While production cars are often restricted by altogether acknowledged standards of manufacturing, concept cars are usually exactly the opposite. Often not bound for production at all, concept cars represent the perfect opportunity for both the manufacturers and designers to showcase their creative (usually wacky) side. Some of them end up being certain vanguards of styling and technological advancements for years to come, while others simply fail in that department.
This time, however, we reflect upon something different altogether. Here are 20 of the most awkward and likely ugliest concept cars from the past couple of decades which have done more than simply failing to deliver in terms of styling. They have forever been branded as cars that likely shouldn’t have happened at all. Luckily most of them have been forgotten the instant the auto show on which they were presented was finished. Forgotten before someone like us decides to remind you of them, that is.
Buick’s lineup during the nineties was somewhat bland and uninspiring to say the least. That’s one of the reasons why they’ve devised the Signia concept car. Another is their aspiration to create their very first crossover. Introduced at Detroit Auto Show in 1998 and based on Park Avenue sedan, Insignia featured all-wheel drive, lots of space and that wagon-crossover squared-off rear. So, what went wrong? Well, just look at it. It’s swollen, ugly and not at all practical. That glass hatchback canopy coupled with swing-out doors, bloated rear fenders and misshapen grille really ruined it. Futuristic interior made out of wood with golf club instead of a shifter wasn’t much better either. Even their first crossover, the Rendezvous (which looked nothing like Signia), didn’t look or perform much better.
Packard Twelve concept car was a one-off attempt at reviving the long gone Packard brand. Roy Gullickson, entrepreneur and engineer came to the idea back in 1991, and he finally acquired the rights and completed the car in 1998 with the help of Lawrence Johnson, fellow automotive engineer. Sadly, the fruit of their almost decade-long labor was one ugly $1.5 million worth of investment. All-wheel drive concept was finally presented at the 25th anniversary celebration of Arizona Packards in Tuscon, in October 1998. One of the precious few good points about the car was its custom-built 573-horsepower V-12 mill. That and the fact it actually sold for $143,000 at Sotheby’s Motor City auction in 2014.