10 Most Bizarre Car Designs of All Time

Designing an appealing car is a challenge that's not easily undertaken given the constraints of time and money. It goes without saying that enhancing its aesthetic value increases the likelihood that it'll sell, even though, admittedly, more important factors, such as the car's overall reliability, are much more important — but you don't want to drive around town in something resembling the cardboard box in which your TV was delivered. The poorly conceived designs of the following cars were a result of the aforementioned constraints and/or a designer who did know their rear end from their elbow. Try not to go blind while looking at these monstrosities.

  1. Nash Metropolitan

    The now defunct Nash Motors, an American auto manufacturer based in Wisconsin, were decades ahead of its time when it designed the Metropolitan. The compact, economical car contrasted with many of the behemoths that ruled the roads during the era, notably boasting conservative gasoline consumption. In production for almost a decade, it received mixed reviews when it was first revealed in 1953, but was complimented on its surprising durability. With the classic designs of the era, however, it's easy to see why it was eventually dwarfed by the competition.

  2. Citroën SM

    Known more for its performance than its looks, the SM could outdo all of its front-wheel drive counterparts thanks to its complex, six-cylinder Maserati engine — two years prior to its release, Citroën acquired Italian luxury car maker, thus inheriting its newly developed technology. Distinctively futuristic-looking, it resembled a teardrop from above, an aerodynamic shape that enabled it to travel stably and comfortably at high speeds. If you're a "it's what's inside that counts" kind of person, then this was your car.

  3. Mercedes-Benz SSK

    Batman enthusiasts may appreciate the SSK more than most. Its unique design featuring an enormous hood and short deck is said to have been conceived by a man named Willy White, an American living in Italy. Interestingly, Dr. Ferdinand Porsche engineered Mercedes car at the time — right before he left to form his own company — making it the fastest car of its era.

  4. Aston Martin Lagonda Wagon

    As with most products that are pushed when a company is facing its demise, the Lagonda departed from usual way of doing things. Priced at $150,000, it had all the trappings of luxury, including a LED digital dashboard and touch-sensitive switches. Outwardly, it looked like a cross between a Cadillac Seville and Lotus Esprit, resembling something you'd see on an "if they mated" segment on Late Night with Conan O'Brien. The wagon version could easily serve as hearse for a deceased basketball player.

  5. BMW Isetta

    When asked about the Isetta years after it hit the streets of Europe, its designer instantly replied "Did I do thaaaaat?" Children of the '90s are familiar with the front-door microcar because it belonged to Steve Urkel on the popular sitcom Family Matters. Recognized as the bestselling single-cylinder car in the world, it's served as proof that Europeans are bit less superficial when it comes to judging cars.

  6. Reliant Robin

    A three-wheeler weighing fewer than 1,000 pounds, the Robin is prone to flipping over, which makes it a blast to drive (see the video below). And believe it or not, owners of the car are considered Britain's safest drivers, according to a Confused.com study that indicated only one in one hundred of them were involved in an accident in the last five years. It should be noted, however, that many are kept for novelty purposes, as opposed to everyday cars.
     

  7. Nissan Pivo 2

    An ideal car for enthusiastic organ donors, driving a Pivo 2 is a lot like floating in a bubble. Its shape, windscreens, windows, and Around View Monitor System reduce blind spots and enhance the overall safety of the car — as long as you don't get blindsided. Drivers don't have to bother with reversing, as its 360-degree turning cabin and 90-degree turning wheels allow it to rotate. What's more, with updated version, the car's wheels are fixed in rotating pods, allowing it to drive in any direction.

  8. Honda PUYO

    According to Honda, PUYO is a onomatopoeia that "expresses the sensation of touching the vehicle's soft body." But looks won't seduce you to purchase this romancer. Instead, it offers protection and cleanliness with its soft, petite and curvy body made from soft, gel-like materials. Potential owners may enjoy spending time with their PUYO, but they probably won't want to be seen with it.

  9. GMC Pad

    Dubbed "an urban loft with mobility" by GMC, the Pad might as well be an upgraded version of a Suburban. Introduced in the Design Challenge at the Los Angeles Auto Show, it's essentially an ugly motor home with six wheels, a crooked body arch and a wraparound window. Of course, the inside does count with the Pad, as it contains full-length LCD screens and onboard computers with WiFi.

  10. Mazda Kazamai Crossover

    Crossover and good-looking are already antonyms, but Mazda managed to redefine ugly with the Kazamai. Using an entirely new design language, the vehicle combines crosswind-like panel lines, a low rooftop and 22-inch wheels, demonstrating very little difference from other excessively rounded, unrealistic-looking concept cars. One positive attribute is its safety, as engineers incorporated an anti-rollover stability control system to prevent it from drifting with the wind.

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