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Hooniverse Asks: What’s the worst car you actually really want to drive?

There have been objectively bad vehicles produced throughout the years. Those vehicles are harder to find when you look at the most recent crop of cars, but surely something might stand out to you. But no matter which you pick, there is likely to have always been something worse out there. And at that same time, there’s probably someone itching to drive that “bad” car. So what’s the worst car you actually really want to drive?

I don’t have a good answer of my own. I’m not sure if a Lada is truly bad, but one turned into a race car of sorts would be fun. Plus, I’d love to drive a stock example to see what it’s all about.

Anything classic, even if it’s bad, also has a place on my list. Since I’d love to try and drive pretty much any vehicle out there.

How about you? What’s your white whale of bad automotive decisions? Share a bad car that you actually really want to drive…

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22 responses to “Hooniverse Asks: What’s the worst car you actually really want to drive?”

  1. Batshitbox Avatar


    1. Batshitbox Avatar

      Anything “made in a shed up north” as the Brits say. Lotus, TVR, Reliant Robin, Noble, Midas, etc.

      (I’m on the fence about the DeLorean DMC 12; Is it a bad car? Do I even *want* to drive one, or would I just do it because someone offered?)

      1. Maymar Avatar

        If the DeLorean is a questionably bad car, is the Corvair a bad car? I know it’s notorious, although if the two main pieces of its downfall is the need for a rear sway bar (pre-’64) and the need to adhere to irregular tire pressures, I’m not sure it’s legitimately bad (but then I want a Corvair, so I’m biased).

        1. Batshitbox Avatar

          Chevette and Vega also popped into my mind (along with other Malaise weirdbodies like the Ford EXP), but the Corvair has such a reputation, though like the Edsel, largely unearned, and really is something I’d love to drive sometime. The DMC12 was a bad car in its day, underpowered and overpriced, and even movie stardom and the rosy lens of history haven’t redeemed it.
          I know I’m going to catch hell for mentioning Lotus, but be realistic, for every Lotus 7 and Elise there’s an Esprit, Eclat or even Europa falling apart under it’s own ennui.

        2. Zentropy Avatar

          Yeah, I’d love to own a Corvair. I’ve never thought of it as bad at all. Just… different.

      2. Tiller188 Avatar

        The DMC12 was going to be my answer, although I’m likewise on the fence as to whether it was a truly bad car or just underwhelming relative to its image and price. Either way, sure, I want to drive one just for the heck of it, though admittedly not badly enough to pay the going price for one.

  2. Maymar Avatar

    I’m intrigued by just about any Soviet car, so that’s an easy answer. That said, I enjoyed the Chevettes I used to have to drive for work even though they were terrible. I’m even more intrigued by the Vega and other H-bodies, if just because the original Vega was a really good looking little car (however terribly built and designed it was).

    1. salguod Avatar

      I had a Monza in college. In terms of driving, it was essentially just like the Chevette. What made it terrible was the build quality. Mine tore a hole in the firewall when the clutch cable froze and it kept dropping the hinge pins while driving which made getting out difficult.

  3. GTXcellent Avatar

    Being an ’80s kid, I absolutely remember the “arrival” of the Yugo. I remember the magazine ads showing a msrp of $3990. I think there were TV ads too, but I only remember the magazines. I loved games shows and the Price is Right and Press Your Luck were always trying to give away Yugos (Yugi?). I can also remember asking my mom if she’d like a Yugo since they were only $3990 (and I remember her laughing “absolutely not” answer).

    So yeah, I’d like to drive a car many pundits have called “The Worst Car in History”

  4. Slow Joe Crow Avatar
    Slow Joe Crow

    A Yugo and a Clan Crusader

  5. Sjalabais Avatar

    That list is longer than I can count. “Good” cars do their job quietly or perfectly, engaging the driver in an all-positive manner or just doing their job, I guess. But “bad” cars have character. There’s a long list of Soviet vehicles, topped by the GAZ 24 and UAZ Buhanka. I barely fit into the latter. But I’ve actually never been inside any Lancia at all, except for the Y which is only remembered for being sold with 120 factory colour options. I’d love to drive any of the reputedly horrible British cars, in the company of a cheerful chap telling me why it’s not bad at all. Malaise era American land yachts? I suspect I’d adore them. A Cadillac diesel or early cylinder deactivation vehicle? Count me in. Homegrown South American vehicles or the cheapest Nissan on the planet? A Perodua Kelisa? Would probably be fun to lift its inner rear wheel in spirited driving on a winding mountain road. In second gear.

  6. sunbeammadd Avatar

    I’m not sure how you would define a bad car. If it performed the job it was designed for then it’s fine with me. Anyway I’d love a go in an early steam car if that counts as bad.

  7. OA5599 Avatar

    My folks had a Dauphine. They sold it before I was born, but in more recent years they said it wasn’t as bad as its reputation. I think I’d like an opportunity to drive one, and to try the hand-crank starter like my dad used in the winter.

  8. mdharrell Avatar

    I hesitate to think poorly of any vehicle but my understanding is that, despite its carefully curated hype, the MDI AIRPod, which runs on compressed air, is in reality a slow, noisy, short-range disaster that quickly seizes its own motor in ice. I very much want one and am pretty sure I could get a specimen of the original version licensed as a moped; the front wheels are too far apart on the current version to count as a single unit.

    1. Sjalabair Avatar

      Outstanding choice. Their promotional video for the 2.0 has so many issues, I am not sure if they are trolling:

  9. wunno sev Avatar
    wunno sev

    i was a big fan of the 2000s-era Maseratis. these are generally regarded as bad with some redeeming qualities. in particular, I’d like to spend a day in a Quattroporte (V) with the torque converter automatic. i just think the QP is such a good looking car, and it’s got that shouty V8.

  10. Travis Jon Powell Avatar
    Travis Jon Powell

    Oh my…
    I’d have to say an ’84-’85 Dodge Daytona Turbo Z.
    (With full ground effects)
    They were surprisingly quick little cars but, come on….
    We all know they were crappy and didn’t last.

  11. Chad Avatar

    Hard to choose between the Ferrari Testarossa (which was a “poster car” for me as a kid) and a Lada Niva, which today in my late 40’s I think is one of the coolest cars ever.

  12. Jake Avatar

    Anything made by AMC- Pacers, Jeeps and Eagles come to mind

  13. Michael D Avatar
    Michael D

    I think I would choose a C4 or C5 Corvette. The C4 is objective worse, but a C5 is a reminder of why GM couldn’t give up on Corvette entirely, as much as the bean counters wanted them to.

  14. Chris Tracy Avatar
    Chris Tracy

    Does Lada Niva count?