The Cars That Sunk without (Much) Trace

We looked a few days ago at the bestselling vehicles in the history of homo sapiens. So now it seems only fair that we look at some of the worst selling ones.

The only problem is that I can only find North American sales figures for those cars which didn’t shift many units. Still, since we all like nothing better than to laugh at some else’s misfortune let’s rejoice in these cars that sunk without trace in the US…

The Cadillac Catera

Photo credit: JOHN LLOYD

Selling less than 100,000 units of a Cadillac in the US seems like the kind of thing you need to work hard to do.

The advertising tagline was the wonderfully weird “The Caddy that Zigs”. It was a relatively cheap version of the brand for young whippersnappers who wanted a Cadillac but who presumably didn’t want to stop zigging. It was promoted with the “help” of a commercial of Cindy Crawford talking to a wizard bird.

The Pontiac Aztek

Why did they mis-spell Aztek? I hate deliberately mis-spelt words so I have little sympathy for the plight of the Mexican made Aztek. Apparently it came with a sliding cargo floor and optional tent and equipment.

It has been voted as one of the ugliest cars ever but I don’t think it looks all that bad. It sold a little over 27,000 in its 1st year and was memorably described as looking like 6 week old cottage cheese, although it looks to me more like a processed cheese triangle your dog has stood on which then got caught up in the vacuum cleaner.

Studebaker Wagonaire

Photo credit: Alden Jewell

This last one on the list has at least got a fantastic name. As a Brit I can only dream of driving a car with a name like Studebaker Wagonaire.

If I was inventing my own car name it would be something like this. Sadly, not many people were convinced by it or its bizarre forwards sliding roof. Handy for transporting giraffes maybe but not a lot else.

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