Can You Name These Ugly Cars from the '80s?

By: Nicole Shein
Estimated Completion Time
3 min
Can You Name These Ugly Cars from the '80s?
Image: Pixabay by Ahundt

About This Quiz

The oil crisis of the 1970s signaled the demise of enormous gas-guzzling vehicles, and in the decade that followed, compact cars, many of them imports from Japan, began to dominate the American roadways. In 1982, Honda opened its first stateside auto plant in Marysville, OH. Manufacturers Toyota and Nissan weren't far behind.

Smaller, more fuel-efficient cars appealed to the no-nonsense, driven-to-succeed Yuppie population, but the 1980s also saw a resurgence in muscle cars and in luxury autos. Can you imagine Jake Ryan driving a Chevette instead of a cherry-red Porsche convertible, or Marty McFly using a Pinto to travel back in time? Neither can we.

A few of the now-standard technologies and features that made their debut during the Reagan Era include electronic ignition, fuel injection, disc brakes, front-wheel drive, fuel efficiency, self-driving vehicles (believe it or not, this achievement dates back to 1986), and even cellular car telephones.

There are some 1980s-era autos that have stood the test of time, and even become classics -- like "Ghostbusters" or the music of Michael Jackson. Yet there are far more dated models that, just like acid-wash jeans and crimped hair, have us scratching our heads and wondering if our judgment was impaired by all that cocaine.

Ready to put your car-identification chops to the test? Crack open a cold wine cooler or New York Seltzer and let's get started!


Rolls-Royce Camargue Can you take a crack at this car's identity?
BMW 733i
Lincoln Mark VII
Rolls-Royce Camargue
Although the Rolls-Royce name is synonymous with luxury automobiles, the Camargue has been roundly criticized as one of the ugliest cars ever to grace a highway.
Citro├źn GS Camargue

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Chevrolet Chevette What subcompact car is seen here?
Honda Civic
Chevrolet Chevette
You couldn't swing a cat without hitting a Chevette in the '70s and '80s, when drivers were happy to forsake good looks for better gas mileage.
AMC Pacer
Volkswagon Golf

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Ford Pinto Take a guess at this car's name.
Ford Pinto
Although this Ford Pinto barely made it into the decade, with the last model offered in 1980, it's so delightfully ugly that it deserves a mention.
Dodge Challenger
AMC Hornet
Chevrolet Vega

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Ford Mustang GT This image shows what kind of car?
Ford Mustang GT
The Ford Mustang has a long and storied history, and while '60s-era Mustangs were beautiful to behold, the company's design team must have been asleep in the '80s when they produced this GT model.
Toyota Selica
Dodge Challenger
Plymouth Barracuda

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Yugo 45 Can you ID this notoriously terrible car?
Geo Metro
Ford Pinto
Chevrolet Chevette
Yugo 45
Consistently named one of the worst cars ever, the fugly little Yugo was an import from Yugoslavia. There's a reason why Yugoslavia isn't known for its automobile industry.

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Dodge Grand Caravan How well do you know your minivans?
Chevrolet Astro
Ford Aerostar
Dodge Grand Caravan
First-gen minivans took a lot of flak for their plain-Jane looks, but the Grand Caravan and others of its ilk became the defacto vehicle of suburbanites across the country.
Mercury Villager

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Chrysler LeBaron Can you correctly identify this behemoth?
Dodge Lancer
Cadillac Cimarron
Chrysler Town & Country
Chrysler LeBaron
The LeBaron was first introduced in the 1930s and resurrected many times before finally dying off in the 1990s. The '80s versions were by far the least attractive.

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Ferrari Testarossa *wolf whistle* How YOU doin'?
Porsche 959
Ferrari Testarossa
There isn't much that screams "1980s" like a Testarossa. Maybe Cabbage Patch Kids or New Coke. Maybe.
DeLorean DMZ-12
Lamborghini Countach

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Ford Tempo Next up, here we have a _________?
Mercury Sable
Chevy Cavalier
Buick Skylark
Ford Tempo
Ford manufactured the Tempo from 1984 to 1994 in response to the Chevy Cavalier, but many auto aficionados questioned the need for such a response at all.

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AMC Eagle Station Wagon Name this wood-paneled beast.
AMC Eagle Station Wagon
Three words: Faux. Wood. Paneling.
AMC Hornet
Volkswagon Fox
Mercury Bobcat

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Pontiac Phoenix "Who am I?" -- this car
Pontiac Phoenix
All we're saying is, Ferris Bueller would not have been caught dead in a Pontiac Phoenix. Neither would Cam, for that matter.
Chevrolet Nova
Pontiac Grand Am
Dodge Peacock

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Chevrolet Cavalier Hit this with your best shot. Fire away.
Corvette ZL-1
Mitsubishi Mirage
Chevrolet Cavalier
The Chevy Cavalier was produced until 2005 -- and is still a common sight on the streets, more's the pity -- but had its highest sales in 1984, also known as "The Year That Taste Forgot."
Corvette "305" California

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Chevrolet Citation Let's see if you can identify this clunker.
Pontiac Phoenix
Chevrolet Nova
AMC Hornet
Chevrolet Citation
Chevrolet made the Citation for five years, from 1980 to 1985. Developed as a replacement for the Nova, the Citation was Chevy's first front-wheel drive car.

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Subaru BRAT A car? A truck? You tell us what this thing is.
Volkswagon Rabbit
Dodge Rampage
Chevrolet El Camino
Subaru BRAT
President Ronald Reagan owned a Subaru BRAT. He could have been describing this weird car-pickup hybrid when he called the Berlin Wall "as ugly as the idea behind it."

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Cadillac Cimarron Identify this vehicle, if you please.
Cadillac Cimarron
The guys at Cadillac asked themselves, "What about if we took a Chevy Cavalier and made it uglier?" and the Cimarron was their answer.
Chevrolet Cavalier
Ford Thunderbird
Bentley Turbo R

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Honda Ballade What do we have here?
Acura Integra
Toyota Tercel
Honda Ballade
Remember the Honda Ballade? Of course you don't. Its boring, boxy silhouette makes it entirely forgettable.
Ford Fiesta

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Mercury Lynx Here's an ugly car. Know what it is?
Mazda 323
Mercury Lynx
Once Mercury's best-selling car, the Lynx was axed in '87 due to sluggish sales. Its looks certainly didn't help matters.
Ford EXP
Subaru Sailfish

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Renault Fuego Do you remember this homely fellow?
Volkswagon Jetta
Ford Capri
AMC Gremlin
Renault Fuego
The Fuego was the first car to have a remote keyless entry, maybe because no one wanted to look at it long enough to unlock it with a key.

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Suzuki Samurai Do you know what this monstrosity is called?
Suzuki Samurai
Despite being a halfway decent utility vehicle, the Samurai was the butt of many jokes as well as a smear campaign by Consumer Reports. The magazine went to great lengths to prove that this little car was a huge rollover risk, thereby making it a flop in the United States.
Suzuki Sidekick
Geo Tracker
Jeep Wrangler

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Zimmer Quicksilver What even IS this thing?
Chrysler Executive
Lincoln Town Car
Zimmer Quicksilver
With its absurdly long front, the Zimmer Quicksilver sure turned heads, but not in the good way.
Mercury Grand Marquis

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Oldsmobile Firenza Do you know what this car is called?
Chevrolet Cavalier
Buick Skyhawk
Oldsmobile Firenza
Given that the Cavalier wasn't that attractive to begin with, it boggles the mind how many knockoffs came rolling off assembly lines, like this frumpy Olds Firenza.
Pontiac Sunbird

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Sterling 825 Sedan What car do you see here?
Sterling 825 Sedan
The little-known Sterling 800-series has been described as "an Acura Legend without the reliability" -- ouch.
Acura Legend
Ford Tempo
Toyota Corolla

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Triumph Acclaim Recognize this tin can on wheels?
Volvo 240
Mercedes-Benz 500E
Triumph Acclaim
Once lauded for its sleek, wedge-shaped car designs, Triumph signed its death warrant with the boxy Acclaim, and went out of business just three years later.
Ford Sierra

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Alfa Romeo Milano Oh goody! Another boxy 4-door sedan.
Toyota Cressida
Ford Escort
Saab 900-S
Alfa Romeo Milano
Alfa Romeo's Milano looked like 90% of every other car on the market. It also broke down a lot and had a faulty computer system.

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Nissan Micra ID this car and you'll get 50 points for Slytherin.
Audi Quattro
Nissan Micra
Yet another entrant into the overcrowded subcompact market, the Nissan Micra was built for commuting, not cruising.
Ford Orion
Subaru XT

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Pontiac Firebird Trans Am Turbo Identify this 1980s car, please.
AMC Eagle
Pontiac Firebird Trans Am Turbo
Just in case you weren't sure that this Firebird Trans Am Turbo was ugly, remember that it's the car Dwight Schrute drives.
Pontiac LeMans
Ford Phoenix

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Cadillac Seville Name that ugly car!
Cadillac Seville
The unique rear styling of the Cadillac Seville was inspired by 1950s English car designs. And by "unique," we really mean "hideous to behold."
Chrysler LeBaron
Buick Riveria
Lincoln Continental

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Maserati Biturbo Will you be stumped by this set of wheels?
Maserati Biturbo
The Maserati Biturbo boasted the novelty of twin turbochargers, but even they couldn't stop it from being named Time's worst car of 1984. And that's not even taking into account its appearance.
Buick GNX
Pontiac Firebird Trans Am
Lotus Esprit Turbo SE

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Oldsmobile Delta 88 Diesel Know what this car is?
Chevrolet Omega
Oldsmobile Delta 88 Diesel
Oldsmobile's line of diesel-engine cars, like this Delta 88, were heralded as the wave of the future, and boasted 30 mpg -- but the problems associated with diesel fuel soon outweighed its benefits.
Chevrolet Monte Carlo
Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme

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Oldsmobile Omega Channel your inner Click and/or Clack to tell us what this big ol' beaut is.
Oldsmobile Omega
The homely Oldsmobile Omega, which ran on the truly terrible Iron Duke engine, was in production until 1984, but plagued by recalls for most of its life.
Oldsmobile Alpha
Pontiac Ventura
Chevrolet Citation

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Geo Metro Like ET, this car is so ugly it's almost cute. What is it?
Geo Metro
Car makers hoped that tiny cars, like this Geo Metro, would win hearts and change minds, but this truly awful vehicle had the opposite effect, causing many Americans to dislike small cars on principle.
Mitsubishi Mirage
Chevrolet Aveo
Suzuki Celerio

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Pontiac Fiero Here's an easy one to get you started. What car is this?
Pontiac Firebird
Pontiac Fiero
Introduced in 1984, the Pontiac Fiero was only manufactured for 4 years, but the '88 model is still sought after by collectors.
Porsche 911
Pontiac Freebird

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Cadillac Allante What car is shown in this picture?
Jaguar XJS
Mercedes-Benz SL
Cadillac Allante
In 1987 and 1988, the only option available on the Cadillac Allante was a cellular telephone which was stored in a lockable center console. No doubt the sight of someone talking on the phone while driving would detract, at least temporarily, from the car's wretched design.
Buick Reatta

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Ferrari Mondial 8 Can you tell us what make and model this car is?
Audi Quattro
Ferrari Mondial 8
If a performance Ferrari is a world-class orchestra performing Vivaldi, this model -- the Mondial 8, with its pathetic 240 hp and pinched appearance -- is a sad trombone.
Rolls Royce Globillion
Porsche 959

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Hyundai Excel What do we have here?
Hyundai Excel
Nowadays, Hyundai makes some reliable, efficient vehicles, but their earlier offerings, like the mid-'80s Excel, earned them the insult "Hyundai for one day."
Honda Civic
Daewoo Pony
Ford Escort

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Subaru Justy Who are you, little hatchback?
AMC Spirit
Renault Encore
Pontiac Acadian
Subaru Justy
Subaru's Justy was another nail in the coffin of subcompact hatchbacks. It didn't offer power, speed, good looks or really anything you'd want in a car.

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Plymouth Caravelle Take a guess at what this homely car is.
Plymouth Acclaim
Skoda Estelle
Plymouth Caravelle
Named after a 15th-century Portuguese sailing ship that was renowned for its speed and agility, the Caravelle from Plymouth couldn't keep its head above water.
Oldsmobile Ciera

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Kia Concord Any ideas as to this ugly car's name?
Daewoo Espero
Hyundai Elantra
Kia Concord
The Concord was introduced in 1987, but Kia Motors did not yet have its finger on the pulse of quality car manufacturing. Or designing, as is painfully obvious when regarding this car.
Kia Credos

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Ford Granada The vehicle in this image is a...?
Mercury Zephyr
Mercedes-Benz 280 W114
Ford Ranchero
Ford Granada
The Ford Granada, which was originally intended to replace the Ford Maverick and which was marketed as a luxury compact vehicle, was produced between 1975 and 1982.

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Subaru XT Last but not least, this car is a ...?
Subaru XT
The New York Times called the Subaru XT "the ultimate in jazzy design," when it debuted in 1985. Well, even the Times has a bad day once in a while.
BMW M-3
Nissan Skyline GT-R
Shelby Cobra

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