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Crap Cars Hardcover – September 15, 2005

3.7 out of 5 stars 49 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Richard Porter is a screenwriter for BBC's immensely popular Top Gear program (www.bbc.co.uk/topgear) and writes for EVO car magazine. Visit his spoof car news website at www.sniffpetrol.com.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 112 pages
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury USA; First Edition edition (October 1, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1582346380
  • ISBN-13: 978-1582346380
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 0.5 x 5.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (49 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #359,068 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
As the former owner of one of these craptastic vehicles (a 1988 Hyundai Excel), I'm not getting these people's negative reviews because this book is just downright funny. True, this is not the world's best and most definitive book on bad cars, but it never claimed to be. This is just a fun look at what the author thinks are the 50 crappiest cars that have seen US highways. I'm sure several additional volumes could be written if the borders were opened and Eastern European cars were included (my vote for the worst in that category is the Lada Cossak, btw).

If the previous reviewers had truly read the book in its entirety, as opposed to quickly scanning it in a bookstore (!), they'd have seen that the author chose specific years for some of the models. Thus, the Nissan 300ZX, the Hummer and the Fiero *are* crap for the specific years listed. The writing is sarcastic and the author points out the various cars' glaring faults: some are obviously well-known (Suzuki X90, Nissan NX, and Renault Le Car), others not so (Oldsmobile Toronado Trofeo, Maserati Biturbo, and Sterling 825/827).

This makes a great gift for car lovers and others who want a good laugh...after all, who can't relate to ever having owned a bad car? The size is small enough to leave anywhere and the format allows you to read up on a car in a minute or less.
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Format: Hardcover
I had my local library obtain both this book and Lemon!: Sixty Heroic Automotive Failures through interlibrary loan. They looked interesting. I read Lemon first, and that is the far better book. Crap Cars was terrible. All the author did was write a snarky simile-filled paragraph about each car. There was no explanation of what made the car bad, and some of the criticism was shallow and ill-informed. Also, some of the cars featured in the book are not "crap cars" at all. For example, the 1984-1989 Nissan 300ZX is in the book and is referred to as being porky and slow. These models were not at all bulbous or slow. The post-1989 models could be called porky, but that doesn't merit being called a piece of junk. Also some of those models featured a 300hp twin turbo engine. The author's criticisms are misdirected and unfounded. Also, the section about the Chevrolet Vega was one sentence followed by a five-point list that focused on rust problems. Only 35 words were written about the Vega, and all were about rust. Nothing about the engine and quality control problems. Lastly, the Volkswagen Bug was in this book! Granted, it was not the most comfortable or speedy car. Given its place in culture and history and how easy it was to fix, it is unconscionable that the VW Bug was included in this book. Based on the book's rankings, the VW Beetle is a junkier car than a Chevy Citation. Huh?

The book did have nice photographs, but don't waste your money on it. Check out the Lemons book I mentioned earlier. It is a much better read. It comes across as a more objective account of junk cars, lays off the snark, and most importantly tells you why a car was a failure.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I decided to buy this book after reading a favorable review of it in the New York Times Book Review. What surprised me was that I probably read the book faster than the NYTBR review of it. For you bean counters you gotta figure a cost of about 25 cents a minute of reading.

But it is a funny book, and I feel sad for those other reviewers who can't enjoy something like this even if they have one of these lemons parked in their garages. Author Porter doesn't just pick on the econo-box cars; he heaps disdain on vehicles ranging from Yugos to Porsches and Maseratis. It's a witty, fun little ride through the history of horrific auto design. My only gripe is Mr. Porter's repeated use of certain terms throughout the book. One gets a wee tired of seeing the first word of the title used over and over, as well as a high frequency use of "garbage" and the commonly used word for regurgitation.

I'm thinking of sending a copy to our California governor so he can read the section on the Hummer (ranked as 27th worst out of 50).
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Format: Hardcover
The readers who panned this book need to get a grip. It isn't often that I wander into a bookstore and start laughing within seconds of opening a book, which is what you get with this one. I immediately thought of someone on my birthday list that would get a kick out of this book and for heaven's sake, I spent eleven dollars on it. After getting it home and before wrapping it up, I had to read it cover to cover. As much as I loved it, I cannot give it 5 stars for the following reasons: 1) There is a bit of redundancy with the sarcasm, which makes it less funny if you actually read the whole book; 2)The Delta 88 was not represented; 3) #5 is the VW Beetle!! how could they??

As long as you have a light-hearted sense of humor and accept this book as comedy and not a compendium, you will enjoy it and see past the brief flash of irritation you experience when you see one of your beloveds lambasted.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
It's a book of one man's opinion of the worst cars made. I don't completely agree with him, but this is a fine book to take to the nature conservatory. You know, the one with the shower and a strange white seat.
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