These Are the Ugliest Race Cars of All Time, According to You
U.G.L.Y. You ain’t got no alibi you ugly.
Designing a race car is no easy feat, especially when you have to consider all the logistics and people who are required to have their hands on it. First, designers must consider the series’ sanctioning rules, which dictate the majority of a racer’s design. Then, there are the aerodynamic quips designers can play to eke out an ounce or more performance. Finally, there’s the livery showcasing all those lovely sponsors that pay teams money to make this all possible. Sometimes everything comes together in a beautiful eye-catching package. Sometimes, it’s an awful sight.
To find examples where it all went wrong for designers, we turned to you and asked what you think are the ugliest race cars of all time. From rogue Formula 1 regulations to early attempts at aerodynamics, you turned up some real stinkers.
So, sit back, relax and click through some of the ugliest racing cars to have ever graced a track. If you dare.
“I can’t say I’m a huge fan of the short-lived, large air scoop fad of 1970's Formula 1. The Ligier is among the worst offenders, but even the smaller ones look goofy to me.”
Starting things strong with a bulbous F1 car from 1976. This gaping airbox on the back of the Ligier was nicknamed the teapot and was only used in the early stages of the season, before regulations came in to shrink it down.
Suggested by: forkish
“Not sure what Robin Herd and Geoff Ferris were smoking when they concocted the 71/72 March 711. It did get one fastest lap, but no wins in 22 GPs.”
There are few who would argue that this front end doesn’t look dumb. It looks like a space for the March engineers to set up a picnic mid pitstop. Ridiculous.
Suggested by: gto62
“Caterham CT05 in a landslide.
“Really, the stepped-nose era of F1 cars from the mid 2010s were all hideous, horrible point in time for regulations when it came to aesthetics.”
It’s just so unbelievably hideous, I could probably have just filled this slideshow with various awful angles of Caterham’s 2014 car. Still, at least the team had some lovely merch.
Suggested by: @MichaelEverson1 (Twitter)
“The entirety of the 2014 F1 grid.”
This was a pretty dark period for Formula 1 when it comes to the looks department. The only car that really pulled it off was the Red Bull, and it’s still a bit on the weird side.
Suggested by: @Sub_Zer090 (Twitter)
Another Bad Year for F1
“Every car made to the 2012 F1 regulations. Clearly no one at the FIA thought through what would happen when they made these regs. Embarrassing.”
Respectfully, you’re wrong. The 2012 Formula 1 cars look good, actually. They’re like big angry sharks swimming round with their mouths open, a vibe I am here for.
Suggested by: mythrenegade
“I’ll take heat for this. Any modern era NASCAR. It’s just so..... Bleh.”
If there’s one thing you don’t want your racing car to be, it’s “bleh.” It’d be better to have a hideous car that sparks conversation than one that’s just a bit bland. Do better NASCAR.
Suggested by: matchew4u
“The Lada Niva’s raced in the Paris-Dakar. Had a fair amount of success (finished second in 1983), but that doesn’t change the fact Niva’s are inherently ugly.”
I feel like commenting on the looks of a Lada is the kind of thing that can get you lynched around here. So I’ll just say it doesn’t look like the fastest racer in the desert.
Suggested by: Jason Ogawa (Facebook)
“The Panoz Abruzzi. Just when you thought it couldn’t get more hideous from the front, it drove past and you had to look at the rear. It also looked like Sam the Eagle fro the Muppets.”
You are 100 percent correct, this is the automotive embodiment of Sam the Eagle.
Suggested by: @adamheidrick (Twitter)
“1950 Cadillac Series 61 Le Mans ‘Le Monstre.’
“Briggs Cunningham had decided to hedge his two-Cadillac bet for Le Mans, streamlining this car to render it more competitive, while leaving the other alone in case the aerodynamic experiment failed.
“Its body was so extraordinary, that Le Mans officials spent hours in examination to assure themselves that the chassis was standard Cadillac. Standard, too, was the engine, except for a five carburetor induction system and some fine tuning.
“Despite its theoretical advantages, the Cunningham-Walters Le Monstre finished 11th.”
Cadillac’s 1950s racer looks a little unfinished, but I guess styling is the price to pay in pursuit of aerodynamic superiority. Hopefully the brand’s long-awaited entry into F1 will be a bit more swanky.
Suggested by: Knyte
“Any answer other than the 2006 BMW-Sauber from the French GP is incorrect.”
And now for something completely different. Clearly BMW-Sauber was taking a “more is better” approach to its aerodynamics at the 2007 French Grand Prix.
Suggested by: Bryan Jackson (Facebook)
“What’s worse than the Deltawing?”
The design for the Deltawing can trace its origins all the way back to 2009. But, what started as a proposal for a new IndyCar chassis soon morphed into a freaky race car that looked like something Batman might drive.
Suggested by: @ThePicMan (Twitter)
Bugatti Type 32
“Bugatti Type 32. Yes it was early days, but you can’t deny this thing is hideous.”
It’s a far cry from the Chiron that Bugatti ships to this day, but at least the Type 32 managed a podium or two. Unlike the Chiron.
Suggested by: drg84
GT-R LM Nismo
“The proportions of the GT-R LM Nismo are just off. Panoz showed the world how to make gorgeous front-engined race cars, so we know it isn’t impossible.”
Oh so if it’s a Jaguar E-Type a long hood is “perfect,” “elegant” or “beautiful.” But, when an endurance racer gets a long hood its proportions are all off. I see how it is.
Suggested by: edu-petrolhead
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