The Ugliest Coupes of All Time, Part I
There are plenty of ugly coupes, but these are among the ugliest.
Coupes are traditionally the more attractive alternative to dumpier-looking sedans, but not every automotive designer in history received this memo. Witness this group of homely two doors, which for clarity's sake we've restricted to those with rear seats and either a fastback hatch or conventional trunk. (Hideous two-seaters and two-door traditional hatchbacks will have to wait a minute for their time to shine.) While these are far from the only unattractive coupes ever produced, they're certainly among the ugliest to ever leave a factory.
Datsun's F-10 enters the U.S. market in the late 1970s. Although no F-10 model is particularly pretty, the car's two-door fastback body style is especially difficult on the eyes. Blame a frumpy-looking rear hatch reminiscent of a Porsche 924's in the worst way possible, as well as ungainly looking head- and taillight housings, unattractive bumpers, and too-small wheels and tires that get lost within the front-wheel-drive Datsun's bodywork. None of the elements are truly awful on their own, but they combine into a hideous whole.
Edsel enters the scene for the 1958 model year and immediately struggles to find favor. Blame its controversial "horse-collar" grille design that graces its vehicles, including the larger Corsair (and top-line Citation). A redesign for 1959 improves the Corsair's design noticeably and results in the model moving to a smaller chassis. Still, overwrought front ends and visually heavy rear-fender trimmings often make the cars look as if they're bent in the middle.
The smaller 1958 Edsel Ranger (and higher-trim Pacer) looks slightly better than its Corsair stablemate thanks to its more compact dimensions. Still, the car's styling fails to excite the buying public. A refresh for the 1959 model year improves the styling, although that's not saying much.
Ferrari 612 Scaglietti
Ferrari unveils the questionable-looking 612 Scaglietti for the 2005 model year as the replacement to the gorgeous 456. Despite its attractive proportions, the coupe's blobular rear end, strangely scalloped fenders and door panels, goofball front-end grin, and its small-looking wheels make for a grand-touring car that looks far from grand.
Hyundai's slightly weird-looking but otherwise generic Tiburon arrives in the United States for the 1997 model year but receives a horrifying facelift as we enter the new millennium. While its new looks are no longer generic, the Tiburon is also no longer remotely attractive. Blob-like taillamps muddle up the rear end while an odd hood cutline highlights a set of four awful, bulging lamps up front. Fortunately, a full redesign for the 2003 model year makes the Tiburon far more conventionally handsome.
Marcos Mantis M70
Despite its Triumph-cribbed six-cylinder engine, the Marcos Mantis M70's unfortunate looks make it a tough sell to the buying public of the late 1960s. Marcos makes a mere 32 examples of this ungainly coupe before sending it to the big scrapyard in the sky.
Reliant introduces its Regal three-wheeled car in the early 1950s. While it's no beauty from the start, the Regal arguably gets more ungainly with age following a redesign in the '60s—a fact the car's single front wheel certainly exacerbates.
Rolls-Royce takes the wraps off of the pricey Camargue coupe in 1975. Despite styling penned by Pininfarina, the Camargue lacks the elegance of the British brand's past products, instead resembling nothing so much as a large, cheap American coupe attempting a poor impersonation of a Rolls-Royce. The Mercury-like fender openings, inboard wheel locations, and a wheelbase too short for its proportions are all bad decisions.
Almost a decade after it debuts in Japan, the Subaru 360 finds its way to the U.S. courtesy of Malcolm Bricklin in 1968. The rear-engined two-door city car is as cute-ugly as a blobfish but establishes the Subaru brand in America.
With the Scion brand still a twinkle in Toyota's proverbial eye, the Japanese automaker launches the Echo under the Toyota brand name for the 2000 model year. Needlessly tall given the narrowness of its track, the Echo is a frumpy-looking thing that lacks style, grace, and the ability to erase its looks from our memories.
Toyota Camry Solara
Toyota follows up the first-generation Camry Solara with an all-new model for the 2004 model year. Alas, the Japanese automaker ditches the handsome styling of the original Solara for bustling body lines that give the coupe a rather ungainly aesthetic. No surprise that Toyota ultimately pulls the plug on this two-door Camry model following the 2008 model year.