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Automotive Atrocities: The Cars We Love to Hate Hardcover – July 31, 2004

14 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


" entertaining look at vehicles that probably cost some optimistic automotive designer his excellent gift." -- Sports Car, July 2005

About the Author

Eric Peters has been writing about new and vintage cars and trucks—and things automotive in general—since 1993. He is an automotive columnist for America Online, Netscape, and Compuserve. He lives in the Washington, D.C., area.


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Motorbooks; First edition (July 31, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0760317879
  • ISBN-13: 978-0760317877
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 0.6 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.7 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #502,639 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

22 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Scott D. Hall on September 24, 2004
Format: Hardcover
Reading this books brought back memories of the sorry excuses for cars that we spent thousands of dollars for in the 1970's-80's.

Some of the Losers from that era that were in the book in my own words:

1980 Thunderbird: Styling done by stacking 3 "Chunky" candy bars together. An insult to the 2-seat T-birds (1955,2002)

1984 Fiero: A good looking, but less practical Chevette

1982:Cadillac Cimmarron: at $12,000 Cavalier. Worst example of badge engineering.

1982-1984 Dodge Rampage: A sad excuse for an El Camino, and even sadder excuse for a pickup.

1974-78: Mustang II; The "Pintang". A heavier and slower Pinto.

They should have put this horse in the glue factory.

1980-90 Cadillacs: Standard of how not to design a car. Much worse performance and reliability than a modern Dodge Neon (which costs half as much or 1/4 as much in 2004 dollars).

1981 K-cars: Johnson&Johnson band-aid cans on wheels.

1971-1977 Chevy Vega: Set the world standard for fastest car to fall apart. Had to buy gas and oil at the same time, like a 2-stroke.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By BH on August 4, 2004
Format: Hardcover
This is a very funny book. I know next to nothing about cars, but I found Eric Peter's non-stop verbal jabs at these truly terrible cars an absolute hoot. Even if, like me, paint color is the only option you select when buying a car, you'll like this book.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Dale B. Fleishman on September 5, 2005
Format: Hardcover
I've been watching the automotive industry for a very long time. I remember all of these vehicles when they were introduced and intended to be serious competitors in the market. You have to wonder what the auto execs and advertising guys were thinking - but it is fun to look back and laugh.

This book focuses on the two decades of the '70s and '80s, although there certainly are vehicles from earlier and later decades that could also qualify as atrocities.

And there are some vehicles included that I personally would not have selected - some that were just bland and boring or that were subsequently discovered to have excessive mechanical problems. Clearly it is mostly about preposterous styling and vehicles that were poorly matched to American automotive needs and desires.

But overall, this is one of the must enjoyable automotive books in my library - light reading and fun!
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By John Barrett Grant on December 12, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Honestly, I enjoyed the book and it was fun, but it not very comprehensive in its research and in many areas, irritating, having owned at least 5 of the cars featured in this book. For example, repeatedly he rates all cars on horse power and quarter miles numbers, even small economy cars and diesel attempts at high fuel economy. It becomes clear that he has no real general first hand experience and most of these cars are given quite an unfair shot here; several times there ARE real problems with the cars, but they are not mentioned. Also he fails to bring up WHY many of these cars come to market in the first place, aside from complaints about emissions. Overall, if you know anything about these specific cars, or the history, you quickly get the feeling that he does NOT, and failed to educate himself fully before producing this book.
A couple of examples-
1- He bashes the lincoln continental diesel- why? horse power and quarter mile. Also he alludes to ford dropping the concept after two years because it was though to be bad and would not sell. Wrong. The real story is that Ford bought a set number of crated diesel motors from BMW, and installed them in a select number of their high dollar cars. After that two year trial, Ford then made a deal with Mazda, and instead used Mazda diesels in their lighter vehicles, (escort, Topaz, tempo, ranger). The positives of the continental diesel (having owned one)- 30 plus mpg while cruising at 80 mph. Acceleration was decent. It was by no means a V8, but exactly what they attempted, a large comfortable air suspension sedan that got great fuel economy. Also, Ford SOLD every one they produced. There are only several thousand in existence.
2- He bashes the Mercedes 300D and Rabbit diesel- again, horsepower, and acceleration.
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12 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Hib Halverson on December 6, 2004
Format: Hardcover
Most automotive books I review are serious...mainly they're historical or technical. What we all need, sometimes, is humor and that's where <u>Automotive Atrocities</u>: The Cars We Love to Hate comes in.

Automakers have flimflammed an unsuspecting public with plenty of bad and/or laughable cars over the years. Millions have been sucked into buying mistakes-on-wheels. Millions more have drive these cars, which, after the new-car smell is gone, reveal themselves to be truly atrocious automobiles.

<u>Automotive Atrocities</u> is a totally awful collection of fake muscle cars, clown-car compacts, faux "luxury" cars, sales disasters and other truly disgusting and/or ill-conceived four-wheeled follies. This book gives the motoring public the last laugh as everyone's (well..almost everyone's) least-favorite cars are skewered, big-time.

Indeed, just about every car in this book is one we love to hate but most of them are, also, cars we all have joked about and the others are just pathetic or weird. I mean...who can keep a straight face while reading about Yugos, Renault Fuegos, Daihatsu Charades, Ford Mustang II King Cobras or AMC Pacers. Then there are (pathetic) Camaros with four-cylinder engines and (weird) Zil limousines.

Courtesy of Eric Peters, who's written about cars for 11 years and, currently, is an automotive correspondent for America OnLine, Netscape and CompuServe, we get the stupidest, funniest, most ridiculous and the most atrocious cars of all time. Peters mixes an often sarcastic, humorous style with some history, not too much techie talk and some good fun and comes up with a book that is both amusing and educational.

At times, <u>Automotive Atrocities</u> is even provoking.
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