The car has been around since 1886. Since that time hundreds of automotive manufacturers have made questionable cars and head-scratching decisions involving their cars. Some decisions ruin a company’s image, while other decisions have signaled the death of a brand. These are the top ten questionable decisions made by car companies.

10. GM making an Australian Pontiac GTO

American Muscle Pontiac GTO
Australian Muscle Pontiac GTO

The Pontiac GTO is the grand daddy of muscle cars. It started the muscle car craze in 1964. There is nothing like American muscle cars. In 2001, GM’s Australian brand Holden released the Monaro, also known as the Vauxhall Monaro VXR. Neither the Holden brand nor the Vauxhall brand are sold in America. To solve this problem, the Monaro was sold as the Pontiac GTO. It was a good performing car. Just one problem, The Pontiac GTO is American Muscle. Why would GM make a GTO that is Australian Muscle and not American Muscle. The Australian GTO was produced from 2004 to 2006 and had a huge following. This was nowhere near the worst car that wears the Pontiac badge. GM ended the Pontiac brand in 2009

9. Enzo Ferrari Showing No Respect to Ferruccio Lamborghini

Ferruccio Lamborghini originally made tractors. He also owned a few Ferraris. But the clutches of his Ferraris were inferior and he confronted Enzo Ferrari about the problems with Ferrari clutches. Lamborghini was hoping to get some respect from Ferrari as a fellow manufacturer. Enzo Ferrari told Ferruccio Lamborghini, “How dare a tractor maker tell me how to make a car!” Lamborghini was very infuriated with Ferrari, and he started his own car brand. The Lamborghini 350GT was the first of a long line of quality, high performing Lamborghinis. If Ferrari was respectful to Ferruccio Lamborghini, he may not have had to compete with Lamborghini.

8. Waterman Aerobile

People have wondered what if a car could fly. In 1957 the Waterman Aerobile was born, twenty years after Waldo Waterman started creating a prototype flying car.  It was a car that could also fly. Problem is that was not good at flying and it was not a good road car either. Its wings weighed it down when flying.  The Aerobile was slow, sluggish, and had horrible handling. People who had a death wish bought this car. The only working Aerobile is held at the Smithsonian.

7. Amphicar

The Amphicar was designed to be used on the road and in the water. However, it was bad on the road and in the water. It was not watertight. If its bilge pump could not keep up with the water entering the Amphicar, it would sink. Critics claimed that the Amphicar drove like a car on water and a boat on land. It was not good as a car or as a boat.

6. Ferrari 400

Ferraris are known for stylish, high performing supercars. Ferrari also wanted to make a car that average Americans could afford. Ferrari came out with the 400. It was slow and just plain ugly. The 400 never was released in the American market. This was such a bad car that Top Gear named it one of the worst supercars of all time.

5. Aston Martin Lagonda

Aston Martin is known for luxurious, stylish, and high performing grand tourers. From 1976 to 1983, Aston Martin came out with the Lagonda, a four-door sedan. It had a few problems. Its electronics were complicated and unreliable. Classic British cars were known for their bad electronic systems. It was also an eye sore. Bloomberg Weekly named it one of the 50 ugliest cars in the past 50 years. Every car maker has a questionable car. The Lagonda is the one ugly car in a long line of gorgeous Aston Martins.

4. Lamborghini LM002

Lamborghini is known for making some of the fastest cars in the world. The Muira, Countach, and Diablo all held the title as the “World’s Fastest Street-Legal Production Car” when they were released. From 1986 to 1993, Lamborghini was producing the only SUV to where the Lamboghini bull. Dubbed the “Rambo Lambo,” the Lamborghini LM002 was big, ugly, and expensive. It cost over $100,000 when it was new. Only the richest elites could afford to own a LM002. Lamborghinis are known for speed, but the LM002 only managed a top speed of 130 mph.

3. Chevrolet Camero “Iron Duke”/ 305 Corvette California

Camaro Iron Duke
Corvette 305 California

The Chevrolet Camaro and Corvette were to of the best performing vehicles made by GM. So why would GM decide to put a 2.5L I4 in a Camaro. Dubbed the Camaro “Iron Duke,” this Camaro to over 20 seconds to go from 0 to 60 mph. Around the same time, GM decided to put a 305 cubic inch V8 into a Corvette. The engine was held back by California’s tough emission standards. The three-speed automatic transmission that came with this Corvette just hindered its performance. The 305 cubic inch V8 put out 180 hp. The Corvette and Camaro are known for being high performing American muscle cars. But the Camaro Iron Duke and Corvette 305 just could not perform.

2. Pontiac Aztek


Pontiac Aztek

The Pontiac Aztek is one of the original crossover SUVs. Unfortunately for Pontiac, it was an eye sore. Its styling earned the Aztek a spot on Time Magazines “50 worst cars of all time” and was called the 34th worst invention of all time in 2010. The Aztek marked a decline in the Pontiac brand, and in 2009, Pontiac was no more. One can blame the end of Pontiac on the Aztek failure.


1. Pinto Memo, again

Ford Pinto
Ford Crown Victoria

The Ford Pinto was a dangerous car. In a rear end collision, the car would be on fire. The gas tank was outside the wheelbase, and would burst in a rear end collision. Ford knew about the fatal flaw. Ford was faced with a decision. Ford could either recall the Pinto to fix the issue, or not fix the issue. In a company policy known as the Pinto Memo, Ford found it cheaper to pay for the death and injury lawsuit than to fix the issue. Ford faced the same problem with the Crown Victoria in the 1990s and 2000s. The Crown Victoria was known for being used as a police car. But it had the same problem as the Pinto. It exploded when involved in a rear end collision. Many police officers died when their Crown Victorias exploded in rear end collisions. One would think Ford would have learned a lesson with the Pinto. But Ford made the same mistake with the Crown Victoria. Ford was never found reliable in any Crown Victoria accident.


Originally written on June 20, 2011

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