Time Magazine marked the 50th anniversary of the Edsel with a list of the 50 worst cars in history. Syndicated columnist, Dan Neil, did the honors.
The list features the bizarre, the brash, and a few boondoggles. Like the spartan Briggs & Stratton Flyer from 1920 (right). I agree with many of lemons on this list- and have more experience with some than I care to admit- like the Triumph Stag, Masarati Biturbo and V-12 E-Type.
But many of Neil’s picks flat miss the mark. He claims the original 1909 Model T was “the Yugo of its day.” While it was certainly simple, okay- downright crude by modern standards, the Tin Lizzy sported some ingenious design features. The planetary transmission was simple and rugged, even it wasn’t fashionable among automakers. So to was the flywheel-integrated magneto.
Other entries I take exception with include the DeSoto Airflow, MGA Twin Cam, Chevy Corvair, and General Motors ill-fated EV-1. His concept that being too forward-thinking is a bad notion might be true sometimes. But most of the more recent cars on the list (Pontiac Aztek, Hummer H2) illustrate the utter lack of it.
After all, designing cars to satisfy the quarterly report is what got us into this mess in the first place.