The Ugliest Cars Of The 60s And 70s

There have been plenty of gorgeous vehicles released throughout the 60s and 70s. Afterall, cars such as the iconic Lamborghini Miura or the legendary Dodge Charger all debuted during those two decades. However, other automobiles were nowhere near as jaw-dropping. The AMC Pacer, for example, is the exact opposite of a pretty-looking car.

While there is no debate that beauty indeed comes in all shapes and sizes, most petrolheads can agree that these cars are simply eyesores. Surprisingly, some of them were best sellers!

Subaru 360

Latest Car Models Showcased At Chicago Auto Show
Scott Olson/Getty Images
Scott Olson/Getty Images

The 360 is perhaps the best proof that this Japanese automaker has indeed come a long way since its humble beginnings. This cute microcar was released by Subaru in the late 1950s, although it has only made its way into the United States a decade later. Die-hard fans of the manufacturer may recognize it, as the 360 was Subaru’s first production vehicle ever.

The 360 featured a truly awful exterior design. It’s hard to imagine why anybody would want to be seen in a Subaru 360. Subaru sold nearly 400 000 units during the car’s 12-year production run.

Chevrolet Corvair

At Duncan's Corn Maze Wednesday evening for a Reading Eagle Subscriber Loyalty event.10/23/2013 Robesonia, PAPhoto by Ben Hasty
Harold Hoch/MediaNews Group/Reading Eagle via Getty Images
Harold Hoch/MediaNews Group/Reading Eagle via Getty Images

Over the past few decades, rare variants of the Chevy Corvair have become sought-after by automobile collectors. Back in 1960, however, the seemingly innovative Corvair was an absolute disaster.

The car’s horrendous exterior design was far from its biggest issue. For some odd reason, Chevrolet decided to fit the air-cooled powerplant in the rear of the vehicle. In effect, the first-gen Corvair suffered from terrible handling issues. GM ended up having to fight over a hundred lawsuits regarding the safety of the automobile. The first-gen Corvair was eventually pulled from the market by 1965.

Peel Trident

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Andrew Bone/Flickr
Andrew Bone/Flickr

Peel Engineering Company became famous for their quirky microcars built throughout the 60s. Peel automobiles were far from conventional, to say the least. While the Trident is most certainly unique, it isn’t a particularly good-looking car.

This tiny one-seater was the second vehicle manufactured by British Peel, following the Peel P50. Its quirky exterior design features a large glass top that was developed to improve visibility. As if all that wasn’t enough, the Trident is powered by a three-wheel-drivetrain. Unsurprisingly, only around 45 units were made.

Plymouth Valiant Wagon

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JoachimKohlerBremen/Wikimedia Commons
JoachimKohlerBremen/Wikimedia Commons

There have been tens, if not hundreds, of spectacular wagons released in the past decades. Sadly, the Plymouth Valiant Wagon was definitely not one of them. In fact, this eyesore could very well be the ugliest station wagon of all time.

The Valiant debuted in 1960. Despite its awful exterior design, the station wagon variant was actually roomier than most of its competitors. It had over 72 cubic inches of cargo space, yet required 2 feet of parking space less than a full-size Plymouth! The ugly Valiant was eventually replaced by the second-gen after 1962.

Trabant 601

Vintage car
Jan Woitas/picture alliance via Getty Images
Jan Woitas/picture alliance via Getty Images

Back in the early 1960s, car buyers in former East Germany were not exactly spoilt for choice. In fact, the Trabant 601 was one of the very few options on the market. Developed by VEB Sachsenring as a response to the Volkswagen Beetle, the Trabant 601 was an automobile that nearly everyone could afford.

The German automaker focused on keeping the price tag of the 601 as low as possible. In effect, the build quality was as bad as the Trabant’s design. Nonetheless, VEB Sachsenring built over 2.8 million 601s during the car’s 26-year long production run.

Reliant Robin

Lovely Jubbly!
Dave J Hogan/Dave J Hogan/Getty Images for Neil Reading PR
Dave J Hogan/Dave J Hogan/Getty Images for Neil Reading PR

The United Kingdom has clearly had a phase of developing tiny automobiles that were absolute eyesores, starting with the previously mentioned Peel Trident. The infamous Reliant Robin has got to be the worst British car from the 70s.

The idea behind the Robin was to create a small city car that would have plenty of cargo space in the rear. One of the ugliest cars of all time was born as a result. Reliant decided to equip the Robin with a three-wheel-drivetrain that dramatically worsened the handling.

Rambler Marlin

1965 Rambler Marlin Fastback Road Test
Pat Brollier/The Enthusiast Network via Getty Images
Pat Brollier/The Enthusiast Network via Getty Images

The Marlin, built for merely three years starting in ’65, was a predecessor of the legendary AMC Javelin. The luxurious Rambler Marlin is a gorgeous vehicle. Until you see the disgusting rear-end, that is.

The rear half of the Marlin looks as if the design team was rushing to finish the vehicle in time. Automobile Quarterly criticized the styling of the Marlin and pointed out a variety of design flaws, such as terribly designed pedals and the softness of the front seats.

Ford Anglia

1966 Ford Anglia Super 105E
National Motor Museum/Heritage Images/Getty Images
National Motor Museum/Heritage Images/Getty Images

As the name suggests, the Anglia was Ford’s flagship family car sold primarily in the United Kingdom. Its legacy dates back to the late 30s. The last Anglia ever left the assembly line in 1967, and the vehicle was then replaced by the Ford Escort. There have been different generations throughout its long production run. Sadly, the Anglia only seemed to get uglier each year.

The final Anglia debuted in 1962. The vehicle featured an ugly front end complete with an awkward grill, and a roofline that appeared crooked. Ford sold nearly 80 000 units before shutting down the production 5 years after its debut.

AMC Gremlin

1970 AMC Gremlin
Hulton Archive/Getty Images
Hulton Archive/Getty Images

AMC has had its fair share of terrible cars. The Gremlin, notorious for its awful handling, terrible performance, and various design flaws, may just be the worst one of them all. This comical subcompact hit the market in 1970.

The Gremlin had terrible fuel economy, despite having an underpowered motor. Driving over a pothole could cause the rear window to shatter into a million pieces. Rust would take over the car’s body just a few years after leaving the production line. The truly horrendous styling, both inside and out, has got to be the worst feature of the Gremlin.

Dodge Charger

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Greg Gjerdingen/Wikimedia Commons
Greg Gjerdingen/Wikimedia Commons

The legendary Dodge Charger, one of America’s most iconic muscle cars, has had one of the worst downgrades in the history of automobiles. While the first three generations were an absolute hit in terms of performance and design, the 1975 fourth-gen was an utter disaster.

All of a sudden, Dodge stripped the Charger from every aggressive design feature the car has once had. Instead, the last B-body Charger looked like a grandpa’s car. Luckily, it was replaced by the fifth-gen only 3 years after its debut.

Rambler Cross Country

1958 Rambler Wagon
Joe Wherry/The Enthusiast Network via Getty Images
Joe Wherry/The Enthusiast Network via Getty Images

The all-new second generation of the Rambler Classic line hit the market for the 1963 model year. While the car’s practicality and performance were rather impressive, its exterior design remained rather questionable.

The rear end of this station wagon looks completely out of place as if it had been welded on in someone’s backyard. Luckily, the Cross Country did not remain on the market for long. In fact, it was replaced by the third-gen after a short two-year production run. The station wagon has gone down in history as yet another awful-looking creation by AMC.

Hillman Imp

Hillman Imp anniversary
Andrew Milligan/PA Images via Getty Images
Andrew Milligan/PA Images via Getty Images

The Imp remains one of the most infamous automobiles produced in the 1960s. This economic coupe was developed by the British Rootes Group, later known as Chrysler Europe. Just like some of the other British cars on this list, the Imp was an absolute eyesore in terms of design.

A wide array of issues that started as soon as the car was released contributed to its awful reputation. Today, however, many automobile enthusiasts argue that the Imp was massively underrated and did not deserve the hate it received. It is hard to agree with those statements, given the car’s awful styling.

Mercury Cougar

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Sicnag/Flickr
Sicnag/Flickr

The Cougar was first launched in 1967 as a Mercury counterpart of the Ford Mustang. Unlike Ford’s pony car, the Cougar came powered by a V8 as standard. Following the success of the first-gen Cougar, the all-new second-generation debuted in 1971. Sadly, it was nowhere near as good as its predecessor.

Once again, the second-gen Cougar shared the majority of its parts with the Ford Mustang. Just like the second-gen Mustang, the new Cougar was an absolute disaster in terms of design. The awful vehicle was only produced for 3 years.

AMC Pacer

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Charles01/Wikimedia Commons
Charles01/Wikimedia Commons

The Pacer has had quite an exciting history. This little compact started off with a terrible reputation at first. In fact, it was replaced by its successor only 4 years after the initial debut. As the years passed, however, the Pacer started to become an icon of the 70s.

Love it or hate it, the Pacer has gone down in history as more than just another ugly AMC product. This quirky two-door compact became one of the most famous vehicles built by the American automaker. You may be surprised to hear that they’ve become quite desired by wealthy automobile collectors.

FSO Polonez

1983 Fso Polonez. Creator: Unknown.
National Motor Museum/Heritage Images via Getty Images
National Motor Museum/Heritage Images via Getty Images

There is a great chance that you have never heard of the FSO Polonez, despite a lengthy production run that saw over a million units sold in total. This vehicle is considered to be one of the most significant automobiles to come out of Eastern Europe in the second half of the 20th century.

In terms of styling, the Polonez was essentially an uglier version of the Fiat 125. In fact, FSO built these affordable family cars in collaboration with the Italian automaker. The vehicle was eventually discontinued at the beginning of the 21st century.

Lincoln Versailles

JUN 18 1977; Lincoln Versailles Has Mirror-Like, Hand-Polished Acrylic Enamel Finish; Long list of s
Hugh Jane Jr./The Denver Post via Getty Images
Hugh Jane Jr./The Denver Post via Getty Images

The Versailles was one of the all-time biggest Ford failures. This compact luxury sedan debuted shortly after the gas crisis, in Ford’s pathetic attempt to enter this segment of the market.

It’s quite easy to notice that the Versailles deeply resembles a Ford Granada. That’s because it’s pretty much the same vehicle, except for some minor stylistic changes that worsened the appearance. As if that wasn’t enough, the Versailles retailed for nearly three times the price of a Ford Granada, despite being the same vehicle.

Citicar

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Eric Fischer/Flickr
Eric Fischer/Flickr

The Citicar proves that electric cars have come a long way since the 1970s. This tiny two-door subcompact was built for four years by Florida-based Sebring-Vanguard. It’s rather different from a modern Tesla Model 3.

This weird vehicle is nowhere near as classy as a modern Tesla. Although it does have two seats, it’s hard to imagine two adults fitting into the little cabin. The Citicar’s electric powerplant made between 2.5 and 3.5 horsepower, depending on the production year. It has a max speed of nearly 40 miles per hour.

Checker Marathon

1965 Checker Marathon V-8
Darryl Norenberg/The Enthusiast Network via Getty Images
Darryl Norenberg/The Enthusiast Network via Getty Images

Believe it or not, Checker remains one of America’s most successful independent automakers. Their flagship production vehicle, the Marathon, was aimed at private buyers as opposed to the infamous Checker Taxi. Its production run lasted over two decades, starting in 1960. Unsurprisingly, the vehicle was eventually discontinued and the company went bankrupt in 2010.

In terms of styling, the Checker Marathon was a cheap replica of glamorous American cars of the 50s. If you squint your eyes hard enough, you may just confuse it with a Chevrolet Bel Air. Perhaps not.

Rolls Royce Camargue

1985 Rolls Royce Camargue
National Motor Museum/Heritage Images/Getty Images
National Motor Museum/Heritage Images/Getty Images

Even a manufacturer as legendary as Rolls Royce has come out with some awfully-looking cars. The hideous Camargue is easily the ugliest vehicle to ever come out of Rolls Royce’s Goodwood factory.

At the time of its 1975 debut, the Camargue was the most expensive production car in the world! The British automaker only sold a little over 500 units before dropping the vehicle from the lineup in 1986. Today, it’s one of the cheapest Rolls Royces money could buy.

Datsun F10

Datsun's New F10 has power; manoeuvrability and good mileage; but a poorly designed gear shift and a...
Keith Beaty/Toronto Star via Getty Images
Keith Beaty/Toronto Star via Getty Images

The second-gen of the Nissan Cherry, more commonly known as the Datsun F10, hit the market in 1974 as the first front-wheel-drive vehicle sold by the Japanese automaker in North America. Although the F10 does have a hint of the iconic 240Z in terms of its exterior styling, the supermini was not a pleasant sight to look at.

One of the striking features of the Datsun F10 is the enormous headlights, which simply look too big for the car! The second-gen Cherry was replaced merely four years after its debut.

Ford Mustang II

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Kieran White/Flickr
Kieran White/Flickr

The Ford Mustang was an extremely successful pony car sold by the American manufacturer since the mid-60s. The two-door coupe combined impressive performance with a jaw-dropping design. Then, Ford Motor Company released its successor and ruined it all.

The second generation of the Mustang remains one of the worst downgrades in the history of automobiles, much like the Dodge Charger. What’s more, the Mustang II shared many of its parts with the infamous Pinto. Yes, the same Pinto that was notorious for turning into a fireball during even the smallest collision.

Austin Allegro

1973 Austin Allegro
National Motor Museum/Heritage Images/Getty Images
National Motor Museum/Heritage Images/Getty Images

The Austin Allegro debuted as an innovative, fuel-efficient family car that was supposed to be both reliable and affordable. Sadly, styling must have been overlooked during the development of this absolute eyesore. The lack of interior room meant that the design team had to resort to some extreme measures, such as altering the shape of the steering wheel to improve legroom.

Despite its less-than-ideal reputation, the Allegro was one of the best-selling British cars on the market. In fact, it was the fifth best-selling car in Britain only six years after its initial debut. As the years passed, the reputation of the Allegro began to plummet.

Volvo 262C

Oldtimer Warsaw Show 2017
Karol Serewis/Gallo Images Poland/Getty Images
Karol Serewis/Gallo Images Poland/Getty Images

The 262C was Volvo’s first luxurious coupe ever built. It first debuted on the market for the 1978 model year. The upscale coupe was the final product of a cooperation between the Swedish manufacturer and Italian coachbuilder Gruppo Bertone. Despite the Italian influence, the 262C was nowhere near as classy as the majority of Italian coupes.

The boxy styling resembled the regular Volvo 200 Series more than a truly luxurious coupe. The Swedish automaker only built around 6500 units before discontinuing the 262C in the early 80s.

Renault 16

Renault 16
Keystone-FranceGamma-Rapho via Getty Images
Keystone-FranceGamma-Rapho via Getty Images

Renault may have outdone AMC in terms of creating quirky automobiles. Unlike AMC products, Renault cars were actually selling rather well. In fact, the French automaker built over 1.8 million units of the 16 during its fifteen-year-long production run.

The Renault 16 ticked nearly all of the boxes of the ideal daily driver. Many buyers opted for one due to its excellent fuel economy and a lack of efficiency issues. It was even voted the European Car of The Year in ’65. One of its biggest downsides, however, has got to be the awful exterior design. The 16’s design language lacks any kind of taste.

Oldsmobile Omega

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RL GNZLZ/Flickr
RL GNZLZ/Flickr

While the Oldsmobile Omega was never the prettiest vehicle in GM’s lineup, the second generation built between 1975 and ’79 is particularly unpleasant to look at. It is understandable that GM did not want to spend too much of its resources on the entry-level Oldsmobile, a more sophisticated design certainly wouldn’t hurt.

GM attempted to boost sales of the second-gen Omega by stuffing it with features that weren’t available on its Chevrolet counterpart, the Nova. It clearly didn’t work, as the Omega was eventually discontinued after 1984 following another awful stylistic update four years earlier.

AMC Matador Coupe

Earls Court motor show 1974
Arthur Sidey/Mirrorpix/Getty Images
Arthur Sidey/Mirrorpix/Getty Images

Much like the previously mentioned Ford Mustang or the iconic Dodge Charger, the Matador suffered a terrible downgrade in the 1970s. Moreover, it’s yet another AMC product that’s considered to be one of the ugliest automobiles ever made.

The second-gen Matador hit the market in 1974. The two-door coupe variant is perhaps the worst offender in styling-wise. Its tunneled headlights look odd, and the plain rear end complete with four round tail lights is anything but appealing. It should come as no surprise that the Matador was discontinued altogether after the second generation.

Citroen Ami

FRANCE-CAR-VINTAGE
JACQUES DEMARTHON/AFP via Getty Images
JACQUES DEMARTHON/AFP via Getty Images

Apparently, Citroen had the need to match fellow French automaker Renault in creating truly disgusting-looking automobiles. Hence, the manufacturer presented the Ami for the 1961 model year.

To be completely honest, it is rather difficult to guess what the design team was thinking. The car’s awful styling looks terrible from practically any angle. The front fascia looks like a parody of an automobile. Moreover, the designer must have been inspired by Ford Anglia’s crooked rear-end, as the Ami has one that’s strikingly similar.

Chrysler LeBaron

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Greg Gjerdingen/Flickr
Greg Gjerdingen/Flickr

Most petrolheads can agree that the Chrysler LeBaron wasn’t worthy of its iconic moniker. The history of the LeBaron nameplate can be traced back to a gorgeous luxury vehicle from the 30s. It was then used on an equally astonishing full-size Imperial LeBaron from the mid-50s. Then came the 1977 Chrysler LeBaron, which quickly ruined the legacy of the nameplate.

Nearly half a century has passed since the LeBaron was released. Clearly, it has not aged well. The entire body looks out of proportion, and the rear end appears to be chopped off. Perhaps the only intriguing feature is the monumental front fascia.

Ford Granada

Ford Cars, Ford Granada, Type 26 M
ulstein bild via Getty Images
ulstein bild via Getty Images

At first, the American Ford Granada was supposed to replace the outdated Maverick. The development of the upscale automobile took a big hit following the 1973 fuel crisis. All of a sudden, Ford realized that buyers flocked to fuel-efficient compacts as opposed to enormous full-size sedans. The Granada eventually hit the market for the 1975 model year.

At first sight, it appears that the design team completely rushed through styling the Granada. The vehicle looks cheap, bland, and completely out of proportion. It’s a hard pass.

Subaru Leone

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Dogs.barking.duster.rolling/Wikimedia Commons
Dogs.barking.duster.rolling/Wikimedia Commons

Don’t let the seemingly cool name of this sedan fool you. Though Leone does indeed sound exciting, it means lion in Italian after all, the Subaru Leone does not have anything in common with a lion. Perhaps Subaru Ratto, Italian for rat, would be a more fitting name.

The Leone was a cheap, fuel-efficient vehicle that was painfully bland. Sadly, its lack of character was reflected in the exterior design as well. The Leone did live on the market for over 2 decades, before eventually being discontinued in the mid-90s.

Plymouth Fury

1974_Plymouth_Fury_III_(37023685832)
Greg Gjerdingen/Wikimedia Commons
Greg Gjerdingen/Wikimedia Commons

The original Plymouth Fury was a gorgeous landyacht that was renowned for its intimidating road presence. Things have clearly gone downhill for the Chrysler design team in the early 1970s, and the once-glamorous Fury is a prime example. Each generation kept getting more hideous, until the vehicle was eventually discontinued in the late 70s.

The Fury was one of the very few models that seemed not to be too affected by the oil crisis. Despite the surging demand for fuel-hungry V8s, Chrysler continued to offer an eight-cylinder as standard up until the mid-70s. Only the last generation became available with a small, slant-six motor.

Bristol Type 603

Transport - Blenheim 2 Luxury Car
PA Images via Getty Images
PA Images via Getty Images

The Bristol Blenheim proves that having an aircraft-inspired nameplate is not enough to make an automobile good-looking. This revised version of the Type 603 never should have made it to the production line in the first place.

Although the Blenheim was made in Great Britain, its exterior design looks like a mish-mash of the BMW E30 3-Series and the Saab 900. One of the only decent features of the Bristol Type 603 is the standard 5.2L V8 motor beneath the hood. Unsurprisingly, the British automaker hasn’t publicized the production numbers of this horrendous vehicle.

Ford Elite

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Triple-green/Flickr
Triple-green/Flickr

Much like the previously mentioned Ford Granada, the Elite was an upscale vehicle released shortly after the devastating oil crisis. Clearly, this ugly luxury car was the last thing buyers wanted, hence the model was discontinued merely two years after its 1974 debut.

Ford’s design language throughout the 70s wasn’t particularly pretty, to say the least. As if all that wasn’t enough already, the Ford Elite happens to be the predecessor of one of the worst downgrades in the history of the American automaker.

Dodge Dart

1 (8)
AlfvanBeem/Wikimedia Commons
AlfvanBeem/Wikimedia Commons

The fourth and final generation of the original Dodge Dart made its debut for the ’67 model year. This muscular coupe started off as a glorious vehicle at first. For some odd reason, it then kept getting uglier year by year. The model was eventually called off after 1976, which was arguably the most terrible year of the Dart in terms of exterior design.

As the model kept getting updated every year, the glamorous design language of the 60s slowly began to fade. Instead, the American automaker began following the boxy style of the 70s, consequently ruining the Dart as a result.

Ford Thunderbird

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Greg Gjerdingen/Flickr
Greg Gjerdingen/Flickr

The Thunderbird has gone down in history as one of the most iconic luxury vehicles produced by Ford. The first generations of the car ticked nearly all of the boxes. They were incredibly stylish, powerful, and lavish. That is until the sixth-generation hit the market in 1972 and ruined it all.

Things have clearly gone south in terms of automobile design in the 1970s. Interestingly, the horrific exterior design of this Thunderbird couldn’t have been caused by the oil crisis, as the car debuted one year earlier.

Subaru BRAT

Denver Post Archives
Bud Wells/The Denver Post via Getty Images
Bud Wells/The Denver Post via Getty Images

The BRAT is a pickup-truck version of the previously mentioned Subaru Leone. It hit the market in the late 70s, following the demand for unibody pickups such as the Chevy El Camino. Believe it or not, the BRAT may just be even uglier than its sedan counterpart. At least its name is just as ugly as the vehicle itself.

Obviously, the exterior design wasn’t much of a worry for the team that developed the BRAT. The Japanese automaker clearly prioritized utility and reliability over styling. However, a little touch-up certainly would not hurt.

Plymouth Cricket

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dave_7/Flickr
dave_7/Flickr

After Chrysler acquired the British Rootes Group in the early 70s, the American automaker decided to import a rebadged version of the Hillman Avenger. Chrysler did not hide the fact that the Cricket was indeed just a rebadged Hillman. In fact, a different badge was essentially the only difference between a Cricket and an Avenger.

Unsurprisingly, the sales figures were not too impressive. The vehicle was dropped from the American lineup just two years after its debut. The Cricket moniker lived on for three more years as a rebadged Mitsubishi Galant, sold only in Canada.

Renault 4

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Berthold Werner/Wikimedia Commons
Berthold Werner/Wikimedia Commons

Don’t confuse this small French car with the previously mentioned Renault 16. This quirky family car hit the market in 1961 as a direct successor to the cute 2CV. Unlike the 2CV, the 4 lacked any kind of appeal in terms of design.

Despite the questionable styling, Renault’s first mass-produced front-wheel-drive family car did rather well on the market. In fact, the French automaker sold over 8 million units of the car during its over three-decade-long production run! The car was eventually replaced by the infamous Twingo, which was equally ugly.

Aston Martin Lagonda

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Niels de Wit/Flickr
Niels de Wit/Flickr

Ironically, this weird-looking luxury sedan has become one of the most sought-after vehicles ever built by the British marque. Aston Martin only sold 645 units of the Lagonda during the car’s sixteen-year-long production run.

Today, the Lagonda is considered to be more of a quirky-looking vehicle rather than an outright ugly one. The lengthy, boxy body paired with a tiny front grille, as well as pop-up headlights is bound to have accumulated a cult following. Not to mention the car’s powerful V8 powerplant, too.

Jaguar XJ-S

1990 Jaguar XJS
Barrett-Jackson via Getty Images
Barrett-Jackson via Getty Images

Very few automobiles polarize the car community as much as this British grand tourer. Some petrolheads are absolute die-hard fans of the Jaguar XJS, whilst others despise anything related to it. The unconventional styling was definitely unique, yet we would argue whether the XJS is a pretty car.

The long wheelbase, paired with four round headlights and a sleek grill makes the XJS look similar to a frog. On the other hand, there are enthusiasts who consider this to be the greatest Jaguar of all time. This just proves that beauty truly lies in the eyes of the beholder.