What is the crappiest car you've ever owned?

Was it an old 70s bomber that burnt more oil than gas? Did the inside smell like puke and/or dog shit? Did it produce so much smoke that it was the main cause of global warming? When you would close the door (if it had one) would a piece of the car fall off? When you would park it would someone tow it away thinking it was abandoned? Did you steer the car with a wrench? Did you find yourself pushing the car more than driving it?

Well, I’ve always had a nice car, but I remember one of my brothers…of course I thought it was cool when I was a kid but it was a wreck.

1979 Firebird. 301 Pontiac POS “big-block”.

Had some wide Mikey Thompson tires in the back and the polyester belting was showing through. It had traction bars on the rear leafs. The TH350 Shifter was a pair of vise-grips. It went OK in hindsight, but you had to absolutely bag it. Totally tacky and extremely ugly nowadays.

Funny thing though, those tires were absolutley worn and illegal to run I am sure when he got it, but sold them for $30 each to a friend 1 year later…in far worse shape. This was after several smoke shows courtesy of bleach.

Well my crappiest car ever was a 1989 Ford Mustang. What a piece of shit it was. I drove it for a week before it had developed a transmission fluid leak. Fixed that. 2 months later the engine blew. So after awhile of saving money I rebuilt the engine myself. When I was done wow it sounded brand new. Only one problem THE FUCKER WOULD NOT MOVE! Somehow the transmission got FUBAR’ed so I said screw this use the car as a trade in and got the car I currently have now my Grand Am.

A '53 DeSoto. I paid $35.00 for this gem in 1971.
It didn’t have a battery, so I always had to park it on a tall hill.
The left rear fender was literally held on by about 50 pounds of duct tape.
The column-mounted shift lever was a big-assed screwdriver held in place with a generous application of bailing wire.
Occasionally, when I tried to shift, the linkage would bind up and I’d have to leap out, in traffic, open the hood, and beat on the linkage with a hammer. Then, when it freed up, I’d have to get back in before it started rolling, 'cause it didn’t have a hand brake.
Luckily we lived 6 blocks uphill from a junkyard, so when it finally died six months later, by carefully timing the stop lights, we were able to coast all the way into the junkyard, where I sold the beast for $5.00 cash. (I kept the screwdriver.)

  1. VW bug with no reverse, no 2nd gear, brakes didn’t work.

  2. P/U '68 DOdge, I think, we got for $25. Floor in cabin was 17 layers (I counted) of vinyl siding, linoleum, old streetsigns, cardboard, pressboard, carpet remnants, etc… Had toyota bucket seats mounted on railroad ties. Hole cut by hand (with safety scissors, it looked like) in floor to make column shift into floor shift (with custom Hurst speed-shift no less! That’s how we got it. WTF?). Driver’s door didn’t open with handle–always had to leave window down. Cap couldn’t be removed because it held the bed on. Wiring re-done with old toaster cords, extension cords, uninsulated copper, etc…

  3. 80’s scirocco. It had “some wiring problems” when we got it. You had to hot wire the whole system to the battery to start it, and the electric radiator fan would always run. We started to “fix” the wiring and for two years we just had a car full of loose wires that didn’t run once.

  4. I had a 1980 corolla that I bought with 130k and ran for a coupla years. Had it one really bad winter in college. There was a big hole in the converter, and a big gas leak, and a big vacuum leak (vacuum carb system), and the (auto) transmission would just stop working every now and then, and it would generally stall whenever you stopped at an intersection, and did I mention it was rear wheel drive of all things? I just slid and coasted my way around town hoping there wasn’t a car on the other side of the snowbank. When the brake rotors went I called the junkyard, and salvaged the radio and the battery. They were the only worthwhile parts.

But now I’ve got a nice car. Now I have a '91 colt. Woo-hoo.

A 1972 FIAT–arguably the worst car ever produced. I think it had maybe 40-50 horsepower, zero acceleration, and could lift one side of the back end off the ground. Great mileage, sure, but have you ever been in Houston during the summer with no air conditioing and you’re sitting in the biggest rag on the highway and some babe takes a withering look at you?

Everything broke on that sorry $#@%@&! One guy helped me jump start it and as it finally caught, he said, "You know what Fiat stands for? F** Italians Altogether."

Yes, the Italians design awesome high-end sports cars, but this thing was an abomination.

A 73 pinto station wagon. It ran, but the gas gauge didn’t work. It was that ugly babydoo-brown color pintos came in. I remember I was babysitting overnight one time and had to drop the kids off at school the next morning–but when they got out to the driveway and clapped their eyes on it, they didn’t want me to take them. Didn’t want to be SEEN in it.

My husband bought a brand new loaded-to-the-gills Chevy Cavalier when he got out of college. Had it only a few years, and by the end of that period, he was lucky to get $500 for it. Everything imaginable went wrong with it, and his local dealer screwed with him on every single repair. over a decade later, he still gives every cavalier he sees the finger. He also refuses to ever buy an American car again (even though I brought a still-running, 160,000-miles-on-it, will-not-die Pontiac into our marriage).

The absolute worst had to be my 1976 Plymouth Volare. It was so badly rusted, the bottom of the drivers door flapped while driving, and every time I hit a puddle my feet got soaked because it was rusted from the wheelwell into the the footwell. The starter was mostly flat spots, so the technique was to jump up and down on the front bumper until it moved to the “sweetspot” where the damn engine would turn over. Try explaining this to a cop outside a bar at closing time. Once the transmission was warmed up, you could not take it out of drive, or drive would not engage again until it had cooled off completely. Didn’t find out this quirk until I tried to back out of my girlfriend’s driveway at 2 A.M. Had to leave the damn thing, walk home, and come back the next morning. The final straw was when I went to put stereo speakers in the back, and my foot literally went through the floor and hit pavement. I paid $350, and got $25 from a wrecker 6 months later. Also, did I forget to mention the ever present smokescreen? A cop found that REALLY amusing, making smartass remarks about me being James Bond, etc. I still get ribbed about it.

I’ve never heard a happy FIAT story. And even Chrysler workers referred to the Volare as a rust-bucket.

Buy my crappy experience was with a 1969 Opal Kadett. For a brief period of time these cars were pushed by Buick dealers. The poor little engine gave it’s all to move the car, and died trying. AAA actually notified me that I was using their towing service too often. Every piece of equipment that fell off was an example of fine German engineering.

1984 Phoenix

Not much to say about it really, except the whole damn car should have been recalled.

I had a Volare. Game all kinds of trouble. Eventually blew itself up.

1978 Volvo wagon I bought in '93 for $800.00. Hereinafter referred to as The Fucking Volvo From Hell. First morning I drove it it dies in the left lane of I25 in rush hour traffic. $400.00 for tow & new fuel pump. Week later, alternator goes out. Couple of hundred bucks for tow & alternator. For the next month it continued to die abruptly on a regular, inconvenient, and expensive schedule. Decided to sell it because I could not at this point look at the car without shaking with rage. Put ad in paper. First couple to come look at it started it up for a test drive & it burst into flames. Had friend rewire the entire fucking car. Next lady who wanted to buy it was so nice I refused to sell it to her. She was really pissed off at me. Finally sold it (for $800) to a woman for her teenage son; figured he could use the automotive repair experience.

That was the only used car I’ve ever taken to a (Volvo) mechanic before buying. It got a clean bill of health. HA. I usually have really good luck with used cars.

Second worst was a 1973 Superbeetle. Ugh. Enough said.

1982 VW Vanagon. Paid close to 3 grand for it, supposedly restored to it’s original splendor. It was cool. When of my dearest sexual experiences was in that van. (more than big enough for sex). But when it was moving, it was a piece o’shit.

1st gear and reverse were in the same position. For reverse, you just had to back in the slot a little farther. You just had to develop a ‘feel’ for it. It made parallel parking (and pulling out of a tight space) a bone-chilling challenge.

I blew out the engine.(BTW, in a VW, when the oil light comes on, pull over immediately and add oil) Sold it’s carcass to my brother-in-law, who put in another engine, which he fried. I bought it back from him after a third engine was put in.(yeah, I’m an idiot) I’m sure you have already quessed what happened to it.

I finally abandoned it near an freeway off ramp in Santa Barbara. I’m still in debt over it.

I now have a '82 Volvo wagon for 1K, and it runs like a champ. But I’m still emotionally scarred from the VW experience.

WOW!!! I had a 1984 Phoenix (basically a Chevy Citation). It was aweful.

Now I have I Saturn!

I had a new Saturn on order and was driving the Phoenix into the ground. The release bearing went out on the transmission 2 months before my new car was to be delivered. DAMN!! I drove it about a month before getting it fixed. $350 down the drain. Dud put a new clutch in along with bearing and it was very sticky. When the Saturn dealer told me my car was in, I removed the awesome after-market radio I had installed in the Phoenix and drove it to the lot. They drove the car and said that they didn’t want it, i.e., nothing for a trade in, but they would take the car off my hands for me. I could get $25 for it for scrap, but I’d have to drive it home and come back for the Saturn later. Hell, just take it, I thought. Salesman comes back and says, “We can’t just take your car; we have to give you something for it.” What did I get? $1.00 Yes, the decimal placement is correct. A used Pontiac Phoenix is roughly worth one dollar.

An '84 Honda. I’d had it forever, and when I went to sell it, it had rust spots, the power steering was on the fritz, and the brakelights were stuck “on”. Got rid of it last July for $500.

The funny thing was, my wife and I had bought a brand new, fully loaded Volvo S70 for her to drive. But the day after we got it, she went out of town. So one day I come driving to work in my old falling apart Honda and the very next, I’m toolin’ into the parking garage in a shiny new Volvo.

You should have seen the look on the guard’s face! :slight_smile:

Let’s see. My first car was a dark green '74 Dodge Monaco. Great car actually…plenty of power, only ran out of gas a couple of times a week, and the inside was airtight so the fumes billowing from the exhaust pipe didn’t strangle me. Great car right up until the drive shaft fell off. kunk “Why isn’t the accelorator working any more?” “Might have something to do with the fact that you left your drive shaft about 100 yards back.”

Next best was the '71 Buick Skylark I got for $100. Bless Michigan for not having vehicle inspections, that’s all I can say. It ran all right until the ENTIRE UNDERCARRIAGE fell off in a club parking lot in Detroit. Fortunately a guy with a tow truck had been macking on me all night, and also fortunately the friend I was with and I managed to get in my house and lock the door befor he could collect “payment” for towing it home for me.

It’s a tie, between a 1974 Corvette Stingray (I know but it still sucked) and a 1984 Renault Alliance.

I paid $2000 for the Corvette, and I still got hosed. I had to replace the motor, then the brakes, then the rear axel and spring, then the wheels, then the electrical system, and after all that the undercarriage went away. I gave it to my Mechanic he took it all apart, and sold everything seperately, the rebuilt motor, the Tranny, the axel and suspension and finally the body, sent the rest to a junkyard and it fell apart on the way. We split the cash and I still lost about $2000 anyway. But it was a Corvette.

Later on I had wrecked a car in an accident and needed a quick replacement so I paid $500 for the '84 Renault it only had 35,000 miles on it (this was '97). The car ran great, but was a God-awful crap brown. I turned around and sold it to some kid for $1500 for his first car. I felt a bit better about my Corvette fiasco.

79 Pontiac Sunbird. The thing ran on 3 cylinders and had a perpetual transmission leak that would drip onto the exhaust. Every time I pulled up to a stoplight, a huge cloud of smoke would surround the car. I loved the looks I got for that, but I had to put in like a quart of tranny fluid a week.

The Custom Cruiser was incredibly huge(station wagon w/third row seat facing backwards), got less than 10 mpg, and needed a brake overhaul every year. Plus, it was so ugly people would laugh at it at first sight. The only positives were the 403 cubic inch V8(it could haul ass!), and the rock-solid 70’s frame & body. It was sport for me to go out and hit things because I knew it would do nothing to the car. The best was after a big snow storm when they would plow the snow into big piles in large parking lots. I would get going about 20 miles an hour and ram them, tons of fun!

Yeesh, I’ve had pretty good luck with cars compared to these posts! I did have a 1978 Gremlin, arguably the ugliest car ever made. The only real mechanical problem it had was that the distributor cap would frequently pop off and the car wouldn’t start. I also had a 1983Pontiac Phoenix that I used on a daily 40-mile commute and took on several long trips, and it never gave me a problem, even though I am the world’s worst when it comes to automobile maintanance.