Question of the Week: What car disappointed you the most?


It’s not exciting to admit, but the likelihood of purchasing a vintage ride just to be let down is a real threat. Whether purchasing a car after spending years thinking about how great it will be or buying back a car that was influential in your past just to find you remembered it far greater than it was, it’s a tough pill to swallow.

The Renault Alliance (Photo courtesy FCA)

We have expectations for our cars, and if those expectations aren’t met it can really sour our opinion. These expectations can be self-set, or can be built up through advertising and conversation with other owners. Only once it is too late do we know that our expectations will never be reached.

It’s not all bad though. In finding out what you don’t want, it is easier to identify that which you do want. If only we could learn those lessons without having to endure the learning process. Share the car you wish you could forget with us below, so we can all learn from your experience and hopefully not repeat it.

Love/Hate my Rabbits

Boy i must admit that insufficient research landed me with a big block Corvette that i luv,that said the performance level was disappointing my memory’s of being in a buddys 454 El Camino SS didnt hold true in this lack luster smogger fortunately current smog laws are pretty relaxed here in cold country so i would be able to “Brighten” it up if and when i want but since beating on a 45 year old ride is not in the cards its just fine as a cruiser and the 454 badges impress most at any rate even if its a gelded horse under the hood LOL.R


Having longed for a couple of British sports car marks as a kid, I briefly entertained thoughts of buying restored versions. While simple and inexpensive, both l considered underwhelmed in performance and general build quality. They’re still cool nastalgia, but I’m over ever buying one.


@rob.rogers - That would make a good cruiser. I always feared those big-block 'vettes overheating. Just seemed like a lot of heat in a well insulated engine compartment.


Spot on the money there Kyle,80 to 90 degree days are challenging for them bottom breathers,there are much improved rads and electric fan kits that would improve the situation,that said our Vette is all stock as a stove we do the biggest part of or cruises spring and fall no A/C which would only worsen the heat buildup tends to see the car sittin in the garage for the hotter periods.R


OK - I know the Renault Alliance was far from stellar, it was slow and became an orphan in the states. That said, I have a slightly sportier version of the car, a convertible GTA that deserves to be saved. It’s fun to drive, extremely affordable and has been pretty darn reliable! So please, a little R-E-S-P-E-C-T! :slightly_smiling_face:


1978 Olds Cutlass station wagon. It’s not that it had poor quality, it just had none at all! The dealer, the Olds zone rep and GM CEO Roger Smith (correspondence with them all) couldn’t care less.


78 Cutlass Supreme.

It had a 305 V8 with a bad camshaft and GM’s smallest automatic transmission.

When the transmission went, I was informed that it could be fixed, but I should put in an upgraded (larger) transmission. And by the way, the transmission tech said that I had a V8 with a soft camshaft that would be failing.

Last GM car I ever owned.


I bought a 1970corvette off EBay from a guy in Nebraska, believed everything he told me(big mistake), car was nothing but a bucket of problems, bad running, bad paint, just to mention a few, never again


A almost new 1994 Corvette. I’m a pretty big guy, have had 8 Corvettes but the 94 would just kill my hips trying to get comfortable in those damn seats


2007 Camry. All the rave reviews made it sound great, so we bought an LE. Very reliable but really boring and cheap made. Also bought 2014 Nissan Frontier that I hated from the time I drove off the lot truly awful.


A '58 TR3A that I bought in 1961. Lovely to drive but the #3 exhaust valve kept burning out (3 times). Never figured out why, sold it after 11 months.


Had a Lemans blue 69 Corvette, 427/400 HP. Loved its look, had almost every available option, beautiful one owner low mileage car. No dependability issues with it, very reliable.

Quickly fell out of love when, even after numerous attempts of super-tuning, realized my old 69 GTO was much quicker! Vette handling was okay, but front end would get quite floaty over a 100 MPH.

Around this time a friend gave me a ride in a 230SL Mercedes, couldn’t believe difference in build quality and comfort over the Vette. Obviously no comparison in acceleration, but shutting door on the 230SL was like closing a bank vault door.


Had an 86 Celebrity Eurosport. Had four engines in it before it had 12,000 miles on it. Was never so happy to see it go through the auction block and have two crazy dealers from Nebraska want it…badly. I actually broke even on it. Nice looking car, crappy mechanicals


Had a super rare 86 Celeb Euro with a factory 5-speed. never saw another one EVER
leased it, traded it in with 144k, nevr had a problem


1971 Volvo 1800ES I met my wife at a Porsche Club Picnic. WeBoth loved the way they looked and the way they drove. After we had our second child a 356 wasn’t making it as her daily driver. We saw in the classifieds a 71 Volvo 1800 ES. It met some of the points we needed ,room for 2 children , easy access for grocerys or luggage. Comfort , it even had AC. BUT it drove like a truck at slow speeds. Even though we loved the way it looked, we didn’t have it long before we bought a first year Taurus Wagon. It was a surprisingly good car for a big American Wagon.


Had extremely good fortune with a early 924 Porsche, 250K miles, 1981 2 door turbo Volvo, 240K, BMW 320I, 200k. I was an automotive genius in maintenance and repair. So I thought. Silly me. Lets go get a 85 BiTurbo Maserati. The local towing company had a standing order to just pick it up anytime I wasn’t in it. Lets restore an 75 MGB. That’s the ticket. This is where I learned that if it was disappointing new, adding 100k miles wouldn’t on any way be enhancing it. Moving on to the 87 Fierro, I refuse to succumb to the waterboarding this fine car is attempting. Its been a ride. Its for sale however with loads of new stuff. Make an offer. C


79 Vette. Decided to trade in my 85 civic CRX I bought new after my first job out of college to get a Vette. Tranny went bad, engine blew. I did look good on the side of the road though.


First, thanks for warning me off of the Alliance. I always and still think they are an interesting looking car but I remember riding in one in high school and being unimpressed.
My big car disappointment was literally a big car, not a Corvette, but a 1989 Cadillac Fleetwood sedan, the front wheel drive one that they made bigger that year after shrinking them in 1985. I had rented a few ''92 and '93 Sedan Devilles from Alamo and they were quick and comfortable. Well, quick as compared to the '84 Buick Electra I drove to the airport at the time. I thought the fender skirt made the Fleetwood look better than the Deville. In 2006 I added the '89 Fleetwood to my modest collection, It looked great plus it had a regular steering wheel instead of a giant box the '92 airbag steering wheel had. What a disappointment it was every time I pressed the accelerator and almost nothing happened. Apparently the difference between 155 HP and 200 HP is bigger than I expected. It was like having a pretty girlfriend who wouldn’t put out! We parted ways a couple years later, there are other pretty car fish in the sea and the garage is only so big. I learned 2 things from the experience-- every unit of horsepower matters and I seem to have a fender skirt fetish. My '84 Olds 98 looks better than the previously mentioned '84 Electra. 70’s Mercury Grand Marquises(?) look better than the same year Ford LTDs to me. New Yorkers of the same vintage look better than Newports at least to me. Making a car mistake isn’t the end of the world. It is better to have loved and lost then never loved at all, right? Don’t get sucked in by the siren song of big fender skirts is a third lesson.


Mercury Topaz. I got it for free and it was still not worth it. It didn’t drive well, did not go fast, was not economical, was not quiet, and did not do ANYTHING well. Why bother making it???