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a lot of great mail about our Worst Cars of...

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TOM: Wow! We got a lot of great mail about our "Worst Cars of the Millennium"
contest.

RAY: Already some patterns are emerging. AMC has a groundswell of support out
there! Not to mention the Ford Pinto, Chevy Vega and several mid-'70s Chrysler
products.

TOM: And we're hearing from vengeance-seeking former owners of Fiats, MGs and
Renaults ... just to name a few.

RAY: Pay attention, because at some point we'll be asking to you to help us
select the top 10 (or bottom 10, I guess) Worst Cars of the Millennium. Here are
some of the nominations we've received so far:

Dear Tom and Ray:


Even though I purchased a new MGB in the mid-'70s, I immediately found a need for
a sack to collect the parts that fell off of the car the first week I owned it.
Although it ran poorly, overheated constantly and was totally unreliable, I did
learn how to work on cars as an MGB owner. Ever since, I've wondered how I would
react if I stepped onto an airplane or space shuttle to see Lucas gauges,
realizing that the pilot would be "flying blind." -- Carl

Dear Tom and Ray:


I'd have to vote for the 1974 Chevy Vega. As near as I could tell, the car was
built from compressed rust. The windows leaked, and the engine had to be rebuilt
annually. It had no acceleration and was too small for a full-size human. I can't
think of one good thing about that car, except perhaps that used ones were very
cheap. -- Bob

Dear Tom and Ray:


The Plymouth Reliant qualifies as a true oxymoron and one of the worst cars of
the millennium. This series could be the poster child for underbuilt cars. Door
hinges welded to the frame, with door hinge pins the diameter of vermicelli. Door
handles made of pot metal that broke off in your hand. A suspension package that
after 30,000 or 40,000 miles felt like driving in a tornado 6 inches off the
ground. More rattles than a baby convention. All and all, trash. But I do have to
give my worst vote to Yugo and second-worst to the early Hyundais with the blow-
apart motors and fall-apart transmissions. -- Steve

Dear Tom and Ray:


Dad had a baby-poop-orange Pinto around 1974, the year the car thieves hit our
block. In one night, a dozen cars were stolen (this in a relatively crime-free
neighborhood). They broke into Dad's Pinto, started to pull out the ignition,
then figured (dope slap), "What the hell are we doing?" The car was there the
next morning, on a strangely empty street. -- Ingrid

RAY: If you'd like to nominate a car, second the nomination of a car or just read
what other people are saying about the Worst Cars of the Millennium, go to our
Web site, the Car Talk section of www.cars.com, or just send us your nominations
in care of this newspaper. More of your letters next week!
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