Top 10 Ugliest Cars From the 1980s (Funny)

Updated on January 18, 2019

Top 10 Ugly Cars of the '80s

As an '80s survivor, I feel it's my civic duty to the children of the world to raise awareness of the ugliness that was the 1980s. More to the point, to I would like to highlight and bring to the surface what used to be considered fashionable and practical modes of transportation.

If you don't know your history, you are doomed to repeat it, and I refuse to drive a teal Ford Escort... again..

If you like this article, feel free to check out my article on The Ugliest Cars of the 1970s.

Ugliest Cars of the 1980s

  1. 1985 Chevrolet Cavalier
  2. 1983 AMC Eagle 4X4 Station Wagon
  3. 1985 Chrysler Lebaron
  4. 1981 Mercury Cougar
  5. 1982 Chevette
  6. 1980 Chevrolet Citation
  7. 1980 Aston Martin Lagonda
  8. 1987 Dodge Charger
  9. 1983 Ford Mustang
  10. 1981 Yugo

1. 1985 Chevrolet Cavalier

The first car I ever bought was a 1985 Chevy cavalier. It cost me $500 and I bought it from nuns. We called it the "Nun Runner."

Well, I got just what I paid for. This car was constantly breaking down on me. My high school auto shop teacher was thrilled. While everyone else was changing anti-freeze I was replacing front axles, radiators and CV joints. I was his favorite student.

And one time, a couple of friends of mine left a rotting whopper in the back seat of my disabled vehicle while it was sitting securely on a lift inside the school. I don't miss this car. Mine was blue, but almost as rusty. I guess one reason there were so many brown Chevy cars in the '80s is because it was less obvious when they inevitably rusted out.

2. 1983 AMC Eagle 4X4 Station Wagon

Oh, so many things wrong with this picture. While the idea of having a four wheel drive station wagon entices my reckless side, one has to wonder about the practicality of this vehicle.

And now a word on wood paneling. It doesn't look good in your home and it has absolutely no place on the outside of your car. Who was the first manufacturer to do this? Who said, "Boy we sure have a great product here. You know what would make it even better? Wood paneling. We'll appeal to all the highfalutin lumberjacks moguls."

However, it was good cop camouflage. I never once got pulled over while driving my wood-paneled Chrysler Grand Caravan when I was in college.

3. 1985 Chrysler Lebaron

Behold the boxy mediocrity of the 1985 Chrysler Lebaron, which once again showcases the wood-paneled craze of the '80s. This car was built in a time before wind tunnels. Convertible models came with a flimsy cloth-vinyl hybrid material on the roof. That's right, you heard me—a cloth roof. I'm no car designer, but common sense dictates that a flimsy cloth roof should not be your first choice for something that's going on the exterior of a car.

My best friend in high school that had one of these Chrysler cars. The roof was full of tiny holes near all the windows. Eventually, the heat in the car went out shortly after we left for a 3 1/2 hour trip to Kalamazoo in a snowstorm. We stopped about every 20 minutes to warm up. I think we rolled into K-zoo around 3 am.

Are we in agreement that this is one ugly ride?

4. 1981 Mercury Cougar

I don't know if this car is incredibly ugly or just agonizingly plain. It's a little of both, I suppose. When taking in the curves and grace that is the 1981 Mercury Cougar experience, you have to wonder what the inspiration was for the designers of this majestic vehicle. My guess is Rockford Files, Sanka and endless cartons of Kools.

I can't say for a fact that this is a smoking vehicle, but I think these came standard with plaid bean bag ashtrays. I just know there's on inside this car that's overflowing with butts.

5. 1982 Chevette

The 1981 Chevette is a car that screams "why bother?" These vehicles were wildly popular in the '80s. It seemed like every other car on the road was one of these little boxy rust buckets.

I used to get driven to Catechism with a friend whose Dad would pick us up in a rusted-out Chevette. The driver's side seat belt had long since been ripped out of the car and was replaced with a short belt fashioned out of nylon rope. Cutting-edge '80s car safety technology.

We used to peel the floor mats back and drop junk through the hole in the floor that had rusted out in the back seat. I still see these relics of the Regan era every great once in a while.

6. 1980 Chevrolet Citation

Ironically named the Citation, this vehicle doesn't look like it could even reach a top speed fast enough to actually get a citation. Reminiscent of a giant blue snail, this uninspired hunk of metal should earn you a citation for driving it in public.

Just looking at this car gives me a headache. Oh and look... this one has a flat tire?

7. 1980 Aston Martin Lagonda

The 1980 Aston Martin Lagonda is proof that even fine automobile manufacturers can also make some flaming turds. Normally, Aston Martin is on top of their game when it comes to luxury vehicles, but they really dropped the ball with this stepped-on offering. It looks like someone was trying to smash this car at a junk yard and pulled it out of the steely claws of the car compactor in time to leave it smooshed and distorted.

8. 1987 Dodge Charger

This Dodge car, the 1987 Dodge Charger, is trying hard to beat the '83 Mustang below in an ugly car contest and it's giving it a run for the money. I'm not really sure what the designers in the '80s were thinking when it came to car colors. The best I can figure is that they were all shipped in from an eastern block country, or the designers were color blind.

9. 1983 Ford Mustang

1983 Ford Mustang
1983 Ford Mustang

I know, let's take the classic Ford Mustang and make it look as much like an Escort as possible. And how about we paint it two separate shades of brown. Nothing says "fast" like burnt umber.

The 1983 Ford Muscort is a fine example of a classic Ford vehicle that was abused by a Tab-fueled, Thompson-Twin-listening, Rubik's-cube-solving, uninspired society that gave us leg warmers and Paula Abdul.

10. 1981 Yugo

The crap-de-resistance. What can I say about this car that it isn't already screaming itself? It's small, boxy and ugly, but cheap. Hence the appeal for this pillbox of a car.

It reminds me of the sassy new Mexican import that's made out of clay. The first car to break the $179 barrier. The Adobe, the car made out of clay.

What's The Ugliest Car? Who wins?

Out of the 10 abominations above, which ride is the ugliest?

Which car is the ugliest?

See results

Questions & Answers

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      • profile image

        Captain Comment 

        13 days ago

        Austin Martin is on here, WHYYYYYYYYYYYYY! Uh, also that 1987 Dodge Charger looks like a retarded crappy of taledaga knights knock off car

      • profile image

        David staggs 

        8 months ago

        Plea

        se bring back1

        holden primer form 1970's

      • profile image

        Leave blank 

        13 months ago

        I don’t know why the Aston Martin is on this page??.

      • profile image

        Imprezaru 

        14 months ago

        @ Shashonker My first car was a hand-me-down rusted '76 Datsun B10. The '85 Subaru XT coupe was and still is one of my favorite cars. Thanks for the memories! :)

      • profile image

        Girl with a boring heart 

        23 months ago

        Not funny

      • profile image

        Shashonker 

        2 years ago

        This so-called article is so laden with errors that I wish to correct.

        1. The author claims that auto designers didn't implement the use of wind tunnels in the '80s. WRONG! If he bother to do a little research he'd find that as far back as the late 1920's Chrysler was using wind booths, the precursor to modern wind tunnels, in development of the 1934 Chrysler Airflow. Chrysler used a more modern approach of wind tunnel use on the 1969 Dodge Daytona, 1970 Plymouth Superbird and the 1971 Plymouth Satellite. Ford was experimenting with wind tunnels in the '60s and designed the 1970 Torino largely influenced by wind tunnel design. The late '70s is when wind tunnel testing was catapulted in the auto industry and the rest is history.

        2. The Yugo wasn't a brand sold in the US until 1986, NOT 1981 as stated. Again, a simple Gogle search would provide.

        3. What is the significance of singling out the 1981 Chevrolet Chevette? The Chevette was released in 1976 mid year and only received moderate styling changes throughout the entire run. The most noticeable was the restyling of the Chevette's rear in 1980 with new tail lights and a flush fitting rear window. So why the 1981 model that differed only in color and minor trim changes from 1980?

        3. The Aston Martin Lagonda was introduced in 1974 and ended production in 1990. Why is a 1980 model singled out? Lagondas were beautiful machines that had their mechanical and electrical quirks. Anyone who says that the Lagonda is ugly is obviously a taste deficient bloke.

        4. The Fox Body Ford Mustang pictured as a 1983 model is WRONG. And why single out the 1983 model? Dumb! The Mustang pictured is a 1980-82 model judging by the black headlamp bezels. 1983 Mustangs had completely different front and rear end designs. Again, a simple Google search would provide that information. Besides, Fox Body Mustangs and Capris are NOT ugly automobiles.

        5. GM's 1980-1985 X Bodies were not ugly cars. They were mechanically junk, but not ugly.

        6. Why is only the 1987 model year Shelby Dodge Charger pictured as an "ugly" car? The model was built between 1984-1987 and looked largely the same for those model years. Why only the 1987? I will attest to these cars not being the prettiest, but there are many more automobiles that looked worse. Although those Chargers were poorly built and had questionable reliability.

        7. You show a 1983 American Motors Eagle wagon in your "ugly" list. Why only the 1983 model? The Eagle was built between 1980-1988 and had only minor tweaks performed styling wise over the model's run. The only AMC Eagles that were truly ugly were the 2 door sedans with the gigantic landau vinyl roofs. Those were built in 1980-1983. The wagons looked the best, and are still good looking cars.

        8. What does the 1981 Ford Granada and Mercury Cougar sedan designs have to do with The Rockford Files? Pretty weird.

        9. The Chrysler LeBaron Town and Country convertible debuted in the fall of 1983 as a 1984 model, not 1985 as stated. Please do your homework and research properly. I agree though that these LeBarons are very ugly cars, and they were junk mechanically as well.

        10. The Chevrolet Cavalier debuted in the spring of 1981 as an '82 model. Why then do you single out a 1985 model which looks largely like prior model years except for a different front end? Besides the Cavalier wasn't what I'd call a truly ugly car. Typical GM junk, but not in a sense ugly.

        If you want to jog your mind and recall some automobiles that were truly ugly in the 1980's here is a list of what really qualifies.

        1. The mid '80s Nissan Pulsar coupe

        2. 1985 Subaru XT

        3. Early '80s Toyota Starlet

        4. 1982-1985 Toyota Celica coupe

        5. 1984-1988 Pontiac Fiero, except for the1987-1988 GT models

        6. 1986 GM E Bodies; Eldorado, Riviera and Toronado

        7. 1980-1985 Cadillac Seville

        8. 1980-1982 Ford Thunderbird and Mercury Cougar

        9. Early 1980's Datsun/Nissan 210 and 310

        10. 1980-1983 Lincoln Continental Mark VI

        11. 1984-1987 Lincoln Continental sedan

        12. 1985 Cadillac Sedan de Ville (front wheel drive model)

        13. 1983-1987 Chevrolet Monte Carlo SS (especially the aero coupes)

        14. 1986-1987 Pontiac Grand Prix 2+2

        15. 1984 Honda Civic (especially the hatchback)

        16. Mid 1980's Honda Wagovans and Toyotas Tercel wagon

        If I applied myself more vigilantly I could come up with more '80s vehicles truly deserving of the ugly labeling.

      • profile image

        poop 

        3 years ago

        Aston, eagle, and charger shouldn't be on the list. Love those cars!

      • EzLoanLookUp LM profile image

        EzLoanLookUp LM 

        6 years ago

        hehehehe wood paneling. Good lens

      • GoAceNate LM profile imageAUTHOR

        GoAceNate LM 

        6 years ago

        @norma-holt: Thanks so much for blessing my lens. Cheers

      • norma-holt profile image

        norma-holt 

        6 years ago

        A new blessing on this lovely lens and may you have a wonderful, successful and happy 2013. Hugs

      • profile image

        anonymous 

        6 years ago

        Great photos of some truly ugly cars. I drove a Ford Pinto in the early eighties. It was not exactly a chick magnet, know what I mean? And while it was not quite as ugly as the ones you have in your list, it would have definitely earned a spot in the next ten. Enjoyed your lens.

      • GoAceNate LM profile imageAUTHOR

        GoAceNate LM 

        7 years ago

        @pumpum: We had the Chevette. Thanks for stopping by.

      • pumpum profile image

        pumpum 

        7 years ago

        Great lens.And there are some really ugly cars. We had yugo :D

      • GoAceNate LM profile imageAUTHOR

        GoAceNate LM 

        7 years ago

        @kristalulabelle: I may have to make another lens. I've gotten a lot of feedback about cars that should be here. Thanks for stopping by.

      • GoAceNate LM profile imageAUTHOR

        GoAceNate LM 

        7 years ago

        @RhondaAlbom: Thanks I'm so glad you liked it. Thanks for the Blessing and like. Tell a friend.

      • RhondaAlbom profile image

        Rhonda Albom 

        7 years ago from New Zealand

        This was very funny, and a really clever idea. Blessed.

      • profile image

        halloweenprops 

        7 years ago

        You're right, this is a funny lens! Thanks for that! :)

      • kristalulabelle profile image

        Kristen 

        7 years ago from Wisconsin

        I really had fun looking through your lens! I agree with all of your ugly vehicle choices! I would add a Honda CRV.

      • GoAceNate LM profile imageAUTHOR

        GoAceNate LM 

        7 years ago

        @LisaMarieGabriel: Nooooooooooooooooooo

      • LisaMarieGabriel profile image

        Lisa Marie Gabriel 

        7 years ago from United Kingdom

        I must be really sad - I LIKE wood panelled station wagons :P

      • whiteskyline lm profile image

        whiteskyline lm 

        7 years ago

        Eeew some of those are really ugly cars :)

      • profile image

        lensesbyjames 

        7 years ago

        Funny. Great lens.

      • GoAceNate LM profile imageAUTHOR

        GoAceNate LM 

        7 years ago

        @anonymous: Oh and thanks for the Squid love. Tell a friend.

      • GoAceNate LM profile imageAUTHOR

        GoAceNate LM 

        7 years ago

        @anonymous: Ha then you feel my pain. The Nun Runner ran like a car that I spent $550 on so I don't share your driving track record.

      • profile image

        anonymous 

        7 years ago

        Oh yeah, I forgot, my Cavalier was named the Cavi-Bomber!

      • profile image

        anonymous 

        7 years ago

        Oh, this is too funny... A 1985 Chevrolet Cavalier was my first car! My dad got it for free actually, he was originally going to trade a guy for one of those really big satellite TV dishes, but the guy gave my dad the car, then never came back to get the dish.

        I got the car in 1997 maybe, and it looked EXACTLY like your picture, the color, the rust, and all.

        Surprisingly it was a great car other than the looks (lol) of course. It did need a new muffler, everyone could hear me driving to school each day.

      • GoAceNate LM profile imageAUTHOR

        GoAceNate LM 

        7 years ago

        @WriterJanis2: Thanks it was fun to make. I have a couple more ugly car lenses chambered to go up when time allows. Glad you liked it.

      • GoAceNate LM profile imageAUTHOR

        GoAceNate LM 

        7 years ago

        @JoshK47: Thanks so much. Added you to my SquidAngel module. I appreciate it. Feel free to nominate this for LOTD.

      • GoAceNate LM profile imageAUTHOR

        GoAceNate LM 

        7 years ago

        @AnObeseMan: Every generation has it's automotive abominations. What was up with the Pontiac Aztek?

      • AnObeseMan profile image

        AnObeseMan 

        7 years ago

        The 70's and 80's were definitely not a good time for nice looking cars. Even the 90's weren't so great.

      • GoAceNate LM profile imageAUTHOR

        GoAceNate LM 

        7 years ago

        @momsfunny: Glad you liked it. Tell everyone you know.

      • GoAceNate LM profile imageAUTHOR

        GoAceNate LM 

        7 years ago

        @artbyrodriguez: I always wanted a bug when I was in high school.

      • artbyrodriguez profile image

        Beverly Rodriguez 

        7 years ago from Albany New York

        Loved remembering the 1980s cars in your lens. My first car was a Volkswagen Beetle in the early 1960s, standard shift.

      • GoAceNate LM profile imageAUTHOR

        GoAceNate LM 

        7 years ago

        @norma-holt: Thanks so much. Your patronage is appreciated.

      • profile image

        momsfunny 

        7 years ago

        This lens sure did make me laugh.

      • norma-holt profile image

        norma-holt 

        7 years ago

        Oh! you picked them right. I couldn't decide on the ugliest one but got a laugh out of some of them. Where was taste in the 80's. Featured on Blessed by Skiesgreen 2012-2. Hugs

      • GoAceNate LM profile imageAUTHOR

        GoAceNate LM 

        7 years ago

        @Heidi Vincent: We still have it. All serious inquiries will be considered. Shall we start a bid? :)

      • GoAceNate LM profile imageAUTHOR

        GoAceNate LM 

        7 years ago

        @shreeve21: Thank you, thank you sir. I have a couple more in this same vein when time permits.

      • GoAceNate LM profile imageAUTHOR

        GoAceNate LM 

        7 years ago

        @curtmaxwall: Ha hah. Not as much as he liked making it. Well he really didn't.

      • GoAceNate LM profile imageAUTHOR

        GoAceNate LM 

        7 years ago

        @Melissa Miotke: Thank you very much. Please tell a friend.

      • Melissa Miotke profile image

        Melissa Miotke 

        7 years ago from Arizona

        Haha this was really funny!

      • GoAceNate LM profile imageAUTHOR

        GoAceNate LM 

        7 years ago

        @psiloveyou1: Thanks so much. I'm sure I have a pic of the Nun Runner somewhere. I'll have to see if I can find it for this post.

      • psiloveyou1 profile image

        psiloveyou1 

        7 years ago

        This lens really made me laugh! I wish I had pics of my old cars and my friend's old cars that we rode to school in! Fun lens....sending and Angel Blessing your way :)

      • GoAceNate LM profile imageAUTHOR

        GoAceNate LM 

        7 years ago

        @pawpaw911: Not particularly. As these were my formative years I feel a sense of nostalgia looking at them, but I don't miss them.

      • profile image

        pawpaw911 

        7 years ago

        It wasn't a very good decade for cars....that's for sure.

      • piedromolinero profile image

        piedromolinero 

        7 years ago

        Those are definitely ugly cars. I like your comments on them!

      • GoAceNate LM profile imageAUTHOR

        GoAceNate LM 

        7 years ago

        @Nimblepins: Thanks for the kudos Byroni.

      • Nimblepins profile image

        Nimblepins 

        7 years ago

        A fun lens. I remember these cars and totally agree with their appearance here!

      • profile image

        JoshK47 

        7 years ago

        Definitely some ugly ones here - thanks for sharing! Blessed by a SquidAngel!

      • IMKZRNU2 profile image

        IMKZRNU2 

        7 years ago from Pacific Northwest

        Very fun lens! I lived during that time but my first car was a 1965 Fastback Mustang....have always loved the classics even in the 1980s! Oh I wish I still had that car today :(

      • WriterJanis2 profile image

        WriterJanis2 

        7 years ago

        Love your list.

      • GoAceNate LM profile imageAUTHOR

        GoAceNate LM 

        7 years ago

        @LynetteBell: One thing they didn't do to it was perform an exorcism. By the time I'd bought the car it could have used some laying of hands by a member of the cloth. It may not have been haunted, but it sure did feel hexed.

      • GoAceNate LM profile imageAUTHOR

        GoAceNate LM 

        7 years ago

        @DLeighAlexander: Yeah they're a lot more rounded and more slippery looking than their 80's counterparts. Thanks for blessing my humble little lens. :)

      • DLeighAlexander profile image

        DLeighAlexander 

        7 years ago

        Lol, it's amazing what the "gas shortage" and increased gas prices did to the way cars looked. The down-sized Mustang, Cougar, and Charger are proof that ways we come up with to save money are sometimes downright ugly. The 1980s new models created as an "economy" line of cars (the Chevette) were not any prettier. These were just products of that era of saving fuel. Enjoyed the lens. Angel Blessed.

      • LizRobertson profile image

        LizRobertson 

        7 years ago

        Hilarious well written romp through the 80's auto scrap yard. Thanks! Made my evening!

      • LynetteBell profile image

        LynetteBell 

        7 years ago from Christchurch, New Zealand

        What on earth did those nuns do to that car!

      • WerewolfCustoms1 profile image

        WerewolfCustoms1 

        7 years ago

        Um, I'm a bit too young to remember the 80s, but I kinda like the old boxy design of the cars :D I kinda feel nostalgic... (don't know why, really - maybe because I watched 80s movies as a kid) :D

        Oh, I can't figure out how they managed to destroy classic icons like Mustang and Charger like that in the 80s...

        Great lens!

        P.S.

        I actually owned a Yugo for a short time. I planned to race it in a YugoCup - cheap beginners cup. I had change my plans when I took the carpeting out of the car. There was nothing under it :D

      • curtmaxwall profile image

        curtmaxwall 

        7 years ago

        Loved the barbie jeep video..

      • Heidi Vincent profile image

        Heidi Vincent 

        7 years ago from GRENADA

        When will the 2013 Barbie Jeep Wrangler be available :) ha...ha...ha!

      • shreeve21 profile image

        shreeve21 

        7 years ago

        ha! i love this lens.

      • GoAceNate LM profile imageAUTHOR

        GoAceNate LM 

        7 years ago

        @WordChipper: Those 2 cars are both from the 70's. Be on the lookout for my next ugly car lens Ugly Cars of the 70's for those gems. They didn't get left out. The Gremlin was the car that actually sparked the idea for the Ugly Car lenses.

      • WordChipper profile image

        WordChipper 

        7 years ago

        You missed the Ford Pinto and the AMC Gremlin!!

      • profile image

        miauw99 

        7 years ago

        I never know this before, great lens btw

      • profile image

        PhotoFriend 

        7 years ago

        Beauty is most definitely in the eye of the beholder!

      • GoAceNate LM profile imageAUTHOR

        GoAceNate LM 

        7 years ago

        Thanks for a ll the likes everyone. Tell a friend. Tell ten!! :)

      • GoAceNate LM profile imageAUTHOR

        GoAceNate LM 

        7 years ago

        Thanks for stopping by wolvyz and kitty222. I had a friend in high school that had one of those Muscorts from the 80's. That thing was hideous. Again I don't know what Ford was thinking with that model.

      • wolvyz profile image

        wolvyz 

        7 years ago

        Yeah not to pretty cars, but I don't have one so I would not mind owning one less ugly car.

      • Commandrix profile image

        Heidi 

        7 years ago from Benson, IL

        Have to agree...Those were some ugly cars. Most of them weren't a surprise but surely the Mustang could have done better. Talk about your disappointment.

      • GoAceNate LM profile imageAUTHOR

        GoAceNate LM 

        7 years ago

        @waxtrax: That video is fantastic. If you're a fan of Top Gear or not you will find this video funny. Cracked me up.

      • profile image

        waxtrax 

        7 years ago

        HA! What a great lens...I have another topic for you - Horribly designed cars, and it can start with this:

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reliant_Robin

        And for a great laugh, check Jeremy Clarkson showing just how horrible of a design this vehicle was:

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QQh56geU0X8

        Enjoy!

      • GoAceNate LM profile imageAUTHOR

        GoAceNate LM 

        7 years ago

        @Driven-By-Cars: Well a lot of hard work and elbow grease. I didn't think I would get taken by a by a bunch of nuns. God saw them. They'll get what's coming to them.

      • profile image

        Driven-By-Cars 

        7 years ago

        So your 1985 Cavalier really did run on the power of prayer!

      • GoAceNate LM profile imageAUTHOR

        GoAceNate LM 

        7 years ago

        @anonymous: I know that cracked me up to.

      • profile image

        anonymous 

        7 years ago

        Great lens and very ugly cars. Love how the Citation has a flat tire

      working

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