Hooniverse Asks: What's the Weirdest Car Trying to Look Like Another Car You've Ever Seen?

Have you ever seen the movie Single White Female? Yeah, that’s a creep-fest. It’s also an experience that has made me leery of anything that tries to be something else, and that includes cars. Surimi passing itself off as crab, that dude that spent thousands for plastic surgery so he can look like Justin Bieber, and most certainly, Toyota MR2s that are trying to pass as Porsche Carrara GTs – they all freak me out.
We’ll leave the fake food and celebrity wannabes out, but I want to know what you’ve seen in the automotive world of ripoffs and homages. What are some of the weirdest poseur cars you’ve ever seen?
Image: Hemmings

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  1. Maymar Avatar

    Late 90’s Civic trying to pass itself off as an E46 coupe. As I recall (I saw it on TV or something), the owner had spent pretty close to the MSRP, just to look like they were spending about $399 a month for 36 months.

  2. hubba Avatar

    I really like the z3/miata conversion. The actual z3 has terrible proportions, including a very gawky windshield. Pasting the same styling cues on an NA miata fixes it.

    1. Rover 1 Avatar
      Rover 1

      Or you could just have the standard Miata.
      These conversions date from the nanosecond, (if it was even that long?), when the Z3 was considered by some people to be more desirable than the better handling, better built, better looking, better resale, better aftermarket, more reliable, cheaper to fix and just in every metric possible, better, MX5/Miata. And remember a BMW still hasn’t won Le Mans unlike the maker of the world’s most successful DRIVER’S car.

      1. hubba Avatar

        BMW won Le Mans in 1999 (and kept Toyota from the win).
        I have a Miata. It’s great.

        1. Rover 1 Avatar
          Rover 1

          D’oh.Brainfade. You’re absolutely right. I even have a 1:18 scale model of it! But they were beaten by Mazda, who also made the Wankel Rotary work. Oft forgotten by Euro snobs

          1. hubba Avatar

            But not forgotten by my Miata club.
            “Hey! Let’s invite all of the other Japanese car clubs to a party where thef dress like their brand’s Le Mans winner!”
            That joke never gets old.

  3. Vavon Avatar

    Aixam 400i says: “When I grow up I would like to be a 205!”

  4. fede Avatar

    I’m not 100% sure this is an answer to the question… but it’s a pouser, and it’s sad. vw gol trying to be a ferrari f50

    1. Vavon Avatar


      1. Joe Btfsplk Avatar
        Joe Btfsplk

        Really… a four wheel hot-tub?

  5. Manic_King Avatar

    1. Monkey10is Avatar

      I had never realised that the Range Rover Evoque was such a blatant copy!

    2. Citric Avatar

      It must suck to be one of the Chinese companies trying to get a foothold out of the country. Stuff like that (and the photos below) tend to be what people associate the country with. Someone at Geely is probably pulling their hair out shouting that they make real cars now, they own Volvo, please stop associating China with the knockoffs.
      The Forester looking thing is an Austin Maestro.

      1. Sjalabais Avatar

        …and they really just keep coming. Occasionally with new names I’ve not yet heard about. But the worst part is…I’d really like to try every single one of them.
        The Landwind-name will forever be connected to the Jiangling Landwind that came to Germany in 2007:

        It collapsed like throwing room tempered butter at a wall. This test effectively put a stop to Chinese imports for several years to come.

    1. Kiefmo Avatar

      And yet, the Amazon still manages to look good and well-proportioned.
      Nothing like Mitsuoka’s efforts, which deserve their own post, for sure.

  6. Kiefmo Avatar

    For factory efforts, The H3 is a shrunken look-alike of a look-alike of a military vehicle:

  7. Kiefmo Avatar

    Evidently, the poor Miata has been victim of this sub-genre of car customization too many times to count. A quick GIS revealed the following:

    1. buzzboy7 Avatar

      Sadly, I like the top one.

      1. Kiefmo Avatar

        Not sad at all — the proportions work! It’s like a cross between a 60s Ferrari coupe and an Opel GT.

        1. NapoleonSolo Avatar

          I like it, too. Unfortunately, I got a Saab Sonett vibe before the Opel GT vibe. Somehow a little to vertical, but still nice.

      2. Krautwursten Avatar

        Agreed, the Simpson Italia kits look rather great. Too bad they cost an arm and a leg for Miata standards, and I’m guessing also a mental breakdown or two over the sheer bureaucracy involved with registering one-offs without European crash testing approval seals for every single part around here.

    2. Manxman Avatar

      For some reason, unknown to me I like all of these Miata makeovers. Maybe because the donor car is a well engineered platform unlike some of the air-cooled VW based atrocities.

  8. irishzombieman Avatar

    Saw a Chrysler Concorde once that’d been given a really nice paint job and was rebadged with Mercedes emblems.
    The worst ever, though, was the Neon rebadged as an Alfa Romeo, complete with a pointy prosthetic nose glued to the front and the word “ROMEO” painted down the side in ugly tattoo script.

    View post on imgur.com

  9. Krautwursten Avatar

    A shameless imposter that looks terrible, and let’s not forget that it’s front wheel driven and usually fourbanger front engine powered.

  10. Guest Avatar

    I thought the BMW 318ti tried way too hard to try to look like a Toyota Tercel coupe.

    1. Wayne Moyer Avatar
      Wayne Moyer

      Wait I deleted this post. Hey.. powers that be! Get rid of this one.

  11. Wayne Moyer Avatar
    Wayne Moyer

    I always thought the BMW 318tii tried way too hard to look like a Toyota Tercel 2 door.

  12. CSM Avatar

    The Rodster–S10 Blazer body kit

    1. Krautwursten Avatar

      The pickup truck version with only the front end kit looks adorable though.

      1. Tanshanomi Avatar

        I have dreamt of combining that front end on an S-10 pickup with a stake side flatbed.

    1. Sjalabais Avatar


      1. Batshitbox Avatar

        Der bürgermeister?

    2. Kiefmo Avatar

      And the hood is still held down with a strap.
      One can only dodge and burn so much crappiness out of a car, I suppose.

  13. Monkey10is Avatar

    The Fisker Thunderbolt, which is trying too hard to look like an AM Vanquish?
    Oh wait, you’ve done this one: hooniverse.info/…/aston-martin-will-sue-henrik-fisker-over-the-thunderbolt/

  14. JayP Avatar

    I don’t hate it.

    1. Sjalabais Avatar

      A Donald Duck custome should be mandatory for the driver.

  15. JayP Avatar

    Falls into the “uncanny valley” for cars.

  16. marmer Avatar

    I actually don’t have a problem with any of the Miata conversions. I think they are cute.

    1. Vavon Avatar

      Is that your final answer?

      1. Citric Avatar

        Meth: Not Even Once.

      2. marmer Avatar

        Any of the Miata conversions posted up to that point. That thing, not so much.

      3. Jeepster Avatar

        Kill it with fire

  17. 0A5599 Avatar

    How about a car trying to look like the wierdest car?
    Otherwise, maybe a police car with “phantom” graphics to make it look like a civilian version.

    1. JayP Avatar

      Looks like a Transport got stung by a bee.

  18. Jaap Avatar

    Rover SD1 wanted to be a Ferrari Daytona, Mazda RX7 a Porsche 924. Subaru Forester wanted – besides being an Austin Maestro – to be a Wartburg (multi-schrizophrenia?). De Tomaso Deauville: Jaguar XJ6, Hyundai Scoupe: Ferrari 456. Moskvich Aleko wanted to be (why) a simca 1307/Talbot 1510. And there is a French microcar that looks like a mini-me-version of the Renault Espace.
    Peugeot 605 looked like an Alfa164 which looked like a Peugeot 405. At launch time, there was some contoversy about the way – all the way – the 1980 Mazda 323 looked like the 1980 Ford Escort. The Ford 500 wanted to be a bigger brother of the 1997 Volkswagen Passat, so it actually wanted to be a VW Pheaton.
    It’s hard to pick the worst…

  19. NapoleonSolo Avatar

    1979 Plymouth Horizon
    1977 VW Rabbit
    I always say, if your going to copy something, copy something worth copying.
    Chevy Vega
    Fiat 124 Sport

    1. Fuhrman16 Avatar

      Not only did the Omi/Horizon look like the Golf, they also used VW engines until ’83, being replaced by Simca engines. (Chysler’s own 2.2L was optional starting in ’81.)

      1. NapoleonSolo Avatar

        That’s right. I’d forgotten that.

  20. neight428 Avatar

    How about one car trying to emulate two others at the same time?

    1. Sjalabais Avatar

      Hey, look, I think there’s a gold bracelet right at my front wheel. Come closer.

      1. neight428 Avatar

        “Is that a Tommy Bahama gift card next to it?”

  21. JayP Avatar

    I’m really getting irritated with these S197 guys thinking they’re all “that” with the fastback looks and reliability.

  22. Jeepster Avatar

    Land Rover Series III wannabee

    1. Jeepster Avatar

      OR BJ73 ?