Matt Robinson profile picture Matt Robinson 6 years ago 150
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5 Times Retro Car Styling Went Horribly Wrong

Sometimes, the past should stay in the past. That's definitely the case with these cars and their throwback styling...

Remind me later

1. Mini Paceman

Chrysler - 5 Times Retro Car Styling Went Horribly Wrong - Blog

We’re rather fond of the new Mini, and the way it translates the retro looks of its diminutive ancestor are - for the most part - successful. However, when we say that, we’re referring only to the standard hatchback, not the other weird and not-particularly-wonderful creations the BMW-owned brand has come up with. The most heinous of all is the Paceman.

On this car, the retro Mini looks have been stretched onto a bulbous frame, with the addition of an awkward roofline that dramatically slopes down at the rear.

2. Chrysler PT Cruiser

Chrysler - 5 Times Retro Car Styling Went Horribly Wrong - Blog

For some reason, Chrysler decided that this practical family hatchback needed some hot rod-inspired styling. The result was an ugly car with protruding wheel arches and an odd pointy snout. However, despite having looks only a mother could love, the PT Cruiser was a sales success during its 11 year production run.

3. Jaguar S-Type

Chrysler - 5 Times Retro Car Styling Went Horribly Wrong - Blog

Before Jaguar’s renaissance with bang up-to-date cars like the F-Type, XF and XE, the British company was busy pedalling retro-styled nonsense like this thing. This modern re-imagination of the S-Type looks awkward and chubby, and is lumbered with one of the most unfortunate grilles ever seen on a car.

4. Ford Thunderbird (11th-generation)

Chrysler - 5 Times Retro Car Styling Went Horribly Wrong - Blog

The styling of the last car to wear the Thunderbird badge has plenty of admirers, but I’m not one of them. The face is much too goofy, and it looks like the designers lost interest when it came to that under-styled sloping rear three-quarter. None of this is helped by the fact that the car underneath isn’t that great, either.

5. VW Beetle

Chrysler - 5 Times Retro Car Styling Went Horribly Wrong - Blog

Want a VW Golf dressed up in unfortunate and cute clothing? Want to pay a premium for those looks? That’ll be the VW ‘new’ Beetle, then. At the very least, the current version is a little better than the first re-imagined Beetle that arrived in 1997 - a car which, for some reason, had a miniature vase glued to the dashboard. No, we don’t get it either.

Disagree with any of these choices, or think there are more cars we need to add to the list? Hit the comments!