but nobody remembers that reason very long.
Maybe, if they were designed better, you could almost get away with it. But once the under-engineered mechanical parts wear (prematurely), you can enjoy rickety, noisy, sticky doors that don’t open (or close) properly, and make you look like a goof every time you get in your car.
17 Sound On Sound On Sound (On Sound)
One study in Canada found that driver’s reaction times are diminished by up to 20% when subjected to extremely loud volumes of noise. We’re not sure if this guy is still driving in last Thursday or not but really, dude? How many subs do you need? They say that bad car mods are like cockroaches; for every one you see, there are 10 that you don’t.
Why do we mention this? When you find this pile of junk on Craigslist every seven months, as each new owner gets sick of it, learn from their mistakes and run away! (You don’t need a 24-inch monitor in your dashboard, not for no reason! 747 pilots don’t even get that much monitor!)
16 The Donk
Let us pretend for a second that donks aren’t ridiculous ways to modify cars. Let us pretend that they actually provide some utility, in exchange for the complete loss of function in every other scenario, except for maybe flash-flooding. Every other meaningful styling trend—whether you agree with it or not—serves a purpose.
Tuners are light and efficient; Pro Street (up to a finite boundary) provides exhilarating straight-line performance. Remind us again what a donk does? Sit there? Look silly? NOT get good mileage? If the sole purpose is to “look cool” then we’ll sit here and look sullen but we’ll still have two cars for the price of one.
15 Heavy Duty Lambo Fever
Nope! This doesn’t work either! This doesn’t work for so many reasons. If you’re unfamiliar with class 8 trucks, let’s explain something real quick: this truck is garbage! It’s the Nissan Titan of class 8 trucks: just ugly—and loads of it—for no apparent reason. Maybe that’s why this guy chose it in the first place; after all, you don’t see Peterbilt guys doing this garbage work! Not even Volvo guys do this.
The least we could do for this guy is appreciate the sacrifice it took to look this bad. What you’re looking at is tens of thousands of dollars meaninglessly frittered away into this black-hole of a depreciating asset. This is exactly how NOT to manage your 3% profit margin as an owner-operator.
14 Over The Top Drop Top
You may not understand what you’re looking at but, to be fair, we really don’t know, either. We can only explain away half of this nonsense but this car is actually more “factory” than you might think it is. According to Car Scoops, this is a prototype design from the 1960s that never ended up happening.
The designer, Ben J. Smith, finally got around to building it in 1994. His design, however, is only responsible for the folding hardtop. Whether he should have done this to a Mustang or not is up for debate—solely because it’s allegedly an idea from 1965 (which makes it cool). But the Lambo door fever is inexcusable any way you look at it.
13 Super Duty Gasser
Sometimes, you can lift your work truck and get away with it. Sometimes, it doesn’t look half bad, either. Sometimes, if you’re lucky, it even looked good before you lifted it (which is always a bonus). If none of these things can be said of whatever it is you’re trying to lift, a good rule of thumb would be to take a step back and start reevaluating your project.
These old, pre-Super Duty Fords are great work trucks for doing just about anything you can think of—except looking cool while you’re doing whatever that is. The 1980s were just really bad in general, with trucks included. While we can’t fault the F-350 for looking so ugly during this phase, we sure don’t want to buy one—let alone put money into it!
12 The Rocket Ship
A good way to know if you’re looking at a goon or not is to Pantone-match Loreal hair color with paint codes (and/or apparel accessories): positive matches equal positive matches. The biggest tragedy here is that he can’t go any faster than any naturally-aspirated 2.0-liter Subaru motor can push him (which isn’t very fast).
The whole thing about the BRZ (or FRS or Toyota 86 or whatever they're going to call it next) is that it never was a straight-line shooter. The car was built to carve the road on a set of rails…which it did almost perfectly until this moderate intellect modified all the suspension. What was once a fun little autocross car is now a habitual tire-eater that halts traffic every time he has to pull into a driveway.
11 Double Imposter
Online car listings like this are the reason that the phrase “buyer beware” was coined. At one point in time, you could have found this “super-rare,” one-of-a-kind, custom-modified, drag-racing Mustang for sale online; it even came complete with a wonderful drag racing history (and a drag-racing price tag to go along with it).
The only problem was, shortly after the listing went up, some really smart guys sat down and did some research. Surprise, surprise, it turns out, it’s probably not the winning Mustang the seller originally claimed it was in the original posting! What it is, and what he’s doing with it, we do not know. Regardless, chances are you don’t want this thing, no matter how cheap it might be.
10 Back Plow
This is the product of having too much time (and snow) on your hands. But you, too, can also get in on the fun. Here’s how: Step 1) Convince the lady of the house that it’s a necessary investment, a “tool” that is an absolute must-have. Step 2) Once you’ve successfully lied your way into an erroneous blessing, pull minivan into your shop, bolt a pallet to the bumper with a tin lawnmower grass catch screwed to it, and finish it off with a winch assembly that necessities driving with the rear gate wide open. Step 3) Drive contraption out into the snow and back into snow piles as fast as you can, hoping that the pallet doesn’t catch something on the ground flying beneath it.
9 Mini Plow
Laugh if you will, this isn’t just an isolated incident of wild-haired randomness fermented into a fully-executed bad idea. This “plow conversion” is an actual thing for smaller cars in places where they: A) Actually would sell cars like this, and B) Actually would put plows on cars like this. The obvious intent here is to economically push unwanted snow from the road in front of you; we get that part. What we don’t get, however, is living in an area where you have to worry about all that and trusting your plowing duties to the 79-horsepower brute strength of this Fiat 126. This is just asking for trouble sooner or later.
8 Stance Plow
What you’re looking at is the result of two things we love coming together in a bad way. Going fast is cool; we all like going fast. Sliding around is also fun; we all love to slide around and pretend we’re better at driving than we really are.
But when you intermix those two things with the added temptation that comes with a fresh layer of frosty snow, you’re asking for trouble. And Johnny Law is looking for people just like you to help the city pay for pothole repairs. Don’t be that guy we all laugh at when we pass by; leave your MX-5 at home!
7 Hazzard Plow
This little Subaru Justy is a party foul for so many reasons but we lost count after we saw the plow. Indeed, it would appear the market is strong for mini-plows and apparently, it’s even cool to theme them now. Unfortunately, it’s almost impossible to tell if it’s more embarrassing to have a snow plow hanging off the front of your Justy or having your Justy painted like the General Lee.
Thankfully, this one is all of the above, leaving a vast well of comedic value for all who stumble across it. This is not to say we wouldn’t want to own one for ourselves; oh…the things we would do to it…
Anybody who’s ever had a childhood can pick out a DeLorean by sight and although the stainless doorstops do have their own nifty little aura, it’s hard to imagine them being a pop-culture icon without the help of the Doc! The only unique feature these cars really have (besides awesome stainless steel panels) is the gullwing doors.
So, when you want to make a DeLorean three times cooler, what’s the logical thing to do? Add two sets of doors, of course! Wanna cruise “at altitude” without a hover conversion? Toss it on a Bronco chassis! Because where you’re going, you don’t need…roads.
5 Rubber Tree Rocket
Every now and then, you come across something that’s such a heaping waste of engineering, you almost have to stop and marvel at its very existence. May I present to you one such car? This little guy already had an unfortunate start and it just kept going downhill from there.
With a face like that, it was already hard to sell; but why add the hyper-performance body kit to the bumper? Why toss a ram-air scoop on the hood? Why throw on a fender vent on it? Is that supposed to make it…better? Is anyone out there fooled by this nonsense? Is this really the “thing to do” these days and we’re just not aware?
4 Mergatti Ceyron
You think you want one of these at first glance, don’t you? You’re asking yourself why we’d put a Bugatti Veyron on this list of beaters. Well, if you’re like 90% of the population, you see a Bugatti Veyron—but some of us look at this and see something off.
It’s really hard to spot if you don’t have the real one side by side to compare it with but this is actually a 2001 Mercury Cougar that's modified to look like a Veyron. Only two types of people knowingly drive around in this type of car: those that like jokes and those that like jokes.
3 Gunbus Motorbike
You’d almost think you were in Russia, but no. Close, though! (It’s actually classified.) What’s not classified is this thing's ridiculousness, delivered to you by the 55-gallon drum. This accident waiting to happen gets power via your standard V-twin configuration, but it is no ordinary V-twin. Gunbus uses radial cylinders from an aircraft, which happens to be the easiest way to achieve a displacement of 6.7 liters (that’s right, 408 cubic-inches)!
The custom-twin pumps 350 horses off the shaft, which sounds scary until you realize she weighs all of 1,430 pounds. (Now you have a whole new reason to be scared of Gunbus.) Is it rideable? Yes. Is it practical? That all depends on who you ask. Do you need one in your life? No. And that’s exactly why you need one in your life.
2 Lazy Walker
What happens when you cross a Star Wars weirdo with a Volkswagen weirdo? We’re still not entirely sure but things like this usually are a byproduct of such unions. It’s well-known that Volkswagen folks do some weird things; the more undesirable the VW, the weirder they get (you’d never see a first-gen Type 1 owner engaging in these type of shenanigans).
What then, would prompt this Type 2 owner into such nonsense? Maybe it’s the fact that nobody likes post-67 Type 2s? Defend them all you want, the last great bus died in 1967; whatever came after that was just a precursor to the minivan.
1 Double-Axle Flatbed
This is for all those jobs that your Ford Escort could “almost” handle on its own. Because how many times have you gone to Home Depot, filled up the dolly with a pile of 10-foot 2x4s, only to get out to your station wagon, and realize you need an extra three feet of deck? Was this the concoction of spare parts given a second chance and repurposed into a new, useful life? Or did this guy really think he was going to save five bucks by building his own Ford Ranger Wagon? Don’t be fooled by the effort to hide his shabby work with the factory bumper cover; it’s really as bad under there as you think it is.
Sources: Car Scoops, Digg, Daily Turismo, Bang Shift, and Motorcyclist.