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WHAT'S THE WORST CAR OF THE MILLENIUM
Car Talk dot com ^ | unknown date | Staff

Posted on 07/29/2002 10:41:16 PM PDT by doug from upland

CLICK HERE FOR ENTIRE ARTICLE AND ALL 10 OF THE DISHONORED PIECES OF JUNK

No. 10 - VW Bus

"If everyone had to own one of these as a first car as I did, there would be no traffic jams anywhere. At least half of us would be so turned off by the experience of owning a car, that we would seek alternate means of transportation."

"There was no heat--unless, that is, the auxiliary gas heater caught fire."

"The flower stickers were the only things that held the car together."

"The bus had no heat, blew over in the wind and used the driver's legs as its first line of defense in an accident."

"It was a death trap on the highway-you could never go fast enough. The chances were good that you'd be hit from the rear."

No. 9 - Renault Dauphine

"Truly unencumbered by the engineering process."

"At the time, it cost about half the price of a Volkswagen... which was half the price of everything else. How could Renault do this? Simple. It had half as many parts."

"This car topped out at 45 mph. Since the minimum speed on the Florida Turnpike is 40, patrol cars would follow me, waiting for me to hit a hill so they could ticket me."

"From a historical perspective, it's a shame that the French spent their Marshall Plan dollars on automaking."

"A side impact by a bicycle totaled my Dauphine after only one year."

No. 8 - Cadillac Cimarron

"GM thought they could take a Chevy Cavalier, slap some Cadillac stuff on it, add an extra $5,000.00 and sell a bundle. Tragically enough, they pulled it off-for a while."

"Hands down, worst car for the money spent. Yugos were junk, but at least they were cheap. This heap had a Caddy price tag!"

"A stupid marketing ploy. Nothing more than a Chevrolet Cavalier, which Roger Smith gussied up and called a Cadillac."

"When we traded it in my wife was upset because we didn't keep it long enough for her to buy a gun and shoot it."

No. 7 - Dodge Aspen/Plymouth Volare

"This car began to rust while it was still in the showroom."

"The stalling problem was so bad that I had to take a clockwise route to work so I could make all right turns, and not risk stalling on a left turn in front of oncoming traffic."

"After the floor boards rusted out in the rear, they would fill up with water and freeze. I ended up putting soda crates on the floor in the back to keep people from falling under the car."

"The only useful purpose this car served was as the model for the car used in National Lampoon's Vacation."

"Owning a Volare was total ego death--the theme song, the vinyl Landau roof, the inability to pass another car on the highway."

Nol 6 - Renault Le Car

"I'm convinced that the body metal for this car was supplied by Reynold's Aluminum."

"Like any French restaurant in America, it was overpriced, noisy, moody, and would put you in mortal danger if you had an accident with anything larger than a croissant."

"Our Le Car couldn't climb a hill fully loaded, so the passengers had to get out and walk up."

"I left it unlocked overnight, and it was finally stolen. The insurance check paid for a textbook."


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Culture/Society; Miscellaneous; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: autoshop; car; junk; morejunk
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To: Looking4Truth
, but the ugliest 'thing' in the new millenium so far is the Pontiac Aztec

Boy are you right about that! I saw one today and it looks like someone kicked it in the a$$.

51 posted on 07/30/2002 12:54:57 AM PDT by vikzilla
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To: doug from upland
The list is suspect... No mention of Fiat... One of the crappest cars I've come into contact with...
52 posted on 07/30/2002 1:23:37 AM PDT by DB
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To: DentsRun
"I learned to drive on a Corvair Spider, a car that had a much undeserved bad rap.

You're absolutely right. It felt so solid and low to the ground people tried to drive it as if it was a sports car, which it wasn't. That's why they turned over. People were pretending they were driving Porsches. It also had terrific traction in snow (you didn't snow tires, let alone chains). There were no transmission humps. The foot room was great. On the bad side, it leaked oil. The rear grill was always getting knocked off. The fan belt kept coming off (it operated in two planes at right angles to each other). And the early models had gas heaters."


With all due respect the Corvair Spyder and the monza which I owned were marketed as sports type cars.
Though they weren't quite as bad as Nader made them out to be they did have serious defects. I can remember many times taking corners on two wheels at speeds less than 30 mph.The same corners and speeds that my parents Kingswood wagon took on all four tires. There was one benefit to those two wheel corners, because after ending up sitting in the passanger seat I have always used a seat belt. Because The exhaust system leaked like a sieve. It was
neccesary to leave the windows open year round. This wasn't as bad as it sounds because the heater stopped working as the ubiquitous chevy rust cycle had eaten that away. The car finally rusted off of its frame ending a love hate relationship that lasted through my senior year in high school.
The best thing about that car was the engine tranie match. for a rear engine car of that weight they were a perfect fit.
The bean counters that made them skimp on the (non)suspention should have been forced to attend every funeral money oney saving measure caused.

As for other cars i've had the Chevy Citation needs special notice. While it was under warrenty it was more often in the shop than on the road. The only good thing about it was it waited to die till i could buy a Mazda 323. That car went through it's first tranie before the warrenty was over,the second tranie waited till just after.

Buzzcook
53 posted on 07/30/2002 1:32:19 AM PDT by Buzzcook
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To: doug from upland
When the Hubs and I were first dating, he had this puke green Fiat--can't remember its name - I don't think it deserved one. It ran fine Mon-Thurs and promptly broke down every Friday eve. The clutch cable broke so often that he carried a spare - it became so routine he got it down to about a 15 min job, usually at about 2 in the morning in below zero weather somewhere along the 13 mile route between our houses. In summer it overheated very easily, so he rigged up this fan to cool the engine. Until he installed a switch for it, my job was to hold these two little wires together, which I did very gingerly, causing them to arc and spark. I can still hear him saying, "Hold them TOGETHER, not CLOSE to each other--TOGETHER!"

The worst of it was when it finally breathed its last, he went and bought ANOTHER one - same puke green! He figured he had learned how to repair everything that could ever go wrong, so why not? This one, I gave a new name to..it came to be called the "FIAB" for "Fix It Again, Bil!"

54 posted on 07/30/2002 1:39:26 AM PDT by Mygirlsmom
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To: doug from upland
I once arrived at an aiport Hertz counter very late and they told me "I'm sorry, we've run out of cars and the only thing we have for you is a Chevette"

I was a little tired and what I heard was "We've run out of cars and the only thing we have for you is a Corvette."

I was immediately pumped up and was almost dancing "You've got to be kidding....that would be wonderful." ...and started planning my back-road trip to the hotel.

Well -- they weren't kidding....they had sold out of cars.....the parking lot was empty....except for this one small compact in the middle of a lot of asphalt. It took me a while to find my car that night - even though there was only one! I kept thinking they'd garage the Vette, perhaps. It took a while for the light bulb to go off and when it did -- I began a lifelong resentment against Chevettes.

55 posted on 07/30/2002 1:59:17 AM PDT by The Raven
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Don't fret none, all them fine automobiles get put to use by hillbilly deerhunters. Just gotta remember if the winder is up or down.


56 posted on 07/30/2002 2:00:10 AM PDT by spectr17
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To: BluesDuke
Half the cars you mention, I'd give a left testicle for...any of the business coups, any Hudson or any Falcon V8.
57 posted on 07/30/2002 2:09:08 AM PDT by morjon
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To: doug from upland
Conspicuous in their absence from this list are the cars inflicted on the subjects of the late, unlamented Soviet Union.

A friend who emigrated in 1986 tells me that Soviet citizens got most of their exercise from pushing their Moskvitch diesel sedans.

It might be significant that a substantial fraction of Soviet cars were made in a factory in Togliatti that was built by Fiat.

Freedom, Wealth, and Peace,
Francis W. Porretto
Visit The Palace Of Reason: http://palaceofreason.com

58 posted on 07/30/2002 5:44:14 AM PDT by fporretto
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Comment #59 Removed by Moderator

To: doug from upland
They say a picture says a thousand words ...


60 posted on 07/30/2002 6:01:34 AM PDT by al_c
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To: weegee
Didn't "Clinton's War" result in our bombing of the Yugo factory?

I don't know, but if it did this is the single greatest accomplishment of the Clinton administration.

61 posted on 07/30/2002 6:10:34 AM PDT by sharktrager
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To: doug from upland

My first car. Thanks, dad.
(Not the actual photo)

62 posted on 07/30/2002 6:10:39 AM PDT by wallcrawlr
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To: zhabotinsky

My vote goes to the Zaporozhets, the air-coolered, rear-engined Ukrainian Corsair. Here's the luxury stretchoviy model. A close second would be the two-stroke East German Trabant. Wenn mein trabbi schneller waere, dann heist er 'galoppi'!

63 posted on 07/30/2002 6:19:44 AM PDT by struwwelpeter
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To: doug from upland
#3 Ford Pinto

They should have also put the Ford Mustangs that based upon the Pinto chassis and drivetrain. The current Mustangs are great, but the Pinto/Mustangs were little more than Pintos with a prettier body.
64 posted on 07/30/2002 6:21:33 AM PDT by Brookhaven
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To: Uni-Poster
I thought the Pinto got a bum rap. I drove a Pinto into the 300,000 mile range with only the usual maintenance one would expect with an aging car. It looked bad but it always got there.

The fact that it look like crap (as did those horrible AMC Pacers) was a contributing factor.

65 posted on 07/30/2002 6:28:31 AM PDT by capt. norm
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To: doug from upland
Haven't read what everyone else posted, but this reminded me of an article I read in a Life magazine (I think) retrospective on the seventies. It had somewhat lengthy mini-articles on all different kinds of things related to the seventies. For the Chevy Vega it had one sentence:

There's something disturbing about a car that rusts on the showroom floor.

66 posted on 07/30/2002 6:29:26 AM PDT by SW6906
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To: doug from upland

No air conditioning, no radio, can't pull a trailer, and if you touch it, it will blow up . . . .

67 posted on 07/30/2002 6:35:12 AM PDT by realpatriot71
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To: morjon
I'd give a left testicle for...any of the business coups, any Hudson or any Falcon V8.

I had a '64 Falcon convertible, 260 V-8, bright yellow with black interior ... it was special.

68 posted on 07/30/2002 6:38:08 AM PDT by TheRightGuy
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Comment #69 Removed by Moderator

To: I still care
The prettiest car I ever owned, and one of the prettiest ever made, was my burgandy 1951 Mercury. It had uncanny powers. Under a cloudless sky it was flawless. But it knew when a cloud was about to come over the horizon and would tell me by beginning to cough. Long before rain started to fall, it would head for the side of the road and go into hibernation. I sold it to a meterologist, who became rich and famous using that Merc to predict the weather.
70 posted on 07/30/2002 6:43:55 AM PDT by Whilom
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To: doug from upland
WHAT'S THE WORST CAR OF THE MILLENIUM?

1984 Hyundai Excel...my mom has one. Cant even find it in Google image search. It still looks ok, and starts, and runs, but this car has no power, never has. I hate this car.

I cant believe the S. Koreans are still making these cars. I suspect they have improved over the years, cause there are lots of them on the road here in CA.

71 posted on 07/30/2002 7:02:37 AM PDT by Clovis_Skeptic
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To: doug from upland
worst car? howzabowt a K-car ?
72 posted on 07/30/2002 7:05:29 AM PDT by InvisibleChurch
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To: TheRightGuy
Yeah...the guy says his Granny in her walker would pass a Falcon...well, if she comes across a Falcon Sprint V8, 289 4spd, 4bbl dual exh, she'd better have a super-charger up her arse!
73 posted on 07/30/2002 7:08:20 AM PDT by morjon
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To: capt. norm
I thought the Pinto got a bum rap.

No, the rap was well deserved. On a corporate level, the car cost Ford a lot of money.
74 posted on 07/30/2002 7:11:06 AM PDT by BikerNYC
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To: doug from upland
I owned a beat up VW bus that had over 200,000 miles on it. It was our "second" car that I used to drive to the airport and park while I was away all week on sales calls.

One week I was in a hurry to make a flight from MSP to LGA and left the keys in the ignition and didn't realize it until I was in the air over Ohio. I spent all week wondering if the insurance was up to date.

When I returned, I went to the parking area to ascertain that the VW had indeed been stolen before I entered a stolen vehicle report. To my dismay, it was still there! I retrieved my luggage and went to the car and found a note on the steering wheel that read: "You've got to be kidding!"

75 posted on 07/30/2002 7:17:08 AM PDT by N. Theknow
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To: Banger
What was bad about the early Vegas was the engine. They were some of the first all aluminum engines Chevy used.You were lucky to get 20,000 miles before connecting rods came through the block.

A friend of mine was an engineer for Shell oil and they had Chevy send over some new Vega engines for testing.He said they were so bad out of the crate he sent them back and said "NO Thanks".

Chevy finally wised up,probably after spending $Millions on warranty repaires and started using iron block engines.They turned into decent little cars finally.

76 posted on 07/30/2002 7:26:00 AM PDT by painter
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To: socal_parrot
I learned to drive on a Corvair Spider, a car that had a much undeserved bad rap.

Me too! My dad had two in the 60's, and the problem was with the people that drove them, not the car.

We went all over the state of California in that car. It did have a nasty habit of breaking down at inopportune times though.

But since it is the car I learned to drive on, it will allways have a place in my heart.

77 posted on 07/30/2002 12:39:58 PM PDT by gracie1
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To: L.N. Smithee
The first Chevy Monza (the 2+2) introduced rectangular headlights to North America.

Oh, sure, that and some 20 other 1975 GM models.

78 posted on 07/30/2002 12:58:13 PM PDT by newgeezer
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To: painter
What was bad about the early Vegas was the engine.

That, and the RUST. Few cars before or since rusted as easily and thoroughly as the Vega.

79 posted on 07/30/2002 1:00:04 PM PDT by newgeezer
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To: socal_parrot; Arkinsaw; jumpstartme
I also had a Monza and that was the last GM product I have ever purchased, and I will never purchase a GM product again. (Wasn't the Monza built on the Vega platform?) The fuel economy was something like 4 quarts of oil per tank full of gas.
80 posted on 07/30/2002 1:05:31 PM PDT by Labyrinthos
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To: L.N. Smithee
"Le Merde" would be more like it.
81 posted on 07/30/2002 1:12:52 PM PDT by pankot
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To: socal_parrot
Back in the mid-70s, there was a crime-wave in DC/MD of a man going around picking up women and killing them and then dumping their bodies. Witnessess told police the criminal was driving a green Vega. So the papers dubbed it the Green Vega Murders. Besides the sadness at the loss of life, I always wondered what kind of woman would allow herself to be picked up by a man driving a Vega?
82 posted on 07/30/2002 1:15:55 PM PDT by rabidralph
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To: doug from upland
James Carville
83 posted on 07/30/2002 1:18:16 PM PDT by WhatWouldReaganDo
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To: goody2shooz
My all time worst car was a VW Karman Ghia. Dreadful car. Couldn't wait to get rid of it.

I've always thought the Kharman Ghia was the ugliest car ever made.

84 posted on 07/30/2002 1:25:25 PM PDT by absinthe
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To: mlibertarianj
I owned a 72 Gremlin X. 304 V8. Warner T 14 3 speed, posi traction, dual exhausts with Thrush Hush mufflers and a body that was lightened by Pittsburgh winters. Quite a few Camaro owners were surprised and embarrased by it.
85 posted on 07/30/2002 1:38:21 PM PDT by metalurgist
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To: The Raven
We always called them $#!t-Vettes.

My sister had one, scared the hell out of me driving the backroads into Bloomington, IN from from Yellowwood state park. I was used to going fast on twisty roads; but in a Firebird Formula, not in that death trap. How she survived it I'll never know.

86 posted on 07/30/2002 1:43:11 PM PDT by AFreeBird
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To: Arkinsaw
All the cars in that class that had the 265 ci V8 had to have the motor mounts disconnected and the engine jacked up to get at the spark plugs. Monza, Starfire, Sunbird, Skyhawk. These cars were so bad that the Kelly blue book wouldn't put a value on them. The book said "buy at your own risk".
87 posted on 07/30/2002 1:45:14 PM PDT by metalurgist
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To: zhabotinsky
They used to import the Dacia into Chile. Saw a Dacia
4 wheel jeep-like vehicule on the show room floor... was
starting to rust at the windshield frame -- brand new!!!
88 posted on 07/30/2002 1:48:13 PM PDT by chilepepper
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To: struwwelpeter
A close second would be the two-stroke East German Trabant.

I've actually seen one Trabant on the road: on a Swiss freeway, shortly after the Wall fell. It was keeping up a good speed, so I suspect the owner had a new engine in it.

89 posted on 07/30/2002 2:00:51 PM PDT by BlazingArizona
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To: doug from upland
I protest this ranking. There is an obvious cultural bias against the Italians. The Fiat Strada should have won hands down.

With it's noisy vibrating engine and a Weber carb that would allow the fuel needle and seat to back out and let the engine starve for fuel and die just about anywhere.
Torque steering that was so bad you had to steer right to go straight every time you pulled out.
Wiring by the tempermental and always drunk Luigi who only would work with red and white wire that was cut into 40 foot sections no matter if only a foot was needed. The excess was wrapped around stuff and then made into a ball.
Then there was the body. The finest recycled tin cans rolled to exquisite thinness by the best pastry chefs in Italy guaranteeing the the Strada's D ring door handles would rot off and come loose in your hands when you opened the doors.

I demand a recount and reparations.

90 posted on 07/30/2002 2:07:42 PM PDT by metalurgist
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To: doug from upland
I've had it with American vehicles, I going back to Honda, Toyota or Nissan.
91 posted on 07/30/2002 2:09:44 PM PDT by RightWinger
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To: socal_parrot
I had a Monza as a HS kid back in the late 70s. It had a small block V8 from the factory and was a good car for me. The small block V8 was a bit cramped, but the car was quick and handled pretty good. Just right for a HS kid on a budget.
92 posted on 07/30/2002 2:13:38 PM PDT by WildWeasel
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To: metalurgist
No, the Skyhawk had the Buick 231 CI V6. The 231 was , and still is one of the best motors GM has ever made. They also put a turbo 4 in the Skyhawk for a while.
93 posted on 07/30/2002 2:17:49 PM PDT by WildWeasel
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To: KenGum4
Somehow, it ended up being one of the best selling cars in America.

Simple reason for its best seller status. FordMoCo owns Hertz rent-a-wreck. Fleet sales to Hertz was the reason the Taurus showed such high sales numbers.

94 posted on 07/30/2002 2:21:26 PM PDT by Don Carlos
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To: WildWeasel
The first 231 that was put into the Skyhawk was the oddfire V6. These engines had a rough idle because they used a 90 degree power stroke the same as a V8.

The 265 Chevy was an option on all of them I'm pretty sure.
I don't remember a turbo 4 cyl. engine. The only 4 cyl. they had back then was the 151 Iron Duke.

95 posted on 07/30/2002 2:36:10 PM PDT by metalurgist
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To: Labyrinthos
LMAO! I don't recall burning that much oil. But, all of my window handles broke within the 1st year, the thing rode like a broken kettle, and it was just a piece of garbage. It probably was on the Vega model. I think the original Pontiac Sunbird was the same. Garbage.

Of course, I've got a nice Blazer in the garage. Not a moment's trouble.
96 posted on 07/30/2002 3:10:45 PM PDT by jumpstartme
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To: BluesDuke
1960-63 Ford Falcon

I had a friend with a '61 Falcon.He found out one day that the floor of the trunk was also the top of the fuel tank. Seems that the trunk leaked rain water and the floor rusted out.
He put the gas pump nozzle into the filler and put the 'auto' cutoff on it.
Thirty five gallons later he had a trunk full of gas. LOL

97 posted on 07/30/2002 3:18:56 PM PDT by Vinnie
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To: jumpstartme
Mine was blue with a white vinyl top that started to peel and flake within a year. I lost several window handles also, as well as the driver's side window, which just kind of popped out. I really didn't mind, however, because I usually drove around with the window open anyway to vent the smell of burning oil. Now I have a Ford Explorer that just turned 100,000 miles with virtually no problems other than ordinary wear and tear.
98 posted on 07/30/2002 3:22:08 PM PDT by Labyrinthos
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To: Arkinsaw; EternalVigilance
AMC Spirit. Ugliest hatchback car ever. My dad used to go to govt auctions and buy these awful used cars for us kids to drive. At the time I thought he was embarassingly cheap but now I think he was shrewdly practical. :)

The one we had was robin's egg blue with one burgundy door and an AM radio. The hatch used to pop up when I'd hit bumps in the road and I'd have to pull over to close it. The only time it WOULDN'T open was when I locked my keys in the car at a school dance, and then no amount of bouncing on the back bumper would get it to pop. Another time when I closed it, the whole back window shattered all over the road. Delightful vehicle, let me tell ya.

From the looks of this thread, AMC made some real gems.
99 posted on 07/30/2002 3:22:34 PM PDT by agrace
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To: struwwelpeter
That's one ugly car.
100 posted on 07/30/2002 3:24:20 PM PDT by baseballfanjm
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