Are these the 15 worst cars ever sold in Australia?
RACV senior vehicle engineer Nicholas Platt rates Australia’s worst cars.
1. Holden Camira (all of them)
Mechanically one of the most unreliable cars of its era, which is quite an accolade. But the Camira was a complete package, engineered throughout to displease. The exterior fit and finish was so haphazard that you’d think it was drawn by Picasso. It didn’t get any better once you moved inside, thanks to acres of hideous, poor-quality, mismatched plastic that squeaked like the car was full of cicadas. Initially powered by a pathetic 1.6-litre engine and later by an equally pathetic 1.8, the car was slow, horrible to drive – and it rusted.
2. Morris/Leyland Marina Six
The UK-spec Morris Marina was in its own right one of the worst cars ever created, but it was only with a bit of Aussie ‘can-do’ spirit that it turned into something truly diabolical. Adding a heavy and powerful six-cylinder engine to a terrible Morris Minor-based chassis was certain to bring about safety and handling confidence – not!
3. Ford Cortina Six
Similar to the Morris Marina in that a heavy and overpowered 4.1-litre engine designed for a Falcon went beyond the poor car’s ability to keep it all on the road. If pushed too hard you discovered that a car can indeed understeer and oversteer simultaneously.
4. Datsun 120Y Automatic
Driving one was a Zen experience in the art of patience, such was its lethargy. But hey, the 1970s were relaxed times, so Datsun was forced to throw in some wretched handling, ugliness and a cramped interior for that extra dollop of awfulness. Even worse than their driving characteristics was the fact that they were nigh-on indestructible — ensuring that the agony of owning one would be passed on to a whole new generation, like some sort of automotive family curse.
5. HD Holden
While mostly remembered for its ugly front end with weird pointy pedestrian-catching ‘kidney crusher’ mudguards, the HD gave so much more. We can only assume that GMH put a lot of effort into designing a car with such poor braking and handling. Surely, chance or oversight alone could not explain how a car could do these things so poorly!