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Worst car you've ever driven

pdplot

Yoda
Bronze
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OK. Now the worst car you ever owned or drove.
Worst car owned - I was lucky. Knowing something about cars, I avoided the lemons and clunkers, but the Olds F-85 four-door - though a great concept and perfect size - broke down on us three times, all on the road. My first Corvair had some problems including the engine falling out on Route 22 near Amenia, NY (Not far from where the F-85 broke down!), but was fun to drive. I had two VW Rabbits. First one was made in Germany and was a good car until daughter wrecked it on a snowy day. Second Rabbit was made in PA and was a POS. Flimsy trim broke, thermoswitch in radiator burned out twice and car finally died in Bridgeport when an intermediate shaft (whatever that was) broke and stranded me on the road.
Worst car driven - tossup between Singer SM 1500 and SIATA. Answered ad in paper for Singer. Drove the car with my friend Bart. Gearshift knob came off in my hand, door handle came loose, car smelled and smoked and felt like it was coming apart under me. The SIATA was a riot. It was in a showroom on Broadway in NYC next to Bill Vaughan's TR3 agency where I bought mine. The salesman - an old beat-up Death of a Salesman type - looked up from racing form he was reading and made me sign a purchase order before telling me to take it out for a test ride in the "Siesta" (I kid you not). He kept saying "You'll be satisfied". I drove it out of the showroom and headed for Central Park. The car was noisy and soon overheated and smelled from oil and coolant. It had good seats and handled like an Italian sports car should but I was lucky to get it back to the showroom in one piece. Not so lucky was Jerry Seinfeld who took out a Siata 208 and had it break down on him during an episode of Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee.
 

Gliderman8

Yoda
Gold
Online
Easy choice for me... I bought a brand new Fiat 124 sedan. I got rid of it with 28k miles on it and I couldn't wait for it to be gone. It was plagued with electrical problems and rust issues. One of my more memorable moments with this car was when I was driving on a single lane road; the "low oil pressure" light came on and the engine stopped. The problem was that right on my tail was a huge truck! I pulled sharply off the road as the truck went barreling past me. After getting the car to the dealer, I was told that there was an ignition cut-out to protect the engine if the oil pressure dropped.
 

Madflyer

Jedi Warrior
Offline
I guess getting a POS car is 20-20. best day getting it worse day having it towed again. I had two an Audi 100 LS and a Plymouth Valeria to many problems to list. I would add two best cars I ever drove but could not afford owing Sunbeam Tiger a friend loaned me while I was home on leave from Nam. Jag 120 ( SCCA ) cert. I worked no for the owner driver. Madflyer
 

vping

Yoda
Offline
Fiat 128. My moms first new car. I drove it a bit in high school. It was only a 4 or 5 year old car but a tin can on wheels. Handled poorly and no power.
 

Basil

Administrator
Staff member
Boss
Online
The worst car I've ever owned was a Renault Fuego. Bought it used back in the 80's for a steal (once I had it a while I came to realize why the owners were so eager to sell it cheap - they wanted to get rid of it! ). It was a nice looking car, but we were forever having it in the shop for cooling problems, electrical problems, you name it. Also, the seats were horrible - I could not drive it for long distances without my back killing me. This picture must have been taken soon after we got it since it still has the Temp Tag in the window.

fuego.jpg
 

Boink

Yoda
Silver
Online
Easy... Dodge Aires (1981 K-car) wagon, acquired when the kids were little and I didn't know any better.
 

Popeye

Jedi Knight
Offline
The worst car I've ever owned was a Renault Fuego. Bought it used back in the 80's for a steal (once I had it a while I came to realize why the owners were so eager to sell it cheap - they wanted to get rid of it! ). It was a nice looking car, but we were forever having it in the shop for cooling problems, electrical problems, you name it. Also, the seats were horrible - I could not drive it for long distances without my back killing me. This picture must have been taken soon after we got it since it still has the Temp Tag in the window.

I was too young to drive it, but probably the worst car in our family was a 1981 Renault 18i. Good styling, "plush" interior (I can't speak to seat comfort), but it spent a lot of time at the dealer! After most dealer visits the car needed to go back shortly after for additional repairs... I remember the trip well!

I must say I liked the Renault styling of the time, including the Fuego. Personal taste, maybe bad, but it worked for me!
 

PAUL161

Yoda
Silver
Offline
Worst car we ever owned was a Chrysler Valiant Wagon! Bought it new for the wife because it was midsize and easy for her to park, what I didn't realize was it rode like a buckboard, the seats were harder than the early MGBs and the catalytic converter stunk so bad you could not start it up back out and immediately close the garage door, smelled like a dead animal! Had the car for a month and traded it in for a new Ford. :miserable:
 

LarryK

Darth Vader
Gold
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My worst car was a 1980 Spitfire 1500. Couldn't pass a semi at 60 mph. Second car was a 1964 Corvair Monza, but was faster than the Spifire. Corvair was to bouncy.
 

PAUL161

Yoda
Silver
Offline
But just think, had you kept it, it would have doubled in value by now, being somewhat of a classic! :highly_amused:

The worst car I've ever owned was a Renault Fuego. Bought it used back in the 80's for a steal (once I had it a while I came to realize why the owners were so eager to sell it cheap - they wanted to get rid of it! ). It was a nice looking car, but we were forever having it in the shop for cooling problems, electrical problems, you name it. Also, the seats were horrible - I could not drive it for long distances without my back killing me. This picture must have been taken soon after we got it since it still has the Temp Tag in the window.

View attachment 67361
 

Basil

Administrator
Staff member
Boss
Online
I must say I liked the Renault styling of the time, including the Fuego. Personal taste, maybe bad, but it worked for me!

Indeed, they styling is what hooked us. "Why would they be selling such a great looking car at such a cheap price?" Why indeed!
 

pdplot

Yoda
Bronze
Offline
My mother had one of the first Valiants. My Dad represented the local Chrysler/Plymouth dealer so for many years, that's what he bought. Great idea but so poorly made it had dumdum pressed into the seams. My secretary had a Volare that was the slowest thing on 4 wheels. Oh yes - my son had a beautiful metallic blue Fiat Spider that had one little problem. The rotor was hitting and eventually shorting out that little wire on the distributor plate. There was nothing to hold down the wire, That car eventually had its upper a-frame in the left front end pull out of the frame when my son turned a corner to the left. Somehow it was still drivable and we took it to a welding shop. He said if the metal's no good. he wouldn't weld it up and the car would have to be scrapped. The metal was good, he welded the frame, reattached the a -frame and off we went. I told Dan to sell that car and I sold it for him to a local lawyer for $1,500.00. "It's you, Larry."
 

JPSmit

Moderator
Staff member
Silver
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Relive the dream: https://barnfinds.com/nicest-one-left-1982-renault-fuego/

(ok so it sold four years ago... but impressive condition!!!)

probably a more accurate 'dream' er nightmare.

https://www.kijiji.ca/v-classic-cars/city-of-toronto/1982-renault-fuego/1420697726

Never had any luck with Chevvies - had an 84 6000 that was just breakdown prone and a POS. Probably the worst I had was a Suzuki Samurai - gutless, loud, terrible in the rain - wires would get wet and it would quit, cold - and I would have it back it a heartbeat - it was a hoot!
 

glemon

Yoda
Bronze
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Worst car I ever owned was a Mazda Millennia S. It was a nice concept, but I bought it at about 3-4 years old and it was already rusting, it belched out oil, had some parasitic loss in the electrical system and wouldn't stay charged longer than a day or so. Lots of little issues as well. When it worked it was kind of cool. Broke a long line of daily drivers the wife and I had that have been remarkably reliable.

Honorable mention. My mom had Ford Tempo, I think it was a 90 or 91. It was reasonably reliable, but it was just...awful, steering was numb and loose, engine sounded course, made lots of noise, and not in a good way, and very little power. Ride was wallowy. It felt like a cheap 60s American car without the benefit of much development. Switches felt cheap, it all felt cheap. Full disclosure, I helped her pick it out, and it served it's purpose, nor did she care about or notice the shortcomings I mentioned.
 

70herald

Luke Skywalker
Offline
My father in laws Fiat 127. I am not sure that the steering wheel was connected to the front end - maybe rubber bands, and the stick shift was even more wobbly. Every shift was sort of rotulet maybe 1st, or 3r or 5th.. . Maybe the car will move and maybe it will turn. I think the brakes were ok but considering how hard it was even to guess if you were going to actually get it into gear and moving, good brakes were kind of overly optimistic.

Fiat's seem to be showing up a LOT in this list!
 

bobhustead

Senior Member
Silver
Online
Alpha Quadrifoglio. Don't recall the year. Seems like early 90's. Automatic seat belts on a track on top of the door were supposed to move forward when you opened the doors to get out and backward to contact your torso when you got in. However, they went in and out of phase on their own initiative as they saw fit. Convertible top system leaked. It had nice red carpets which bled profusely when wet and stained any clothing or other article that touched them. Turn signals sometimes turned on wipers and sometimes the horn; sometimes just the wipers. Electronic OHC advance let go of the cam once. Happily no valves kissed the pistons.
Bob
 

DrEntropy

Great Pumpkin
Gold
Offline
Worst owned? Hands-down an Aries K-car "gifted" to Mitsy by her mum. Trade-in value for a Chevy was disappointing so it got passed on to us. The thing hated me. If I drove it, some system would fail or something would break. First time I drove it after it arrived, the cam belt snapped in traffic and I rolled into a bank parking lot where I installed the new belt. Three brake master cylinders failed (last time is a story unto itself). Overheated repeatedly, one radiator R&R, heater valve once spewed coolant out on a short trip locally, again I did that R&R in a parking lot. The TBI went stupid rich and got replaced here at th' hovel... funny thing was, Herself could drive it on her daily commute with never an issue. Found Diesela for Mitsy's daily and the K-car was given to a local veterans' outfit in its final non-running, no start last straw. Left the premises on a Jer-Dan. The nightmares subsided.

Worst driven is a toss-up between a LeCar with front suspension issues and a Fiat 128 station wagon owned by a former girlfriend. Both were filmsy, tinny, cheap imitations of automotive engineering IMHO.
 

charlie74

Jedi Hopeful
Online
I agree with glemon re. the Tempo. I had one of these for a while because I needed a car quick and couldn’t afford to be choosy.

For work I get to rent cars fairly regularly and my most detested rental in recent memory was a Camaro. The guy who I returned it for was pretty excited about it at first but by the time he handed me the keys was decidedly less so. The trunk was too small to fit a roll aboard suitcase in and so getting it into the back seat was a challenge in itself. One not desirable in the small hours before a 3 hour drive to Vegas to catch a flight home. That might have upped my sensitivity to the seatbelt anchor jabbing me in the side of my ass for the duration of the drive. The cramped cabin and poor visibility topped off the experience. I couldn’t wait to hand that thing back to the agency.
 
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