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Grimmest car of all time


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I like Invacars, always thought them fascinating as a kid. I do get what you're saying but they were different times, and a lot of people really didn't want to give them back when the Motability scheme replaced them. They are honest and unpretentious, just simply a means of getting from A to B with some weather protection  - in a way, car in its purest form. I think if you regard them as mobility scooters they make more sense.

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11 hours ago, SiC said:

At least that is practical with the hatchback boot. What's worse?

Ford_Orion_front_20071031.jpg

Genuinely had a nightmare once that I owned one. 

I actually owned one for 6 months! In L spec naturally aspirated diesel form!! (LD I think, having referred to @adw1977 's Ford brochure uploads on Flickr)

1994 Ford Escort 1.8 LD diesel1994 Ford Escort 1.8 LD diesel (ex police car)

It was ex-police, so it had the optional ABS and power steering so it wasn't as grim as it could have been! I actually quite liked that car. I think that the early 1980s Escort 1.1 base is a lot more grim - they even had vinyl seats if I'm not mistaken.

Re the BMW X3 in @sdkrc 's  O P, I would agree about this. I recall Jeremy Clarkson test driving it on Top Gear around that time and he was disappointed in it. Not much cheaper to buy than an X5 but dynamically a much worse car.

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Mk1 Hyundai Santa Fe (and not just because it's Christmas). A face like a bull dog licking piss of a nettle, dubious style and interior plastics you'd find on a pound shop toy shelf. Add to that an engine choice of an under powered v6 or a wheezy turbo diesel with the added pretence of soft road life style bollocks it makes for a grim package.

We has a guy at work years ago who had one. He eventually changed it and what did he turn up in? Base spec X3. Should have gone to spec savers M8.

 

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12 hours ago, iainrcz said:

I once took my top of the range Peugeot 508 GT saloon in to Peugeot in Scunthorpe for a nav update and service, they gave me a SEAT Altea as a courtsey car. It was grim as fuck.

Grumbly, inflexible diesel. Horrible, scratchy cheap interior, tiny pointless touchscreen radio. Think it even had rear keep fit windows.

Thing is, the fucking thing wasn't a cheap car, I'd have forgiven it being shit at £12k, but I think it was about £18k.

I dread to think what the new price was.

 

For illustrative purposes:

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12 hours ago, iainrcz said:

I once took my top of the range Peugeot 508 GT saloon in to Peugeot in Scunthorpe for a nav update and service, they gave me a SEAT Altea as a courtsey car. It was grim as fuck.

Grumbly, inflexible diesel. Horrible, scratchy cheap interior, tiny pointless touchscreen radio. Think it even had rear keep fit windows.

Thing is, the fucking thing wasn't a cheap car, I'd have forgiven it being shit at £12k, but I think it was about £18k.

I dread to think what the new price was.

 

Why did the Peugeot dealer lend you a Seat? 

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11 hours ago, bunglebus said:

This

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Not even ugly in a good way like a Citroen Ami or VW type 4. I had a good look over one thinking there must be at least a clever bit of design somewhere but no. Just awful

Must admit I like the Multipla, I agree they are as ugly as fuck in Mk1 form but a very practical car

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12 hours ago, Cavcraft said:

The Escort van, especially in diesel flavour is. Sorry @bub2006, I know you like them but even the thought of them brings me out in a cold sweat.

It's the horrible smell of those horrible interiors and that dreadful, dreadful wanky asthmatic boat anchor of an engine.

Wow, reading this has actually reinstalled the sound of that engine into my head as you slowly try to make it up a slight incline.

It's one if those engine sounds that you can place easily. Bit like every transit ever

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Why did the Peugeot dealer lend you a Seat? 
It was a Peugeot/SEAT dealer.
Called pentagon now, historically was called Rusty's.
Also had the timing chain and associated bullshit on my RCZ done there.
I'd rather have had done it myself than trust Hartwell in Grimsby.
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It is interesting to see the mention of Orion’s, my dad had one new in 1992 as a company car , it was a 1.8 diesel with orange peel on the bonnet. It would show 118 mph downhill but struggled on any slight uphill climb on the motorway. If you were doing 70 mph and come to a slight uphill climb you had to change down gears, sometimes to third! Not something I had experienced before.

Having said that and as much as I disliked it, it was far from the worst car ever. People carriers are particular grim although I like early Multipla’s .  SUV’s and crossovers (whatever they are meant to be) are the real low in motoring and truely grim. Older slow are basic cars have character and can be fun, new cars leave me cold.

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I think the thing with Invacars is that they were (almost certainly) never meant to represent anything at all 'fancy', just functional with no thrills or perceivable extras as such.  Totally get why some people don't like them, but they're sort of deliberately grim.

 

That leads to another question: Are some cars grim because whilst they are disappointing, rather than badly made? I present...

 

BMW 5 Series (E60) - Wikipedia

 

It might not be fashionable to like these on here, but every  series of the 5 range from the first all those years ago to the current range, are sodding nice looking cars. Until you step in the ordinary models, where they're so incredibly dull. Boggo cloth seats, uninspiring dashboards and just bland, bland bland. I bet most are really nice to drive and quite reliable, plus they have the exterior looks,  but still manage to be a bit grim. 

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3 hours ago, New POD said:

I've owned an automatic Omega for more than 4 years and taken it from 163k to 232k and I dispute your facts. 

Mine has leather not fabric, and being a facelift does have painted plastic on the door trim, which isn't durable. 

There are a few known weak spots in the design. 

Powersounders thar burst into flames. 

Wishbones that are made of cheese.

A crank case breather system that blocks.

Coil packs that rust.

Pre-Cats that stop being effective.

Gearboxes that stick in 3rd (when hot)

Oil coolers that mix oil into the coolant. 

One thing, I would never accuse it of is being uncomfortable.  I'd happily sit behind the wheel for 4 hours and be able to walk afterwards.

The other is that they might  be slow off the mark. Nah. Press the sport button and press the right hand peddle all the way down, and you'll soon be doing 120 mph. 

 

I agree New Pod. I had 2 estates. A 3 year old 2.5 GLS auto and an 8 year old 3.0 Elite auto. Both supremely v

comfortable well made cars. Vastly underrated.

c

 

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I completely agree with the OP about the X3 base, but, and here I'm actually shocking myself that I can say this: even that choice is less grim than the two successive cars my parents had in the early 70s when I was a car-mad early -teen. 

First up was a Pompadour Blue 1961 Ford Popular 100E: dismally blobby shape, two doors, 1172cc sidevalve engine, three speed manual box, cheap mingebag vinyl interior.  The rear side windows didn't even open, at all.  6279 KB may live on in my memory but with no fondness whatsoever.

It was followed by something I remember even less fondly, if that's possible!  SCK 781 was a 1962 Austin A35 van with a so-called estate conversion.  Less room inside than the Ford, and felt like it was even more sparsely equipped.  The gearbox had a further gear, and the engine was the good old A series in 948 guise, but it moved in exactly the same glacial manner.

Speaking of glacial... neither of these had a heater worth a damn.  Winter school runs were torture as evil as schooldays themselves.

Grim?  You youngsters don't know how to spell the word!

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22 minutes ago, twosmoke300 said:

Either a replacement crank shaft or chassis ? Pick wisely - you will prob need both at some point 

Nah its fucked already. Your right on the chassis front though. And the turbo. And the fuel leak. And the broken abs. Luckily its not for driving

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36 minutes ago, Cavcraft said:

I think the thing with Invacars is that they were (almost certainly) never meant to represent anything at all 'fancy', just functional with no thrills or perceivable extras as such.  Totally get why some people don't like them, but they're sort of deliberately grim.

 

That leads to another question: Are some cars grim because whilst they are disappointing, rather than badly made? I present...

 

BMW 5 Series (E60) - Wikipedia

 

It might not be fashionable to like these on here, but every  series of the 5 range from the first all those years ago to the current range, are sodding nice looking cars. Until you step in the ordinary models, where they're so incredibly dull. Boggo cloth seats, uninspiring dashboards and just bland, bland bland. I bet most are really nice to drive and quite reliable, plus they have the exterior looks,  but still manage to be a bit grim. 

I’ve owned a lot of 5’s  and driven even more  and I agree with your general theory. But one of my favourites was a last of the line e39 525d manual which was as basic as they come, but I loved it, much preferred it to the 530 d M Sport auto with leather and all the trimmings, that I had 2 years before.  By the same token, a poverty spec e220d manual W211 Mercedes put me off Mercs for about 6 years and when I bought a nice spec auto e280d , I kicked myself for missing out on these great cars because of the grimness of that 220.

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I had an early model Omega (the six cylinder diesel auto model) with cloth (heated) seats. Yes the interior was badly put together (mine made considerable use of blue tack to hold bits of trim on, but it was so comfortable, I could easily drive four hours and get out without that travel fatigue, stiffness you usually get from a long journey. 

As for the topic in hand, the Mk V Escort was grim even back in the day, but then most early 90s cars had had all their charm surgically extracted to make them less attractive to joyriders. 

My grimmest car was a Peugeot 307 I hired when my car broke a belt tensioner. I am not sure which engine it had, a look on wikipedia seems to suggest a 1.4HDI, which was good because I refilled it with diesel more than once, despite not being entirely certain it wasn't a petrol. It was really gutless, with no low down torque. It seemed very heavy too, so it took ages and lots of clutch slippage to get it moving from a standstill like a 125 motorbike, so driving it in heavy traffic was horrendous. 

Edit- Also my Ford Escrote Orion Ghia. Horrible clattery engine, leaky boot so permanently damp. Frequently broken into, but I was only disappointed that they nicked the stereo and not the entire car. 

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3 hours ago, ProgRocker said:

I think that the early 1980s Escort 1.1 base is a lot more grim - they even had vinyl seats if I'm not mistaken.

Oh yes, vinyl seats on the base Escort (1.1 or 1.3) until the 1984 model year!

Brochures never show the vinyl interior properly, if the interior is shown it's always with the optional fabric trim.

2020-12-25_12-41-01.thumb.jpg.e73cf81a6c03c0f72a4946e948d8bbde.jpg

Flickr link

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I dont think anything is really truly grim - they are and have been "of their time", a tool to do a specific job.

Some are more engaging and/or comfortable to drive. Some more reliable. Some (in the eye of the beholder) better looking than others. Ultimately they are just tools.

Most autoshitists are happy that they have a tool and are happy with grim, even perversely enjoy grim to the point of actively seeking it out. I loved the Mk 4 DisAstra - just excellent at being "an car", same with the K11. 

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15 hours ago, sierraman said:

It’s crime is it’s just a really boring place. 

Bridgwater by birth, thankfully left 2 decades ago.

Wembdon is full of the people who think they're too good for Bridgwater. But without the motivation to leave entirely. 

 

Funny old town Bridgwater. Everyone's goal is seemingly to live in a better bit of Bridgwater than they were born in, and have a shiny golf to get stuck in traffic as they drive 1.2 miles to work every day. 

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2 hours ago, adw1977 said:

Oh yes, vinyl seats on the base Escort (1.1 or 1.3) until the 1984 model year!

Brochures never show the vinyl interior properly, if the interior is shown it's always with the optional fabric trim.

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Flickr link

Ford missed a trick not calling it something clever like Artico or Vegan leather, or whatever BMW call their fake leather. I’ve got 4 Mercs on my drive 2 with real leather and 2 with vinyl, funnily enough the descriptions of both the newer plastic seated ones said “ leather trim” in the Autotrader ad!

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Land Rover Discovery 3 + 4  for silly body off job's that really shouldn't be, and for being such a nice car to be in but let down with alarming issues that would for ever have me on edge,  please don't miss understand me I really like Disco 3's and 4's but could never own one happily 

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