We're compiling a list of The Worst Cars of the Millenium. Send us your nominations!
RAY: We're compiling a list of the "Worst Cars of the Millennium." Now, obviously, we are only going to nominate cars that we've actually driven or worked on -- so
no matter how many times Ben Hur's chariot refused to start, we can't put that on our list.
TOM: We're going to collect all of the nominations, then ask our readers and radio listeners to vote on the top 10.
RAY: Or bottom 10, as the case may be.
TOM: So to get the ball rolling, we'll toss out a few of our own nominations (and while you may disagree with us, please strive to use printable language in your
RAY: We'll start with the Dodge Aspen/Plymouth Volare. This was the successor to the venerable Dodge Dart. But it came along right about the time the federal
government was insisting on cleaner air, and Chrysler was having a terrible time getting the emissions low enough.
TOM: So they tweaked the carburetor on these cars until the engine would only run when it was 74 degrees out and sunny. Any deviation from that, and the car would
RAY: Here's another one: the Chevy Corvair. Due to its mid-engine design, this little beauty offered every driver the opportunity to smell leaking gasoline from the
front and leaking oil from the back at the same time. And we haven't even gotten into Ralph Nader's safety complaints.
TOM: The Yugo. In a class by itself. It set modern day benchmarks for lousy quality. It also inspired the famous question: Why do Yugos come with rear window
defrosters? To keep your hands warm when you push!
RAY: And we can't forget the Fiat 128: "The father of the Yugo." This is the car that the Yugo was later based on. It's another car which didn't understand the meaning
of the term "body integrity" and couldn't deal with wet weather.
TOM: Then there's the Ford Pinto, which blew up when you hit it from behind. A minor problem.
RAY: And there's the old Volkswagen Bus (I know we're going to get hate mail about this one). As romanticized as it was in the '60s, it handled terribly, got blown all
over the road in the wind, didn't have any heat to speak of and used the driver's legs as its first line of defense in an accident.
TOM: Now, I'm sure many of you disagree with our first batch of nominations or have bigger heaps you want to see on the list. So write to us in care of this newspaper,
or visit our Web site, the Car Talk section of www.cars.com, and send us your nominations from there. We'll have more to say on this in the coming weeks.