Can You Name These Ugly Cars From the ’70s and ’80s?

By: Teresa McGlothlin
Image: Pexels / Pixabay

About This Quiz

The '70s and '80s were the formative years for the things we enjoy now, and good car design is one of them. From the '30s to the late '60s, car design was all about function, style and sheer power. For a few decades after that time, things got a little weird in the car design department! Nonetheless, some of the ugliest mistakes made for some of the most memorable designs, and we want to know how many of them you can recognize from a single photo! 

Even if you were merely a passenger back then, the two decades brought us cars so hideous that we think they are probably etched into your memory like your first awkward kiss. When you see the car in the photo, and after you stop laughing, it's your job to prove your knowledge of ugly cars to us by choosing the right name. You'll have 40 chances to get it right. 

From the AMC Gremlin to the Mercury Lynx, the '70s and '80s were filled with, what we will just call, works of vehicular art. Read each question carefully, and cruise toward the finish line. Once you get there, we'll let you know how deep your knowledge of ugly cars runs. How well will you do? 

Maybe one of the longest vehicles ever put on the market, the Aston Martin Lagonda offered riders plenty of legroom. A huge departure from Aston Martin and their reputation for luxury, this attempt at a high-end family car didn't really make it out of the garage.

With cars like the Mustang and the F-150 truck in Ford's lineup, the release of the Pinto in 1971 was quite a shocker for auto aficionados. The Ford Pinto was more fuel efficient than its bigger siblings, but it left a little to be desired in the looks department.

Between 1975 and 1979, the AMC Pacer was unmistakable when you saw it rolling down the road. Known for its large, bubble-shaped backside, it was billed as being the most futuristic car on the markets. Sadly, the car's future ended in 1980 when it sold out.

First resembling a box on wheels, the Chrysler LeBaron took on a few different forms over the years. If you are looking for some true eye candy, check out the Chrysler LeBaron convertible model. It looks like half a car!

From 1973 to 1984, Oldsmobile carried the interesting looking Omega. At first, the car had rounded headlights set in a rectangular grill. When the '80s came along, the round lights were replaced by their square counterparts, giving the Omega a much less aerodynamic look.

Proving the beauty is only skin deep, the Hyundai Excel nearly took over the small-car market when it was brought to the United States in 1986. During its first year of sales, it sold a record-breaking 168,882 units!

If there's anything nice to say about the AMC Gremlin, it's that it was given a name that matches its appearance! First sold in 1970, the Gremlin was sold in both the United States and in Mexico until 1978.

First known in England as the Avenger, the Plymouth Cricket was brought to a US market in 1971. Although it was a massive market failure, it ran from 1971 to 1973 when it could no longer compete with similar Japanese cars.

The repurposed and rebranded Ford Falcon was introduced to buyers in 1975. It was often compared to the Mercedes brand of car, but it lacked the style and the popularity. It was removed from the market in 1975.

From 1980 to 1985, Chevrolet produced the Chevrolet Citation. Part Chevette and part Chevy Nova, the Chevrolet Citation had an oddly shaped dome roof and a sedan-like front half. It was a popular choice amongst those looking for both room and fuel efficiency.

Once upon a time, the Dodge Charger was a serious contender in the muscle car division. When the '80s came along, the car got a complete redesign, and fans were not happy. Thankfully, the Charger has been put back on the road with a tougher look and a starting price of $29,000.

Is it a tank? Is it a military vehicle? It is a golf cart? No, it's the Volkswagen Thing. Although it shared the same mechanical parts as the Beetle, the car's outer shell was heavier and had a completely different vibe than its cuter counterpart.

When the Dodge Dart was first produced in the '60s, it was originally a full-sized car. By the time the '70s came around, the Dart had been morphed into a compact car. It is still manufactured today, but it is now a rebranded version of a Fiat vehicle.

We're assuming that the Renault Fuego got its name from the heat it collected with its giant windows. If your parents dropped you off at school in the family's Fuego from 1980 to 1986, we apologize for your trauma.

Until 1990, the first generation version of the Mercury Lynx was known for being ugly. A hatchback with a boxy, short front, the Mercury Lynx was one of the less expensive economy cars throughout the 1980s.

Starting in 1976, the Pontiac Sunbird dominated the ugly car airwaves. With the exception of a few production breaks, the Sunbird enjoyed a full 18 years of production. Pontiac decided to ground their ugly bird once and for all in 1994.

If you look back into the '50s or '60s and see the Buick Skylark, we're sure you'll agree when we say that the '80s were not kind to the car! Once a powerful muscle car giant, the '80s turned the Skylark into a not-so-cute family mobile.

The nominee for the little, ugly car that could, but just couldn't seem to go get there goes to the Yugo GV. Even with selling a whopping 200,000 cars in 1989, the Yugo brand never really got off the ground. We're not judging, but the Yugo GV could offer a little insight into the problem.

When the Pontiac Grand Prix was first made in the '60s, it was a big, bulky coupe that owners felt proud to show off to the neighbors. With a 46-year production run, the Grand Prix has undergone a lot of changes, from coupe to sportster to sedan, but the '80s were not very nice to the car.

Unfortunately for the Pontiac Phoenix, there was no rising from the ashes after a seven-year run that started in 1977. By the time 1985 rolled around, consumer needs had changed, and the Phoenix was replaced by the Pontiac Grand Am.

The Ford Thunderbird was the epitome of style, power, and class during the '50s and '60s. We're not sure what happened during the '80s, but the souped-up family car version didn't seem to do as well. Ford stopped making the Thunderbird in 2005.

Named after a town in France, the Chevrolet Corsica was a new style for the automaker. With two different body styles, the Corsica featured a large trunk area and a respectable fuel capacity for the time.

Lincoln has always been known for its larger than life luxury cars, but the Mark VI never quite hit the mark. It was a huge, and we do mean huge, flop. Perhaps one of the least fuel-efficient vehicles to grace the front half of the '80s, the Mark VI was most certainly a nightmare to parallel park.

When the Cadillac DeVille was first introduced in 1949, it was considered the height of luxury for many decades to come. However, the car's '80s design left consumers feeling a little confused. The smaller, flat-backed version of the car didn't perform as well in sales as it did on the road.

The British have always had a flair for design, and the Austin Allegro was no different. For nine years starting in 1973, the Allegro wowed prospective buyers with its square steering wheels and its smaller size. However, during its lifetime, it rose to be known as one of the worst cars of all time.

The '80s offered up all sorts of new ideas in car design, but nothing quite as baffling as the Pontiac Fiero. A tiny car with only two seats, the Fiero only managed to last for five years before General Motors pulled the model off the production floor. The last Fiero was made in 1988.

When Honda decided to upscale some of its cars into more luxurious and sportier versions, the Acura line was born. The Integra might be unsightly, but it truly proved that beauty is only skin deep. Earlier models of the Acura Integra are highly sought after by collectors for their handling capabilities.

It might be a little hard to believe, but the Glenfrome Facet is actually part of the Land Rover family. Resembling a hatchback on steroid, the Facet was unveiled as a desert vehicle in 1983. At the time, it had a less-than-ugly price tag of 59,000 GBP!

As the demand for better fuel efficiency grew higher in the '80s, Chevrolet responded with the release of a new smaller car called the Cavalier. Despite its appearance, the Chevrolet Cavalier was a popular seller, and it ran until it was replaced by the Cobalt in 2005.

Mercury's answer to the successful Ford Escort was the Mercury Lynx. Slightly more affordable than the Escort, the Mercury Lynx was essentially the same car. Both vehicles featured a small frame and the availability of a hatchback style.

First released in the US and then in Japan during 1985, the Subaru XT had all the same styling of sportier Acura or Honda models. One of the car's most prominent features was its large trunk area. It had loads of room for your junk!

The Ford Tempo enjoyed a decade long run that began in 1984, but the car was not one of Ford's finest moments. The rounded shape of the car spoke to the trends of the time, but the car's performance was only placed in the so-so department.

The '80s were chock full of hatchbacks, and Subaru did not want to miss out on the game. The Justy's tiny design was perfect for those seeking a cheap ride, but the car didn't seem to have a lot of staying power. It has been rebranded several times since 1994.

Even though the Volkswagen Rabbit was not the prettiest car on the road, it received rave reviews and a lot of owner loyalty. If you wanted to get nostalgic, you could purchase the Volkswagen Golf. It is the reinvented, more modern version of the Rabbit.

To keep up with rising demand for cars with great gas mileage, GM released the Geo Metro in 1989. Resembling other hatchbacks of the era, the Metro's plastic body left drivers feeling a little exposed, and the car only lasted for five years until 1994.

AMC's Matador was quite popular in the '70s. Despite its appearance, the car's heavy design and powerful engine made the car one of AMC's biggest successes of the time. When sitting alongside the Hornet or the Gremlin, it's easy to see why the Matador was considered the slightly prettier cousin.

For 50 years starting in 1949, the Oldsmobile Delta 88 defined the family sedan. When the market changed and the demand for smaller, more efficient cars, Oldsmobile retired the model in 1999.

Another sister vehicle to the Ford Escort, the Mercury Bobcat hit the scene even before the Ford Pinto! The Mercury Bobcat was first available in 1971, but the outselling Ford Escort didn't come along until 1974.

This Ford Maverick might have an impressive name, but what on earth is happening with that design? Throughout the '70s, the Maverick roared across highways everywhere. Available with either four doors or two, the Maverick never failed to make its unsightly presence known.

From 1969 to 1977, the AMC Hornet was the little engine that could. Built as a stout looking subcompact, the Hornet's design was both playful and hideous. Nonetheless, AMC cars from this time frame are highly sought after by auto collectors. Go figure!

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