Test Your Knowledge: The Worst Cars of the 20th Century
by Staff
These are some of the worst cars of the 20th century. You don't want to drive them; you probably don't even want to know anything about them. They're terrible. And yet! We're going to ask you 20 questions about them.

The 1955 Dodge La Femme came with lots of lady bits. Which of the following was NOT an accessory that came with the car when you bought it new?

  • umbrella
  • purse
  • equal pay for equal work

No one in 1955 was going to devote design time to building a car for women from the ground up. The Dodge La Femme was a girled-up version of which car?

  • Dodge Lancer
  • Dodge Challenger
  • Dodge Charger

Between the debut of the concept in 1988 and the production of the car in 1992, the Jaguar XJ220 saw a lot of innovations swapped out for more mundane bits. Which of these was NOT a compromise made by Jaguar?

  • The V-12 engine was swapped for a V-8.
  • The scissor doors were swapped for regular-old front-hinged ones.
  • The time machine option was cancelled.

People who had plunked down $100,000 deposits for a super-cool supercar were irked, to say the least, and refused to pay or take delivery. How did Jag respond to this PR (and automotive) disaster?

  • It ditched all-wheel drive out of spite.
  • It delivered the cars under cover of darkness anyway, just to get rid of them.
  • It sued the depositors for breach of contract, even thought the production cars were far from the concept people paid for.

When people think of the Edsel, they usually also think "Worst. Car. Ever." But most people don't even know why the Edsel was so terrible. Really, what was its worst sin?

  • design
  • hype
  • nepotism

When exactly did the monstrosity known as the Edsel make its skid mark on the automotive world?

  • During the post-war car-buying frenzy of 1946.
  • During the mid-century chrome-fest of 1957.
  • During the so-stoned-we'll-buy-anything era of 1968.

Putting one over on the consumer is a long-standing automotive manufacturer cliché. Sort of like wearing a lampshade at the company party. But sometimes they really did try to pass off coal as diamonds. The Cadillac Cimarron, for example, was a poorly disguised:

  • Chevy Chevette
  • Chevy Cavalier
  • Chevy Corvette

The Cadillac Cimarron was intended to compete with which imported autos?

  • German luxury cars like Audi and BMW.
  • Japanese economy cars like Nissan and Toyota.
  • Italian sports cars like Ferrari and Lamborghini.

The DeLorean DMC-12 was a disaster at every step of its development and production. Creator John DeLorean was brought low by which 1980s cliché?

  • A cocaine deal bust
  • A high school nerd-to-jock makeover
  • The Iran-Contra Affair

One of the DeLorean's coolest features was the gullwing doors. But, of course, they didn't always work. What was the worst part?

  • They also leaked water.
  • They didn't create enough lift for flight.
  • They could fail and trap the driver inside.

The Henry J is a nearly forgotten bucket-of-awful that came with two terrible engines. Which of these was NOT on the options list?

  • 68-horsepower engine
  • 80-horsepower engine
  • 110-horsepower engine

The Henry J was on the market for how long before it was humanely put down?

  • 6 months
  • 3 years
  • 8 years

The Ford Mustang II, in a misguided attempt at economy of scale, shared what with the Ford Pinto?

  • The explosive gas tank design.
  • The nerd-chic greenhouse design.
  • The tacked-on bumper design.

The Ford Mustang is a much-loved muscle car. The Ford Mustang II is definitely not. How did the sequel end up with such a feeble engine?

  • Ford engineers were laid off before they could build a better one.
  • There was an oil embargo, so using less gas became more crucial.
  • An engine powerful enough to overcome this much ugly hadn't been invented yet.

The Eastern European Trabant had a body made of Duroplast, which did NOT have one of these ingredients. Which one?

  • metal
  • recycled cotton
  • wood fibers

The Trabant also lacked which of these fancy parts?

  • wheels
  • seats
  • brake lights

The rotten rust-bucket known as the Chevy Vega was designed by:

  • Harley Earl
  • Pete Brock
  • A corporate team at GM

The Chevy Vega's engine performed which neat trick?

  • It had so much power it raced an airplane -- and won.
  • It got so hot it could melt its own head gasket.
  • It was able to rev so high it could win a drag race in first gear.

Which figure in automotive history imported the godforsaken Yugo to America?

  • Elon Musk
  • Malcolm Bricklin
  • Luigi Chinetti

The Yugo was built in which Soviet-era country?

  • Yugoslavia
  • Poland
  • Czechoslovakia