What is the absolute worst car YOUR DAD ever owned ?

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  • ThorpyFXThorpyFX Frets: 3735
    A Ford Grenada that had been painted black with a paintbrush That or a triumph dolomite.
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  • NeillNeill Frets: 372
    edited January 13
    I started a thread on breakdown insurance a day or two ago, bemoaning the days when most cars could be fixed at the roadside by the village blacksmith and now we have complex electronics you need a bank of computers.

    But reading this thread reminds me just how desperately unreliable cars were BITD.

    My dad never learned to drive but I was car mad when I was a kid so I was always obsessed by our neighbours/relatives cars.  One had a diesel Austin Cambridge, probably the worst British car ever made - and that's saying something.  I remember another had a Ford Consul that rusted so badly he couldn't even get it towed away so he buried it in the garden. 

    My candidate for the worst car ever made though is the Alfa Romeo Alfasud. (It was also possibly the best car ever made. As they used to say about the original Mini, a great idea badly executed.)  I had one in the early 80's and still wake up in the night sweating because of it.  It is not possible to overstate how badly made these cars were.  In short, during my ownership I had to learn to drive it with no brakes and just in third gear and couldn't use the drivers door to get in/out.  I could go on but I'm starting to have a panic attack.
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  • ICBMICBM Frets: 29711
    Probably my dads old Citroen BX... so bad I tried to kill it by putting it into a ditch. 
    Ha, I had a 1.9 petrol estate one of those. It was actually a great car in many ways - very fast, huge load capacity with totally straight sides and floor and no lip on the boot, so it was brilliant for gigging, and because of the hydraulic self-levelling suspension it would drive just as well when full to the roof with cases and cabinets as empty.

    However, I still have flashbacks about the distinctive smell of LHM hydraulic fluid... it leaked the stuff with monotonous regularity. After a couple of times I learned to limp it home with no suspension, power steering or rear brakes - Citroen have to be applauded for putting the front brakes on a separate non-pressurised system!

    Apart from that it was actually totally reliable, and when I eventually gave it away - it was worth nothing - the new owner used it for towing a racing car trailer for a couple of years until it eventually got written off when someone went into the back of it.
    "Take these three items, some WD-40, a vise grip, and a roll of duct tape. Any man worth his salt can fix almost any problem with this stuff alone."
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  • cpcompanycpcompany Frets: 84
    My dad had a red Lada when I was in middle school in the mid 80s. He would sometimes park right at the front gates to pick me up. He used to find it quite funny to watch my mates taking the piss out of me for having a shit family car. Half the time I would refuse to get in and spend 20 minutes walking back
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  • Two Austin Land crabs - you literally NEVER see one of these - the furthest thing from a classic ever built. 

    Later he hada Daimler Double Six - basically a posher XJ12. One night on the M3 the engine exploded - bits of broken crank case, con rods and pistons everywhere - nothing blows up quite as spectacularly as a V12. Car was two years old! 
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  • ICBMICBM Frets: 29711
    Two Austin Land crabs - you literally NEVER see one of these - the furthest thing from a classic ever built. 
    My dad also had two of those before the Triumphs. The first one blew up its engine spectacularly apparently, although I was too young to remember it. The second one wasn't bad, and I still remember how huge it was inside - although I must have been about 3 or 4 at the time. The company he worked for was Hardy Spicer, who made the CV joints for the front-wheel drive on all the BL cars.
    "Take these three items, some WD-40, a vise grip, and a roll of duct tape. Any man worth his salt can fix almost any problem with this stuff alone."
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  • BarneyBarney Frets: 331
    A pink avenger ...
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  • StuckfastStuckfast Frets: 218
    My Dad was an early classic car enthusiast, and had some lovely sports cars that he bought for a song in the 60s. But the one he chose to use as a runaround was something called a Gilbern Invader, primarily known for being the only car ever (at the time) designed and manufactured in Wales. The body was made of purple fibreglass, and for some reason, the owner who'd originally bought it had decided not to opt for the standard walnut trim, and had instead had the entire interior fitted out in black vinyl.

    It was probably a great car if you were not a child crammed into the minute back seat on a July afternoon. The only question was whether the car itself would overheat in a cloud of steam before we lost the skin on our legs.
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  • Jalapeno said:
    A DAF 33, you'll recall they morphed into East German Trabants

    We had a DAF 44. If I remember correctly, it didn't have a drive shaft but used what was basically a big rubber band.

    I remember my dad going ballistic when the rubber band broke going through the Dartford tunnel and having to be towed through it with a police escort.
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  • TheMarlinTheMarlin Frets: 1190
    Peugeot 406. Pile of crap. Had the worlds most lethargic 2L engine, slow as hell.  No guts, bits started dropping off it. Just a terrible heap of junk. 
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  • Paul_CPaul_C Frets: 3910

    Cars I remember in order:

    Austin Cambridge Estate - don't remember it much as I was very young, though I did have a dream where I somehow reversed it off the drive.

    Austin Maxi (brown) Its finest hour was losing a hubcap in Norfolk which left the road and was last seen vaulting a hedge half a mile from where it had left the car, to cheers from me and my sister.

    Renault 16 - owned right up to me passing my driving test and seeing how quick it could cross a speed bump - there was a small oil leak quite soon after it bottomed out ;) This was probably the worst car.

    Toyota Corolla - survived me thrashing it around while it was supposed to be running in, and for quite a while afterwards.

    Volvo 360 - probably the ugliest, but it kept going for ages, partly because I was breaking my own cars by this point and only drove it a couple of times.

    Honda Jazz - survived long enough to be passed on to me last year (for free) with 55,000 miles on it :) Dad no longer safe to be behind the wheel.
    CEO ACME Moats Inc.
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  • revsorgrevsorg Frets: 333
    A VW Variant coloured teal. 

    It was a fine car in most respects but we ended every journey with terrible headaches and bright red faces. We gradually realised that the exhaust was leaking into the ventilation system in the rear passenger footwell. The best thing I can say about it is that it didn't end up killing us. 

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  • SporkySporky Frets: 12303
    Austin 1800.

    I only remember it breaking down once, but the leather seats stank. I think that car was the root of all my travel sickness since.
    Never forget that you are wearing your invisible tiara.
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  • TelejesterTelejester Frets: 640
    TheMarlin said: 
    Peugeot 406. Pile of crap. Had the worlds most lethargic 2L engine, slow as hell.  No guts, bits started dropping off it. Just a terrible heap of junk. 
    And the flimsiest build quality you ever saw ?
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  • FretwiredFretwired Frets: 14253
    Austin 1100. It looked exactly like this ..


    My pump-action drivel gun is smoking hot today!
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  • OctafishOctafish Frets: 795
    edited January 13
    Two Austin Land crabs - you literally NEVER see one of these - the furthest thing from a classic ever built.

    Ha, ha I remember my mate's Dad still having one of those in the early 80s. We used to piss ourselves with laughter whenever it went by, this was the era of GTIs, XR3is and Quattros you know. You still see a few Land Crabs about at classic car shows (I think the body was actually quite tough) but you rarely see it's bigger brother the Land Lobster o

    https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/4/4b/Austin_3-Litre_at_Glamis.jpg
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  • rossyamaharossyamaha Frets: 1470
    Nissan Prairie. I guess thinking back the bullying was justified. 

    I play guitar and take photos of stuff. I also like beans on toast.

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  • ICBMICBM Frets: 29711
    Fretwired said:
    Austin 1100. It looked exactly like this ..


    My mum had two of those, an Austin and then a Riley Kestrel which was the same thing but supposedly 'hotter' (I think it might have been a 1300). It was cream, but my dad painted the sides under that detailing line a sort of antelope brown to hide the rust! It actually looked quite nice.

    It died when it did indeed get much hotter - they had a problem with the thermostatic valves in the cooling system sticking so it was always overheating, and one day the engine seized with a bang and a cloud of steam the Flying Scotsman would have been proud of :).
    "Take these three items, some WD-40, a vise grip, and a roll of duct tape. Any man worth his salt can fix almost any problem with this stuff alone."
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  • FX_MunkeeFX_Munkee Frets: 1885
    Barney said:
    A pink avenger ...
    Yup, my dad's absolute automotive low point was a metallic brown Hillman Avenger estate, utterly hideous, woefully unreliable and unforgivably characterless as well.
    Shot through the heart, and you’re to blame, you give love a bad name. Not to mention archery tuition.
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  • NunogilbertoNunogilberto Frets: 1222
    Probably would have been a 1974/75 Cortina 2000E in beige - bloody thing was off the road more than it was on it; I remember one or two family outings being dashed by its unreliability.

    That said, it was just one of many Cortinas we ended up having and they were generally all reasonable reliable.
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  • BellycasterBellycaster Frets: 2240
    We only ever had one Car when I was a kid. It was a 1975 Vauxhall Viva in Metallic Green. It was 6 years old when me Dad bought it and it always had something wrong with it.

    Everything was OK though, me Dad spent money on it, he had it re-sprayed Blue.

     B) 
    I am the Funk of 40000 years
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  • KilgoreKilgore Frets: 612
    Fretwired said:
    Austin 1100. It looked exactly like this ..


    Tend to forget how small cars were back then. My kid has a Go Kart bigger than that.
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  • FunkfingersFunkfingers Frets: 2292
    ICBM said:
    It died when it did indeed get much hotter - they had a problem with the thermostatic valves in the cooling system sticking so it was always overheating
    They all do that, sir. The B.M.C. 1100/1300 series was, essentially, Mini technology in an oversized body shell. 

    I hear stories of me as a kid in 1959/1960 sat on my mum's knee, in the front seat, with her legs wide open as the floor had a hole in it
    I am told similar stories of a car that my parents had either late 1963 or early 1964 - some time between me learning to walk and my brother being born in the Autumn of '64.
    I fear the Geeks, even when they bear GIFs.
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  • boogiemanboogieman Frets: 4707
    My old man had a Hillman Husky in pea green. He only had it for about three weeks because it basically didn’t have any brakes. He took it back to the dodgy dealer he’d got it from and swapped it for a Ford Pop, also in pea green. It was a gutless thing that had brown rexine seats that stank when they got warm. 
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  • Jez6345789Jez6345789 Frets: 815
    edited January 14
    This is the one you have been waiting for the Austin Aggro
    So crap everyone was made on a Friday and the old mans on Friday the 13th thing was the devils spawn. Dad was a rep so we always had ok family cars then we hit some 70’s recession and the company decided to economise.

    Besides getting it started in winter took a morning spray with damp start a half hour procedure the main dealer could never resolve. It drank more oil than petrol just burnt it up. He would top up the oil 3 times per week and carry a large gallon can of the stuff.

    it had the nastiest plastic interior with this hard plastic vinyl seats. The door handles came off on a regular basis usually Dad told us don’t touch the doors got in his side and opened the car for everyone to prevent them coming off.

    once a month the hydraspastic suspension would go down on one side. The company had got lumbered with 15 or 20 on a deal as they were reps cars the warranty mileage or whatevet was quickly gone and In Year 2 and 3 the company spent a fortune keeping them on the road. 

    Truly the the worst car
    and a social stigma for a young lad who had to tell his mates when asked what ya dad drive. 


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  • Jez6345789Jez6345789 Frets: 815
    edited January 14


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  • VimFuegoVimFuego Frets: 5814
    edited January 14
    makes you wonder if there were any decent cars in the 60's and 70's. Rovers always seemed to be quite "cool", and I always thought the cortina (the one before the last mark cortina, oops no it wasn't, the mark 3 is the one I'm thinking of) was a good looking car.

    I'm not locked in here with you, you are locked in here with me.

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  • An ex girlfriends dad had a citroen in the late 80’s which i think was a BX.
    I only went in it once and he made me sit in the back so i could “appreciate” the hydraulic suspension “lifting” the car when he turned it on.
    I always thought he was a nob from that point.
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  • chillidoggychillidoggy Frets: 11932
    edited January 14
    This is the one you have been waiting for the Austin Aggro
    So crap everyone was made on a Friday and the old mans on Friday the 13th thing was the devils spawn. Dad was a rep so we always had ok family cars then we hit some 70’s recession and the company decided to economise.

    Besides getting it started in winter took a morning spray with damp start a half hour procedure the main dealer could never resolve. It drank more oil than petrol just burnt it up. He would top up the oil 3 times per week and carry a large gallon can of the stuff.

    it had the nastiest plastic interior with this hard plastic vinyl seats. The door handles came off on a regular basis usually Dad told us don’t touch the doors got in his side and opened the car for everyone to prevent them coming off.

    once a month the hydraspastic suspension would go down on one side. The company had got lumbered with 15 or 20 on a deal as they were reps cars the warranty mileage or whatevet was quickly gone and In Year 2 and 3 the company spent a fortune keeping them on the road. 

    Truly the the worst car
    and a social stigma for a young lad who had to tell his mates when asked what ya dad drive. 



    Indeed, it’s arguably worth creating a sock-puppet account solely for this confession.


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  • ICBMICBM Frets: 29711
    VimFuego said:
    makes you wonder if there were any decent cars in the 60's and 70's.
    Mercedes. It’s when they got their reputation for quality.

    As soon as my dad retired he bought himself one and hasn’t driven anything else since.
    "Take these three items, some WD-40, a vise grip, and a roll of duct tape. Any man worth his salt can fix almost any problem with this stuff alone."
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