The worst car brands in history weren’t donned as such because they wanted to fail, but these brands built some of the worst cars, leading brands to their doom.
Some car brands have built terrible cars but survived. Typically, those that do are the brands that have a full range of models for every driving need, making it easy to have one or two duds in the mix. The brands that have hit the bottom of the barrel and kept on digging deeper are those that brought only a small number of cars to the market, and those cars were considered some of the worst.
Let’s look at a few of the worst car brands in history and the cars that put them in the basement among car lists.
Quandt Group – Amphicar
We often laud the Germans for incredible engineering and impressive luxury cars, but the Amphicar wasn’t an example of either. This historical car, called Amphicar Model 770, was meant to be a hybrid between a car and a boat. This car/boat combo was built in the 1960s and failed miserably as a car. Still, a few thousand of them were built and sold, but that wasn’t enough to catch on.
The Amphicar became problematic because of mechanical issues in the automobile part of the car. The front wheel steering system was used on the road and water, which wore down the front axles quickly. This car had a lot of problems with steering, making it the car that brought the Quandt Group down.
American Motors – Gremlin
The AMC Gremlin is an oft-admired car now, but that’s only after decades of being one of the worst cars ever made. The Gremlin is now a pop culture icon, but when it was new, it was extremely hard to ride in. Some who own them today have added an improved rear suspension, which was virtually nonexistent in the original car.
In addition to being rough on passengers, this AMC creation was extremely loud, using a six-cylinder engine that you could hear before you saw the car. If the Gremlin was the only bad design from AMC, the company might have survived, but the Pacer was another dog. The Pacer was supposed to offer more space for passengers with asymmetrical doors, but once the rear door was opened, everything stored there would fall out, making the Pacer a failure.
Smart GmbH – ForTwo Smart Car
The Smart GmbH company made a car that was only smart in one aspect: fuel mileage. In every other way, the Smart ForTwo Smart Car was a dud and doomed from the start. These tiny, upright cars offer very little space for drivers and passengers, making it hard to enjoy the drive or carry anything along on the road.
The ForTwo isn’t any larger than a golf cart, with only two seats in the cabin, making it a difficult car to drive with any pleasure. This little car is an answer to the rising gas prices, but everything about it is dangerous and not smart in any way. This little car makes Smart one of the worst car brands in history. Strangely, the company was purchased by Mercedes-Benz.
Zastava Motors – The Yugo
The Yugo by Zastava Motors is considered to be the worst car ever made. This makes the company building it one of the worst car brands in history as well. The Yugo production would eventually be sold to Fiat Motors, but that didn’t make things better. Strangely, some versions of this car actually housed a V8 engine, but most utilized an underpowered 4-cylinder engine that was terrible.
From the time the Yugo hit the road, it began to fall apart. This was another car with only one reason to be in the market: it was cheap. Of course, The Yugo also showed many owners that you get what you pay for when you drive a car that’s terrible in so many ways. Everyone inside this car was sorry they stepped in. The Yugo was very slow, had a rough ride, and required extremely high repair and fuel costs over time.
These four car brands are considered some of the worst brands in the history of the automotive world. These cars weren’t made with quality in mind but to meet a specific desire or need, which made them problematic. Sure, you might see an AMC Gremlin or Smart ForTwo on the roads today, but that doesn’t make them good cars because they never were.
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