The 50 Worst Cars of All Time

1899 Horsey Horseless

Horsey horseless
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Somewhere between an early car and the head-in-the-bed scene in The Godfather, the Horsey Horseless, the brainfart of inventor Uriah Smith of Battle Creek, Mich., was intended to soothe the skittish nerves of our equine servants. A wooden horse head was attached to the front of the chuffing buggy in order to make it resemble a horse and carriage (Smith recommended the horse head be hollow to contain volatile fuel — another great idea). "The live horse would be thinking of another horse," said Smith, "and before he could discover his error and see that he had been fooled, the strange carriage would be passed." Stupid horse! It's not clear if the Horsey Horseless was ever actually built or if it is a chimera of auto history, but it reminds us just what a radical, hard-to-conceptualize thing a horseless carriage was.

1899-1939

From the Horsey Horseless to the Model T and the Airflow, ten horror stories from the auto industry's earliest days

1940-1959

From the Crosley Hotshot to the Dauphine and the King Midget, ten auto blunders from the '40s and '50s

1960-1974

From the Amphicar to the Pinto and the Gremlin, ten colossal car mistakes from the Vietnam era

1975-1989

From the Trabant to the Lagonda and the De Lorean, the worst cars of the 1980s

1990-Present

From the Prowler to the Explorer and the GM EV1, the worst cars from the past 17 years