The land of misfit toys has been a part of the storyline of features ranging from Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer to the Polar Express. It got us thinking about those “swing and a miss” models of cars that were manufactured throughout the years. If there was a land of misfit cars, it may include these vehicles.
The Thing from Volkswagen
This incredibly unattractive vehicle looked like part lunar lander and part Beverly Hillbillies truck. Some thought, perhaps, VW purchased an aluminum siding company and decided to build cars with the materials. It was marketed in the United States for just two years, in 1973 and 1974.
The AMC Gremlin
If a car’s name fits its name, this is it. The Gremlin targeted drivers under 35, and in that area, it was a success. It sold just over 25,000 in 1970 and doubled that in 1971.
The AMC Pacer
The second American Motors entry to make our list is the Pacer, produced from 1975 to 1980. It had massive curved windows and an oddly shaped body, but it did have a large interior space and great views! An oddity about the Pacer is that its passenger-side door was larger than the driver’s side door to facilitate easier rear seat entry and exit. It was, however, expensive to repair, something that was required frequently.
Sold in the US from 1978 to 1987, this was a small utility truck that was designed for drivers looking for something else. Apparently, they are still looking. BRAT, by the way, actually stood for Bi-Drive, Recreational, All-Terrain Transporter.
The Pontiac Aztec
GM produced the Aztec, from 2002 until 2006 in part, to show the world how hip and cool the manufacturer was. GM was neither. The front end looked like it had a beak and innovative interior features included a tissue box in the glove compartment. At a time when other car-makers were making hay with sport utility vehicles, Pontiac tried creating its own niche with its “sports recreational vehicle.” It was just a bit odd.
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