4 Cars That Were Better Stars Than They Were Cars

When these cars were first released, they took in no favors from critics and owners alike, as some were poorly-built, unreliable, slow, didn’t sell or just looked unusual – and not in a good way either. Despite all that, they managed to make their fame not in show-rooms and garages, but in pop culture and on TV sets.

Delorean DMC-12

Delorean DMC-12

Why it didn’t work: Conceived by ex-GM mastermind John Delorean as a sports-car of the future, the DMC-12 was, unfortunately, no such thing. Slow, not very well built and too unusual-looking to attract many buyers, it remained as the only model to be made, as the Delorean Motor Company closed its doors in 1982 after being caught in a bankruptcy scandal and rapidly-fledging investors. Why it did: When it starred as Doc Brown’s Time Machine in the Back to the Future series, not many people knew what this gull-wing, stainless-steel wonder was – but after everyone saw it flying at 88 mph and vanishing into a fiery time warp, it became the coolest car of the 80s. Funny part is, the Delorean did look like it actually came from the future, and still does in our modern, digital world today.

AMC Pacer

AMC Pacer

Why it didn’t work: American Motors Corporation dubbed it “the first wide small car” during its initial release in 1975, in hope that its bold styling and smaller engine would dissuade buyers from getting the usual land-yacht gas-guzzlers of the time. It didn’t. Criticized for its primal engineering, the Pacer was underpowered and overweight, offering little in way of its promised refinement. Surrounded by glass, its style was quite the novelty – up until owners discovered its “fishbowl” layout to be the effect of a magnifying glass. Why it did: While carrying around the stigma of “it’s so ugly it’s cute” the Pacer was still one of the most iconic cars of the 70’s. Its unique shape made it the center point of several comedic portrayals, appearing in various films and shows such as the “Mirthmobile” in the 1992 film, Wayne’s World, “Acer”, an evil henchman in Cars 2, and as a museum piece in the Futurama episode, “The Lesser of Two Evils”.

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Octavian Lacatusu

Mad about cars before he could even walk, Octavian Lacatusu has worked as a writer and photojournalist at several media outlets, ever more in pursuit of telling the perfect car story. As an avid fan of history in general, Octavian enjoys classic old stuff, particularly if it’s got an engine. When not doing anything ‘journalistical’, he spends his down time building crazy stuff out of LEGO or takes on the ever-popular art of video gaming. 

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