TopCar’s top ten: Ugliest cars by Pininfarina
1. Rolls Royce Carargue
Actually rather cool these days in a kitsch kinda way, but generally regarded as one of the least appealing RRs of all time. This Italian-styled Rolls was the world’s most expensive car when new, but the Mulliner-built bodies contained nothing more than Corniche oily bits and reminded too many people of Lady Penelope’s FAB1 Thunderbirds limo (minus two wheels).
2. Ferrari 330 GT 2+2
Maranello’s bruising mid-’60s coupe had real presence, and was the car Enzo drove if he wasn’t punting his beloved Peugeot 404. But not everyone liked the Fu Manchu quad headlights, so they were dropped for a pair of singles in the 1965 redesign.
3. Ferrari 612
The inspiration was sound: the gorgeous 375MM Pininfarina bodied for film star Ingrid Bergman at the request of her director husband Roberto Rosselini in 1953. But the 2004 reality was too big between the (too-small) wheels, ending up more Widdecombe than Bergman.
4. Mitsubishi Colt CZC
Hiding a coupe-cabrio’s bulky folding hardtop paraphernalia under a flush cover is a tough gig for any designer, but calling the roof-up view of the CZC a dog’s dinner would be a slur on half-eaten, saliva-lined bowls of Pedigree Chum everywhere.
5. Ford Focus CC
The mind boggles at exactly how much of a balls-up Ford thought its own designers would make of the Focus CC given the train wreck Pininfarina’s team invoiced Henry for. The rival Eos, a fine job by Volkswagen’s in-house team, showed both how if it must be done at all it should be done.
6. Daewoo Tacuma
The Matrix shouldn’t have been that much of a shock; Pininfarina already had form for dodgy Korean MPV window lines. The Tacuma’s inexplicably upwardly curved side glass endows the design with all the energy of a dead battery.
7. Hyundai Matrix
Bizarre two-height side window line gave Hyundai’s mini-MPV the look of a cut ‘n’ shut composed of two entirely different vehicles, both drawn on an Etch-a-Sketch. Unlike most early noughties Korean tin, this one at least looked distinctive. But then so did the elephant man.
8. Peugeot 1007
Clearly referencing the style and aspirational appeal of the iconic pale blue Invacar three-wheeled disability scooters that had recently been withdrawn, Peugeot and Pininfarina pulled out all the stops to make us wonder if this same duo really did turn out the sensational 106, 205 and 306.
9. Lancia Gamma Berlina
How did Pinfinfarina get the pretty Gamma coupe so right and the Berlina saloon so wrong? Monolithic front brow looks positively Eastern Bloc and that rear end (it’s actually not a hatch, despite appearances) seemed to still be wearing some kind of prototype disguise. PF redressed the balance by turning the reasonable Kappa saloon into the revolting Coupe 20 years later.
10. Austin 1800
Pininfarina had done a fine job on BMC’s big Mini, the 1100/1300, but a humungous Mini? The 1800’s matronly proportions foisted on Pininfarina by BMC’s bosses earned it the nickname Landcrab. The stunning Pininfarina 1800 concept revealed three years later using the same floorpan showed how it could have looked without BMC’s meddling. Sigh’