Terrible Cars People Can’t Help But Want

Many car enthusiasts are guilty of having on the car they are embarrassed by wanting, even though they are actually terrible cars. Some of them are just ugly or poorly designed, and others are just flat out dangerous. Whatever the reason, these cars are terrible, but people can’t help but want them.

Plymouth Prowler

The Plymouth Prowler is an awkward attempt of a ‘throwback’ with its design, but it didn’t quite hit the mark. In production from 1997 to 2002, this retro roadster looks much older than it actually was. Some viewed the Prowler as an attempt to be something it just wasn’t, making it unfavored by some enthusiasts, and it only appealed to a very niche market. The car was clunky and awkward, with poor visibility, and it drove like a boat.

Classic car lovers looking for a more practical option for a daily driver loved the introduction of the Prowler. While the design was hot-rod, it had many amenities you’d want from a daily driver. The Prowler had options for comfort access, air conditioning and a stereo with a cassette player and optional CD player that paired with an upgraded speaker system.

Pontiac Fiero

The Pontiac Fiero is a midengine death trap, but people have still made a market for this car for one big reason. The Fiero was shunned into history by some major design flaws, one of them being they would leak oil and overheat which, on less than rare occasions, caused the car to catch fire or even explode. It’s not necessarily that people like the styling of the Fiero, although some do, but rather that its an affordable mid-engine car. Being midengine, it handles better than most front-engine cars, and because of its history, you can find them for pretty cheap.

Some private builders and fab shops use the Pontiac Fiero to build kit cars lake fake Ferraris, making them desirable even if they are kind of dangerous. With some minor mechanical modifications and custom bodywork, the Fiero could be used to make some almost convincing replica cars, and while they aren’t going to win any car awards, people still seem to keep buying them.

Red Pontiac Fiero
Pontiac Fiero | Credit: Doug DeMuro

Dodge Viper

If you’ve ever heard the phrase “don’t meet your heroes” that you could be used to describe the Dodge Viper. Growing up, it wasn’t uncommon to see a Viper Hot Wheels car or poster, but many children who grew up aspiring to own a Viper were left pretty disappointed. The Dodge Viper does have a lot of things going for it mechanically. The 8.3L SRT-V10 engine could produce a decent amount of power, and the car could handle like a track car with just a few simple modifications.

The car was a pretty big disappointment to most for several reasons. For a less experienced driver, this car was difficult, if not deadly, to handle, giving it the title of ‘Widow Maker.’ At the end of the day, it is still a Dodge and doesn’t have any of the luxury upgrades that you’d expect from a supercar until you got to the newest generation. Owners will tell you that there always seems to be something rattling in the car. After just a few years, all of the plastic starts to creak and make awful noises when driving. The doors clunk shut like a truck door, and an oversized center console made the driver and passenger seats feel almost claustrophobic.

First Generation Dodge Viper