On behalf of Jack, Bark and myself, Happy Thanksgiving! Here’s an oldie from that other turkey, the Curbside Prune’s website, that I wrote years ago. Cheers! -TK
There are so many great cars in the past, and plenty of efficient, if unremarkable ones too. But then there are the turkeys. Cars that had perhaps not the worst constitution, design or aesthetics, but for one thing that adversely affected them: Appearance, or engineering, or assembly quality. Cars with redeeming features in one area or another, but at the same time, having some huge flaw that made them unattractive, unreliable, or–perhaps worst of all–a laughingstock.
They may have sold well new and made a lot of money for their parent company, like the Mustang II, but became nigh-on universally derided–then and now. But hey, it’s still better than a Fat Daddy McButterpants “Mustang” Mach E…
They may have been a shallow attempt at making a silk purse out of the Granada family sedan, but at the same time been a well-assembled, comfortable and luxurious car, like the Lincoln
Granada Monarch Versailles. And that’s Ver-SY, not Ver-SAYLES!
Or they might have been attractive, useful, and spacious–but with totally terrible execution and baked-in shortcuts, like the FWD General Motors X-cars. Great on paper, but not quite the same in practice.
I think my favorite turkey is the 1985-86 Sedan de Ville and Coupe de Ville. While they looked like “biggie” cars that shrunk in the wash, I found them attractive in their early form, especially if they happened to be that classic light yellow with matching leather! But traditional Cadillac owners weren’t sure what to make of them, though they sold well. Despite cheaper and less prestigious Electras and Ninety-Eights offering a much more robust powertrain–and for less money. A turkey? You bet.
The later 1989-93s were solid cars with their 4.5 and 4.9 V8s and stretched flanks. But they are a little outside of our purview in this context.
My least favorite turkey is probably the Vega. Simply because it was such a great-looking car. Stunning, really. A little Italian flair here, a little dollop of Camaro there… It stole your heart with its looks, then broke it in short order when it dissolved into iron oxide before the note was paid off–unless the engine blew up first. Yay! And this was before GM started actively hating their customers. Whaddaya think of that $300K 6000 SUX/retro 1980 Citation electric car they’re all harping on about now? Oops, never mind. The Vega could have been so good. True, later ones were much improved, but the damage done in 1971-72 resulted in the better, later Vegas being less successful than they could have been. And it all could have been avoided; it’s not like GM didn’t have the cash to make them right the first time. The Vega was like Lucy pulling the football away from Charlie Brown at the last instant: Screw you, customers!
And there you have it: My favorite turkey is a car that was let down by its engine, and my least favorite is ANOTHER car let down by its engine. And both are GMs. Take that however you like.
So now I turn the microphone over to you fine folks, if I can pull you away from your dinner a minute. What is your favorite turkey, and what is your most derided car in all of humanity? Let’s have some fun.
Not all of us care about watching sportsball after Thanksgiving dinner, dontcha know!