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OT - the WORST car you've ever owned?

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  • OT - the WORST car you've ever owned?

    I saw this thread on another board, and it had some interesting replies.
    What was the worst car you've ever had the Mis-Fortune to own?
    Mine was an '85 Dodge Charger 2.2 litre.
    EVERYTHING electrical burned-out or shorted-out. Only the headlights worked. The electric fan died, so it would overheat at red lights.
    Bad bearings. bad brakes. Window cranks, door handles broken.
    What a nightmare.
    I was 18 at the time, and drove the hell out of it.
    I ended up GIVING it away, after it sat in front of my parent's house for 3 months, DEAD.
    Same color as this one:

  • #2
    well i got 2 on my list 79 grande marquies mercury junk,., and 1994 ford tampon i mean topaz..

    now i own a beautiful 2006 pontiac pursuit G5 thats all engin and no room even for the battery it rides in the truck ...

    cant waite till i can afford to need for speed pimp this car out lol sorry but iam 39 and still like a kid somedays


    • #3
      Austin Marina. (The English "Pinto")
      Car was kind of cool since it had a ton of interior and trunk space for its size and had decent gas mileage (good for a poor college student even at $1/gal). Plus I kind of enjoyed the rarity of them here in Kansas - I saw only two others for the three years I drove the car.

      The thing sat broken more than it ran though, which saved even more gas I guess. When it was running it was pretty crappy. Talk about electrical nightmare, plus the mechanical end of it was no better. I have much personal respect for Britons, but BLG shipped out some real crap. I was working on that thing constantly and happy to see it go.

      p.s. For perspective: The drivetrain is identical to the MGB.
      I shooda' bought a moped.
      Last edited by vinito; 08-24-2008, 12:57 PM.


      • #4
        Honda Prelude. Had to carry a ton of spare parts in the trunk. Alternator, brake rotors, front axles, water pump, ignition system. The usual stuff you had to change in the parking lot while your girlfriend scowls at you waiting to be taken out for dinner.

        Runner-up was a '78 Ford Escort. Driving down the interstate one afternoon, heard a big truck pull up alongside. Rumble, rumble. Looked over to see it, no truck. I'm the only car on the road. Exhaust manifold fell off. Car left a trail of parts wherever I went.


        • #5
          Chevy Malibu with 305/automatic.
          Ran great, but the thing would burn out the HEI distributor's pick-up coil whenever it felt like it. May go a month without a problem or may burn one out every day. Kept a couple rebuilt distributors in the trunk all the time, got so I could swap one out in less than a minute.

          Never did figure out what was wrong with it or actually fix the problem, replaced alternator, starter, some of the wiring etc and still had the same problem when I finally gave it away.

          Next worse was a GMC mini truck, Very nice looking truck, but for some reason it would eat front wheel bearings and spindles. At a rate of one every two months the port or stbd would go out. Replaced them with junk-yard specials, and new dealer parts with the same problem, Realy don't think it was driver and load, or installation/lube issues just bad metal or something, many of the junkyard trucks I pulled parts from had one or both spindles bad too. Odd because I never beat on it, and it was pretty much just used for transportation and occasional light hauling. (occasional chair or couch and grocery runs) When I needed to tow or carry heavy loads, and to haul around my work tools I'd drive my ragged old ranger work truck, (little ugly is what everyone called it) the only thing I ever replaced on that was tires, timing belt, and alternator.



          • #6
            1974 Fiat Spider. The gears were made of glass, the disk brakes would drag and burn up the rotors, pads, and bearing seals. There was so much rust on the car that the only possible explanation was that they imported them from Italy on the decks of submarines. The carb was a bastardized Webber that was trying to sneak through the smog tests, primarily by not being able to start. The back seat in it was only suitable for hunch backed Roman busts. And to top it all off, the electrical system was a poor copy of something that Lucas must have done. Multiple electrical fires, switches with pre-corroded contacts, and a wiring layout that must have been done by a drunken residential electrician. And to top it off, the roof leaked like the war surplus army tents we had in boy scouts. I ended up drilling a couple of holes in the floor to let the water drain out. But on the positive side, when it was running and not on fire or in the rain, it was a fun car to drive.


            • #7
              Har! (I have a 1978 Fiat Spyder.) But, the worst car I ever owned was an 82 Ford Escort. It was given to me, that should have been a signal...
              The only car I've ever owned with a carburetor. I vowed never to have a carbureted car again. Rebuilt the &^%#& carb about 5,000 times, each time it ran worse.
              Engine had so much blowby that it pumped oil out the crankcase breather. Took at least 2 quarts each time you started it. My college roomates called it the "Valdez".
              Fuel pump split open, pumped raw gas all over the manifolds. Didn't catch fire unfortunately.
              When the oil pump casting split, I thought it was a goner. Engine seized up (idiot light didn't light). When it cooled off, the engine started and ran as well as it ever did. Dropped the pan & put in a new oil pump.
              The last straw, when someone pulled out in front of me I braked hard, and jumped the cam timing belt. It still ran, sort of. Would run at high RPM OK. You'd have to stack up 3000 RPM and slip the clutch forever to get started form a stop.
              I gave it away to a kid who had rolled his Bronco 2, he was going to cut the body off the Bronco & put the Escort body on. This was in 1990. Last week, the Escort & Bronco2 are STILL in the guy's yard.
              Did I mention this was a "low mileage, one owner" car? IIRC 57,000 miles when I gave it away.


              • #8
                Like Vinito, an Austin Marina, I bought it brand new, it was cheap as a new one year leftover, as Austin was pulling out of America. It seemed to have a minor problem once a week and a major one, once a month. It finally dawned on me it was time to let it go, when the then named Bap/Geon, now Foreign Auto Parts store started to offer me a volume discount and sent me a Christmas card, and I wasn't an auto shop, just an individual. And not really being quick on the uptake at that point, went out and bought a used Humber Super Snipe, which is another strange car and story.



                • #9
                  Jay-sus...6 posts and 2 Marinas? What are the odds? OK, what are the odds on 7 posts and THREE Marinas!

                  I had one as well! I worked as a tech for the local BL dealer and bought one that was a 6 mo. old demo with a fried engine. Mine was the 4 dr sedan version. Since it was still under warr., I built the engine myself and got paid to do the job. I had it bored .030 over and used earlier MGB pistons with higher compression. The 1 1/2" S.U. carb was swapped for a 1 3/4" from a Jag and I used an earlier B cam with double valve springs. Being a demo, it was already loaded with a Stebro exhaust, chrome trim rings, stereo radio, A/C, etc, etc. It was actually a pretty good little car until my (then) wife got it in the divorce.

                  I was trying to dredge up my worst car but they were all pretty decent. Some just taught me more about working on cars which ended up being my profession.

                  "Accuracy is the sum total of your compensating mistakes."

                  "The thing I hate about an argument is that it always interrupts a discussion." G. K. Chesterton


                  • #10
                    Chevy Vega. Hands down worst junk to ever hit the road. Never owned a Fiat Sport Spider but I happened to be a Fiat factory trained mechanic in 1970 and found them to be the near perfect POS. I made a ton of money tearing down engines on the 850's and the 124.


                    • #11
                      Pinto wagon with a 4 cylinder and factory air (can't remember the year), given to me by my sister for free, should have turned it down.

                      You could bend the front bumper with your hands, came in handy though after I clipped it on something, just bent it back in place by hand.

                      I was driving with a buddy down to LA the NHRA Winternationals and we're on the freeway and all of a sudden he starts cracking up and says: "Everything on this car is vibrating and shaking, but everything in a different way, the mirrors going back and forth like this (starts shaking his hand to show me), the hood up and down like this, the shifter like this, etc., etc.".

                      We made it down to LA and decided to cruise Sunset Strip, it was a bright sunny afternoon. We're at a light right on the main drag and a Hollywood looking guy in a brand new convertible Mercedes stopped next to us says "hey, your doors not closed all the way". We both just started cracking up and I told him, "thanks bud, but that's the best it closes".

                      I remember meeting a Ford car salesman once and he told me everytime they sold a 4 cylinder Pinto wagon with air they would just cross their fingers and hope it would at least make it out of the lot.

                      It finally died on the freeway with a burp and fart from the engine and hopefully its melted down now and can do no further harm to anyone.

                      Paul T.


                      • #12
                        Austin Alegro - used more oil than petrol
                        Vauxhall Viva - once the top end oil passages got stuffed, pressed steel rockers died lke lemmings, used to carry spares in the boot, got so I could change a rocker in 15 minutes.
                        What you say & what people hear is not always the same thing.


                        • #13
                          '57 dodge stationwaggon

                          Before 2000 miles were up the generator went, then the starter went then the gearshift fell off then it threw a rod. Fixed that and on the road test the rear end started howling. fixed that and then the torsion bar broke, fixed that then the ball joint broke and the front wheel landed flat on its side in the mud, got that fixed. Oh and every time it rained, when you put the brakes on you had to lift your feet up so they didn't get soaked from all the water that sloshed along the floor and up the firewall. There were other issues but I can't remember them all now. LEMON FROM HELL
                          The difficult done right away. the impossible takes a little time.


                          • #14
                            the WORST car you've ever owned?

                            Interesting question! I started my mechanical career as an apprentice for VW in 1967. My experiences since then have been almost exclusively a mix of German and Japanese cars. So I can comfortably say that I have a pretty good sense of what might be a good car to own ( used and new ) or what might be a Bagel!! Don't get me wrong, I have bought a Bagel or two, but with my hard earned experience I was able to turn them into pretty reliable and comfortable vehicles. Very seldom standed and always ready for a road trip after quick inspection under the hood, tire pressure check,and a walk around. I have held on to them long enough to get some value out of them or
                            somthing else came along that grabbed my attention.

                            None of them would I consider the WORST. They all did what I wanted them do, some better at certain things, but all decent vehicles for my needs at the time I needed them.


                            • #15
                              Renault Dophine or Dauphine...whatever. It had this very strange electric clutch.

                              And rather than risk being kicked off this board, I will keep my comments to myself.