Sunday, July 31, 2005

Optimus Fug

    WOW. That's some spoiler. Everything on this car is extreme to the extreme. And he stole a grille and headlights off some poor Mercedes and stuck it on. Unless that IS a Mercedes...

Nagoya - when all the weirdos turn crazy.

    A side note about all these recent posts. Most of these cars appeared in the parking lots of large cars shows in the city of Nagoya, Japan. Maybe there's something in the water there...

    Here's a bonus pic of some custom Sylvias at Nagoya.

Grand Style, Pt. 1

    Now we enter some of the car clubs in this scene in Japan. They've appeared in windshield banners previously, but I can't read Japanese. Thankfully some of them translate it to English for us. "Grand Style" is notorious for it's 'grand style'.

    Only thing new about this purple people eater is it's dual tiered, highly functional rear spoiler.

Lexus maybe? Mercedes maybe? Fugly definetly.

    Here's a classier representation of the breed. I'm pretty sure this is a Toyota Crown - it has a very Lexus-like greenhouse. This one has a Koenig inspired widebody kit, with S-Classe tails. And DUAL-QUAD pipe organ exhuast pipes.

# 44

    Car number 44 is a good representation of the breed. Actually, it was parked next to "Sexy Crown"! Huge air damn - check. Boxy body kit - check. Ugly paint - check. Hood scoops - check. Too small though. Huge spoiler - check. Exterior intercooler - check. Unexplained stars decorating the exterior - check.

    Notable differences:
    - QUAD sky high exhaust pipes!
    - two headlights replaced with plastic. On some classic car based racers, one of the headlights is replaced with a air intake. Basically a tube (as the headlights were round) leading directly to the air box for fresh air - sorta like Pontiac's "Ram Air" back in the day. Also, some racecars have their headlights replaced or covered with plastic during races. I think a combo of both of the above leads to the plastic light replacements in these custom cars.

Pink & Yellow Fugstravaganza

    Another hood extension here, and another huge air dam up front. This one has one of the beautiful paint schemes that coat most of these cars. Pink and gold - who would have thought those two colours combined would look this good?

    This car in particular is different from the previous ones as it's wide body kit isn't as extreme - it consists of wheel well extensions and very wide running boards. The (very) tall spoiler is different from the previous, but very typical of this custom. The one vents it's exhaust through pipes too - but they stick out through the hood! For those who are wondering, that black breifcase on the air damn attached with hoses is actually an intercooler. This actually makes sense technically though - as there might not be anough room inside the car, and would get cooler air as well being outside the car. Sadly though in these cars it's usually just a gimic.

Star Car

    This one looks relatively normal up front, with a bit of a Lotus-like black-with-gold-pinstriping paintjob (well - except the star). Here is what a typical hood extention on these cars looks like. I saw this and thought it actually kinda look good - well it would be is it were shorter. But this car is devoid of the huge bodykits of most of them, where to hood extention just looks as strange as everything else. That's another thing. If people build these things to be unique, why do they all basically do the same thing?

    Is some of the previous pics, you may have wondered what all those poles were in the pictures. They're not poles in fact - they the most mystifying aspect of these cars. They're EXHAUST PIPES. They look so stupid it devies reason. WHY are they like this? Do they think it looks good? Is it supposed to look "racey"? Race cars don't have them... Is it supposed to vent greenhouse gases higher into the atmosphere? Sadly - this car's tailpipes pale in comparison to other cars...

    Also note what appears to be a red crushed velour interior.

Sexy Crown

    The car that started it all (well - the one which turned me onto this strange trend). As with most of these cars, this one appears to be home-made. However this one is without the customary fugly paint job. These cars all basically feature standard ill-fitting scoop in air inlets on boxey widebody kits. These are accompanied by hood extensions to make a more menacing front, bizarrely huge front air dams and huge rear spoilers. This one has pinstriped taillights - other feature slanted/croocked ones to match the slanted / croocked headlights (which I think are meant to look menacing but just look broken). Another note - most of these cars seem to be made out of 4 door sedans, and because of the bodykits the rear doors are no longer useful, but still there under the bodywork.

    As on some of the others, this one features hood scoops and triangular appendages sticking vertically from the hood. I noticed the Silvia racecar has these, so I think in racing terms there help aerodynamics.

    A couple special features about this car is that the hood extentions is much crappier than some of the other cars, and triangular. Also it seems to basically have the same stock paintjob as it's donor car (which is a Toyota Crown I think?) - which is two tone with a plastic trim piece. Interestingly the also seem to have either painted or applied more of the trim piece on the body kit.

    I particularly like how the rear spoiler of this car makes it look like a moveable skateboard/halfpipe ramp. Also note the text on the door - "Sexy Crown".

Origins / Explanation of the Following

    I'll start off by saying I'm not sure what the following cars are, how they originated or what they are made in reference to. Pictured above is a Nissan Silvia racecar from the '80s. It looks similar to some of the following cars (but more cohesive and less fugly) and may explain some of the work that went into them. However it seems to be a mix of this, as well as a tribute to Koenig wide body kits (not a good thing) and possibly speed racers. Or they could be a mockery of people who make cars for the above reason, or of those in the Japanese car modification scene (aka "ricers").

    Therefore I'm not sure whether they belong on this site. Here at AutoFug, I wish to only display cars that aren't made to be fugly. What I mean is that whoever made the car thought it was attractive and fit for public viewing. Yet to my eyes is severly unattractive. People do make cars to be fugly though. Cars like American "art cars" (you know - the cars with crap like dolls and cameras glued all over them), deliberately made ugly so that they become conversation pieces.

    I do not wish to encourage this behavior (the defiling of the automobile) so I don't want to put deliberatly ugly cars on this site. If that is what these strange creations are, I may have to remove them.

Saturday, July 30, 2005

Reaching into new AutoFug worlds... Japan.

    Formula-S emailed me a truely disturbing picture. It was a link to an image on a site. It was awful. Then I decided to go the the index page of the site, just to see where this disturbing image came from.

    And I have uncovered a truely disturbing, possible dangerous trend of Japanese automobile modification.

    I remember seeing images of truely strange and ugly Japanese vans in the past. But I had no idea how deep and widespread this trend had spread. It's a disease I tell you! I will be posting some of these monstrosities soon, but it's too late a night to start now. Be prepared - and be afraid.

Friday, July 29, 2005

Saab CX

    This interesting one-off was made but a Saab fan out of a late-model old style 900 (you know, the angular ones). It was an attempt at a sportier version I believe with sleeker lines, a Saab 9000 interior and Saab 9000 taillights.

    I have to find more info on this (I remember I had read up on it at one point) but the car overall looks too tall (because of the old platform) and narrow, as it's very wide headlights squash the front grille. Interesting because of it meld of old Saab 900 and GM-Saab 900 looks, but still fugly.

Thursday, July 28, 2005

1974 Fascination

    In the 1930s through the 1950s, there were a series of cars made who styling and streamling were inspired by the airplane. The Fascination was also one, but built 20 years after the fascination had dwindled. And if the fantastic claims of one inventor had been true, it could have been a truly fascinating car that ran on what was called an "an electromagnetic motor" that ran off a few batteries.

    The Fascination if the spawn of Paul Lewis and was made in 1974 with a then-exotic plastic body, red velour interior and a four-cylinder engine in the tail end between those jet engine rear wheel housings.

    In 1937, Lewis came up with the Airomobile, its front-end design is reminiscent of a Ford sedan of the time, but the tapering rear ends with two dorsal-like fins, a pointed tail and a single wheel. A year after developing the basic design, Lewis incorporated as Lewis-American Airways and offered stock in the company. He also hired former Franklin Automobile Company engineers Carl Doman and Ed Marks to join him in the Doman-Marks Engine Company and design and build his car. It was initially priced at $300,but only one prototype Airomobile was made, with an air-cooled 129 cubic-inch four-cylinder, sending 57 horsepower through the front wheels.

    In the late 60s (after becoming a successful investor), made the first Fascination and started a car company called the "Highway Aircraft Corp." The motivation for the Fascination wasn't supposed to be the gas engine that eventually powered them. A California investor named Edwin Gray was designing an electromagnetic powerplant called the Nobel Gas Plasma Engine, and claimed that it was good for 60,000 miles before refueling. But the motor (the cars claim to fame) never came to be.

    The first Fascination cost more than $200,000 back in 1974, while the electromagnetic motor would have been much more. Lewis felt that with mass production, the Fascination could cost about $5,000.

    Basically - the design is very airplace like. Which means not very comfortable when driving on the ground. The engine is hidden from view under the rear windows and has a hatch to access it - the rear "wing" assembly (which sort of look like the end of a Buick) only hides a shallow trunk.

Ferrari Fuglietti

    Some newer Ferraris - like the F430 and Enzo - I needed some time to grow to appreciate. But I try as I might but I still find the Scaglietti ugly. Which hurts me cause I liked the 456 a lot.

    To me it just looks really fat and bloated, with tiny overcomplicated headlights and a grille that's way too big. Reminds me of a hippo. And although the "retro" scallops are a tie to the past, the fuglify the sides (although without them it would look even fatter).

The Ugly BMWs - Pt. 2

    Overall, I like the BMW "flame surfacing" on the Z4. But why the strange slanted vertical crease on the side? And why does it's nose resemble Joe Camel?

Standard Gazel

    Introduced by Standard (British Triumph's Indian subsidiary) in the mid-Sixties, the Gazel replaced the Standard Herald in the local market. Both these models differed from Heralds built in the UK in that they were based on a 4-door prototype dating from 1960.

    It looks like pure evil - like Herbie the love bug's arch nemisis. Especially with whatever those dots are on the headlights.

C5 Corvette '53 Commemorative Edition

    Recycled Fug.

    In November 2001, as the Corvette world began preparing for Golden Anniversary celebrations, Magna Steyr Engineering of Ontario, Canada, unveiled its Commemorative Edition Corvette at the SEMA show in Las Vegas. It was ugly.

    Advanced Automotive Technologies in Rochester Hills, Michigan, believed in the concept enough to buy the rights to produce the "Commemorative Edition Corvette" conversion. It's still ugly.

    For only around $30,000 USD on top of the price of the donor Corvette (hardtop only), you can have a C5 Corvette that looks like a '53 edition stretched like taffy.

1996 Colani Horch

    Colani's design of a Horch luxury automobile for the revival of the great tradition of the East German automobiles. Apparently they would look much like the L'Aiglon.

Fugmobile Aurora

    Awww - what an inspiring but fugly story:

    The unique Aurora, a 19 feet long monster that was built by an eccentric New York priest as the ultimate safety vehicle, is now turning heads again.

    Father Alfred Juliano bankrupted himself creating the prototype, which remained the only one ever built. It was supposed to be the safest car ever built and included features that are now common, but at the time were unheard of. Features such as seatbelts, a roll cage, side-impact bars, a collapsible steering column, foam-filled bumpers and a padded instrument panel.

    Other features that aren't currently commonplace are its windscreen, which was curved away from the driver so the possibility of impact with it was reduced. This design also meant that windscreen wipers were not required, but it also distorted the view through it. The large "front-end air-scoop" replaced conventional grill. It was thought to reduce frictional drag and to lessen injuries to pedestrians it hit. The seats swivelled 180 degrees - so before a crash those inside could turn round and take the impact backwards (as if that would lessen injury).

    The silver sedan, shaped like a whale with its mouth gaping, had been sitting in a field in the US for nearly 30 years before madcap Brit Andy Saunders snapped it up. He has spent the last 12 years of his life doing up the motor that was a disaster from its launch in 1957. On that day Father Alfred Juliano had planned a huge media party to greet his 30,000 dollar invention. But TV reporters had to wait all day because it broke down 15 times on the journey to the launch and was towed to seven garages.

    The Aurora was funded partially by Father Juliano's congregation which donated cash to his whacky project. After the ambitious scheme failed and Father Juliano went bankrupt the car was taken on by several other owners before it was abandoned ten years after its launch. It was rediscovered in a field behind a bodyworks shop in Branford, Connecticut.

    Thanks to Formula-S for emailling me this creation!

Colani L'Aiglon

    Apparently, this is Luigi Colani's vision of what the automobile would look like in 1970 if WWII hadn't interupted car design. Although that doesn't really explain much of anything. If Pamela Anderson designed a neoclassic car, this would be the result.


    I should be proud of this car, being technically Canada's only car make (and was made rather close to me). But the Bricklin is on the border of fugliness.

    The Bricklin is a gull-wing sports car that was manufactured primarily from Detroit parts in 1974 through early 1976 in Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada for exclusive sale in the United States. There were 2854 cars built before Bricklin went bankrupt.

    The single model built was given the designation SV-1, for Safety Vehicle 1. It had a built in roll cage, side guard rails and shock absorbing, 5-mph bumpers that receded into the car. Unfortunetly this bumper sort of resembled a tape being ejected from a tape player (or in the style of the times, and 8-track player).

    The second distinguishing design feature of the Bricklin (besides the gull-wing doors) is the acrylic body. A vacuum forming process bonded color-impregnated acrylic to each fiberglass body panel. The Bricklin was delivered to the customer without paint and with 5 choices of colour. Minor scratches would be buffed out. In keeping with the safety theme, there was no ashtray or cigarette lighter.

    Overall - the fibreglass body has a very tall look, accentuated by fake louvers. Sadly, the louvers had no holes to make them functional and had very soft edges, so in pictures the car looks like a molded plastic toy car.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Virgil Exner - Fug's Company

    Already having a partial Exner post about the Stutz, I might as well complete the Exner Neoclassic Fug story with the 3 other entries.

    On top is his 1966 "Duesenburg revival", an attempt to slap a bunch of chrome and swoopy lines on an otherwise boxey modern American sedan. Neoclassics are ironic in that way - old school Duesenburg's were at the height of style and mechanical excellence in their prime. Their revivals are basically stylistic appliques overtop a cheap modern body, with about as much mechanical excellent as a New York taxi.

    Second is the 1976 Duesenburg revival revival, which is the same concept but more boring and with an uglier bumper. Even the chrome looks cheap, and although it has swoopier bodywork than the other two, that's not necessarily a good thing.

    The third is his take on a modern Bugatti.

1960 Pininfarina PFX

    A strange aircraft-like creation with huge wings. Wheels were interesting - there were 4, but they were arranged like a motorcycle with 2 training wheels (one front and centre, two in the middle along the sides, and one in the rear centered). And this is from Pininfarina, also responsible for the majority of Ferrari's design work.

IDEA Institute Vuscia

    Besides the highly unattractive name (sounds like viscera), it also looks the first generation Toyota Prius that had it's nose sucked in by a vacuum cleaner.

Peugeot Feline 607

    If you are familiar with SNL, you may be familiar with the Ambiguously Gay Duo - a cartoon crime fighters segment (which may or may not still be done on the show). I think that the Feline looks like the real-life version of their car.

    Or a slightly more attractive and sporty version of "The Homer", the car that single handedly brought down the Powell automotive empire.*

    *Referring to "The Simpons" of course.

Finger Fug

    It's hard to find info on this, but it's a George Barris creation and seems to have ben created for a Pink Panther movie (and is named the Pink Panther in fact).

    Basically a van (I think) based monstrosity with a large snout. Sorta looks like a big hand giving the finger. I also have to find real pics of it, but it does exist (this looks like a drawing).

Ford Focus concept by Ghia

    I'm not sure if this concept by Ghia had anything to do with the production version, but it was similar in size. It definetly wasn't in looks - this one has a bizzarely organic and slightly asymmetrical design. It reminds me of a porpoise... It even has a blow hole up front on the hood and barnacle taillights!

Colani BMW (Rebodied M1)

    Mr. Colani used a classic and rare BMW M1 to make this way back when. I think his inspiration was a piece of Ivory soap he squeezed when he was really, really mad.

Luigi Colani - King of Melted AutFug

    Although some of his designs are nice, his more "unrestrained" pieces are truley horrible. Posting a link for you to read up on the designer before I post some of his automotive work.

    That being said, some of his architechtural stuff is pretty cool.

When Fugs Mate - Ferrari Consiso

    I cannot find anything about the Ferrari Consiso exept for a couple references in forums, but no specs or anything about who made. I found this pic while browsing a French Forum looking at a supercar post, and I've never seen it before.

    I almost wish I hadn't. Looking at it instantly brought two other cars to mind - the Ford Indigo concept and the Phantom Corsair. Not a good looking bunch of cars, and they don't mix together very well either.

Phantom Fug

    This odd looking car was one of several failled attempts at streamlining in the '30s. I suppose all had good intentions, and they all did achieve streamlining the automobile. But either it effected driveability, or it's looks weren't to public's tastes. The Chrysler Airflow was a case of the latter. But the Phantom Corsair suffered from both problems in a horrible way.

    As for it's driveablility, it's faired in wheels made for huge turning circles and difficulty in changing flats. The low front window (and oddly cut off triangular side windows) made for a difficult view out. And the engine offen didn't get enough airflow from the weird nasal/gill-like vent in the hood.

    Speaking of that vent, this car is pretty sinister looking. Picture a dark quiet street at night and there's not a person or car in sight, and this drive towards. I think I'd crap my pants. It also appears to have a triple blade razor for a bumper. As for the headlights - they're those strange vertical bumps in the hood. The larger, lower lights are fog lights. Over all look is part batmobile, part whale and part anime hippo.

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