The automobile is, undoubtedly, one of humanity’s most important inventions. Since the creation of the first car, engineers have worked tirelessly to improve upon their designs, resulting in better and better iterations. And although car manufacturers have created some of the greatest designs imaginable, there have certainly been some mistakes along the way. With that being said, I figured I could highlight just a few of the worst cars in history.
Aside from motorcycles and tractor trailers, almost every single vehicle on the road has four wheels. However, during the 1910s, when society was still figuring out the best design for cars, certain engineers felt that four wheels wasn’t enough. Milton Reeves, a pioneer in American automobiles, spearheaded efforts to incorporate a minimum of six wheels on his automobiles. His theory was that more tires meant a smoother ride. And so, he created the Overland OctoAuto. The vehicle measured in at 20 feet in length and featured eight wheels. Unfortunately for Reeves, not a single order was placed for the OctoAuto, and it went down in history as one of the biggest flops in automobile history.
Let’s head over to France, the birthplace of the Renault Dauphine. A cheaply made car that still managed to appeal to the masses, the Dauphine was known to be a cheap, unreliable piece of junk. Its most well-known disadvantage was its speed. The Dauphine took 32 seconds to reach a speed of 60 mph.
The Ford Edsel is quite possibly one of the automotive industry’s largest failures. It is the definition of overhyped. At the time of its release, the Edsel was being touted by Ford as the next generation of automobiles. The marketing hype around the vehicle was off the charts and when the car was released, it flopped tremendously. The car’s design was hideous, it was a gas guzzler and it was far too expensive for the time. In the end, Ford lost a reported $250 million due to the Edsel.
Cars have come a long way since their creation. We want to continue to push our engineers forward so that they may further refine their designs. However, sometimes, it doesn’t hurt to look back on history so that we can avoid future mistakes.