What the Heck is That?
There is a huge difference between a car that is attractive and easily admired and one that is downright ugly. This in between area usually has many plain and uninspiring models to offer, but sometimes there are cars that actually seem like they should lean one way or another and not be a middle of the road model with their looks. When an automaker goes for polarizing looks they are going to leave some people out of the crowd, but in reality there are some cars that have been made that just make you wonder what it is and even make you want to drive them, regardless of the oddball looks.
Alfa Romeo SZ – Typically when you see an Alfa Romeo vehicle it has gorgeous styling, sleek lines and gives you the feeling of perfection on wheels. The SZ was none of this. This is a car that is interesting to look at and gives you a feeling of wonder, but not the kind that will make you an immediate admirer. Even so, the SZ is a car that can grow on people and eventually many owners have come to enjoy their different looking Alfa Romeo vehicle.
Citroen SM – This is a little car that many of us have admired for many years. This car is one that was made to be unique and it does a great job of doing just that. Possibly one of the first real hatchbacks of its time the Citroen SM is a car that we see in many ways. It looks like an inexpensive little car and at the time it was built it certainly was that, but it also has a great place in automotive history as one of the oddballs we want to drive and enjoy, even if others are laughing at us the entire time.
Edsel Corsair – What’s wrong with this car. It has the classic looks of the 1950s that make it an admirable player in the market as it shows off the grace of a tank and a build that matches the same for toughness. The Corsair was never one that was appreciated and the sales certainly showed it. The high front end with the odd flanked grills and the strange nose feature didn’t do the Corsair any favors, but you have to appreciate this car for the uniqueness it brings to the market for us to enjoy.
Ferrari Berlinetta Boxer – Isn’t everything Ferrari makes gorgeous, sexy and sleek? Not quite. The Berlinetta Boxer was one that showed up appearing to be built from different cars. The front end starts us off right with a low curvature, but once you reach the cabin there is no match to the front and heading to the rear is even worse. There is nothing about this car that makes it a smart choice for you to admire, but it really is a Ferrari and it could have been a car that we would have appreciated in America, but it was unfortunately never sold here.
Lancia Fulvia Sport Zagato – Just having the Zagato name attached to this car makes it a great car and one you should drive, right? Wrong. This was a car that looked too plain to be gorgeous, but also too sleek to be slow. There are a lot of arguments as to what this car was trying to prove, but there is no doubt this was a car that would start or continue a conversation. This was a car that offered better aerodynamics than its trim mates, but it didn’t have the style we wanted to enjoy.
Lotus Europa – When you wanted a car that could handle well and was lightweight this was a great choice. You had to overlook the fact that it didn’t have the beauty and grace you normally associate with Lotus vehicles, but it was one that you wanted to drive, maybe. Is handling and performance more important to you than looks? It should be, but this was a car that was hard to get past the styling cues or lack thereof to enjoy the ride you would have on the Europa. No doubt there were many who were turned off by this car, but that is their loss as they could have had this car to drive for themselves.
Plymouth Valiant – When we discuss the positive attributes of the Plymouth Valiant the second generation model is usually the subject of conversation. The first generation was an interesting vehicle to look at with a massive grill and a front hood that appears to sweep out into eyebrows of the fenders that are placed over the headlights. Even though this was one seriously ugly car it’s still one that we would love to own and drive as a classic example of what a car could be and maybe of what it shouldn’t be even if the design team falls in love with their creations.
Renault Alpine GTA – French cars have often made me wonder when it came to design and this was one that certainly begged several questions. This is a car that appears to be a conglomeration of parts that don’t fit. Look at the way the tiny rear side window meets with the rear glass, see the front end that appears to be angled up at the front instead of down, what was Renault thinking? Even with the obvious design failures you can’t help but look at and possibly desire this weird car.
Stout Scarab – If you want to know what a rear engined minivan would look like look no further. Certainly there are worse designs, but this one shows us a tiny set of windows that give barely any visibility and an engine area that takes up way too much space. While the attempt is certainly worth admiration this is a vehicle that is not only strange to look at but is an obvious safety hazard which doesn’t make it an inviting place for you to carry your children for any type of adventure.
Subaru SVX- This sports car isn’t too bad to look at until you head to the rear of the car, at least past the hood. The odd windows that had a small separation to give you a window that opened only slightly within another window is just strange. The lines from the front to the rear really are enticing, but it’s so hard to see past the strange windows that you get stuck here. Not only was this an odd design, but its car that was too expensive for the oddity it was and didn’t sell nearly as well as it could have.