Want to Become an Auto Body Technician? Here’s a Roundup of the Ugliest Cars Ever Made

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Given the huge range of cars that have been produced by manufacturers over the 20th and 21st centuries, it’s not surprising that some have gone down as abject failures on the style front. While they may have performed very well in terms of capacity, safety, or fuel economy, their style factor was more than a little off.

Which vehicles have gone down in automotive history for their not-so-flattering looks? Here are four vehicles that just didn’t get it right.

The 1990 Pontiac Trans Sport Earned Itself an Unenviable Nickname

Produced by Pontiac in order to compete with the increasingly popular minivans offered by the brand’s rivals, the Pontiac Trans Sport made its debut in 1989. Unfortunately, it soon became known for reasons Pontiac might not have originally hoped for.

The Trans Sport earned itself the nickname ‘the dustbuster’ due to its close resemblance to the famous hand-held vacuum cleaner. Supposedly, the design was based on the outline of a bullet train. Unfortunately for Pontiac, the vehicle looked a little more like an elongated clothes iron with wheels. Nevertheless, this not-so-beautiful car was still a modest success. Thanks to its not-too-shabby sales figures, the vehicle persisted through to the mid 1990s.

In fact, here’s an old-timey ad extolling the Pontiac Trans Sport’s many other virtues:

The 1999 Corbin Sparrow Is So Odd Looking It Was Used by Hollywood to Great Effect

Pros with auto body technician training may recognize this car as one of the earliest battery-powered PEVs (personal electric vehicles) to hit the US market. Designed in 1999 by boutique producer Corbin Motors, the little Corbin Sparrow had a top range of only 64 km. It was marketed as a city and commuting vehicle, with only 300 of the single-seat cars created at the time.

That vision came together into a package that, well, we’ll just let you see for yourself:

Visually, it resembles two jelly beans melted together. However, that actually—weirdly enough—worked in its favour. With an odd, clog-like profile, the car’s unique look made it somewhat popular. It was even featured in a number of Hollywood movies, including the ‘Austin Powers’ series. Updated versions are still produced by a successor company, with some versions embracing its unconventional image. These include a model complete with golf-ball style dimples.

The 1989 Nissan S Cargo Is Certainly a Strange Site to Behold

The S Cargo is the result of a wide number of automotive design influences. These have made quite the impact on the appearance of this small delivery van, which was largely confined to the Japanese market at the end of the 1980s. The DNA of Citroen’s vintage delivery vans and the classic drooping hood of the Volkswagen Beetle are all evident, but ultimately the vehicle ended up resembling a garden variety snail in terms of its outline. With a huge windscreen and small, porthole-like windows in the rear, the vehicle’s proportions were a brave move, which ultimately didn’t inspire anyone.

Only 8,000 were sold, which doesn’t come as much of a surprise. While you might not see it roll into your shop once you become an auto refinishing prep technician, you can get a small taste of it in this short clip, which should be enough to last anyone a lifetime anyways:

Auto Refinishing Prep Technicians Might Know the Sad Tale of the 1958 Edsel Corsair

Edsel was a short-lived and ill-fated sub-brand of Ford’s that existed from 1957 to 1960. Designed to help Ford compete with the likes of GM and Chrysler, the Corsair was one of its flagship cars. However, marketing and reliance issues impeded the vehicle, which itself suffered from an adverse reaction to its stretched body shape and audacious details. This included the car’s infamous ‘horse collar’ grille, a feature which stood out from a distance. With the US economy entering a downturn at its release, the big and brash appearance of the Corsair didn’t help its appeal, and it ultimately went down as one of the poorest-received cars of the post-war era.

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The strange look of the Edsel Corsair contributed to its poor reception

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