Luxury Cars – 10 Ugliest Cars Collectors Will Pay Big Money To Own
The world of car collecting is a very strange one. At their core, cars are functional tools with the straightforward purpose of transporting people and goods from point A to point B and not much else. Looking at it like this, fawning over cars is an illogical thing to do. But this ignores so many aspects of why gearheads love cars and car culture as a whole. From gorgeous styling to incredible history, and oftentimes exhilarating performance, a whole host of emotion-based factors add to a car’s desirability for those of us who can’t help but fall in love with these machines.
For collectors, this is especially true, with certain models bringing in massive amounts of money for their historical significance, unique looks, or unparalleled performance. Many of these factors are subjective, especially when it comes to a car’s looks, and a car that someone may find hideous, someone else may find attractive. Prettiness isn’t always the point though, and even if a car is rather ugly, it can still be appreciated in spite of it. So, read on, to see 10 of the ugliest cars that people will still spend $100,000 or more to own:
10 Daimler SP250 (Police Spec)
Launched in 1959 at the New York Auto Show, the Daimler SP250 (originally called the Daimler Dart) was unofficially voted the ugliest car of the show that year. In spite of this, the catfish-looking Daimler SP250 has come into its own as a collector’s item, especially in its rarest police car form.
Unrelated to the German Daimler-Benz, Daimler Motor Company was a British marque with a focus on vehicles for the upper class. Using the kind of formula that birthed the Corvette – but in reverse, the Daimler SP250 was a European-made, American-inspired fiberglass sports car. Also powered by a Hemi V8, with disc brakes all around (a high-end feature for its time), the SP250 was a fast little car that saw around 2,500 units produced. Despite its controversial styling, the SP250 is a sought-after car, with restored examples reaching well into the $50,000+ range. Even more valuable though, a handful of SP250s were used as police cars in London, and these ultra-rare versions are priced at around $100,000 when they come up for sale.
9 Nissan Juke R
Widely regarded as one of the ugliest modern crossover SUVs, the Nissan Juke is a strange frog-looking vehicle with no real performance virtues. The Juke R on the other hand takes that horrible-looking car and adds brutal supercar performance to the mix, as well as a massive price tag.
Initially launched as just a concept car, the Juke R uses the engine, transmission, and drivetrain from Nissan’s legendary GT-R, modified with a roll cage, big brakes, Coilover suspension, and enough go-fast bits on the engine to lay down a whopping 690 hp. Put into limited production by popular demand, just 5 Juke Rs were built, each with a price tag of over $600,000. An extremely rare, and extremely ugly monster of a car, the final Juke R to be built was listed for sale slightly used at a whopping $706,883.
8 Aston Martin V8 Vantage Zagato
Aston Martin, a brand famed for its sleek, luxurious sports cars. Zagato, a design house known for styling some of the most awesome cars. While several spectacular Zagato-designed Aston Martins exist, the late ’80s V8 Vantage Zagato isn’t quite one of them.
Based on a standard V8 Vantage of the time, Zagato made just 50 of these ultra-exclusive Vantages starting in 1986. With a new restyled body, shortened wheelbase, and engine upgrades bringing the car to 408 hp, the V8 Vantage Zagato was a serious supercar. Unfortunately, that re-styled body wasn’t quite the sleek and spectacular look past Aston Zagato models had, being rather ugly with its smug-looking front grille/light setup, as well as strangely placed proportions, weird hood bulge (though it was functional), and general lack of curves. Still, it’s a seriously rare and powerful classic Aston Martin, and collectors will pay over $400,000 at auction to own one.
7 Mitsuoka Orochi
A car legendary for its ugliness, the Mitsuoka Orochi is one of the most hilariously weird modern sports cars. Weird is the name of the game for Mitsuoka though, and the Orochi is essentially their magnum opus.
Surprisingly taking their spot as the 10th biggest Japanese carmaker, Mitsuoka takes a different approach to building cars, going down the old-school route of custom coachbuilding – essentially making new bodies and interior touches on top of existing cars. Intended as a form over function “supercar,” the Orochi is a mid-engine RWD car, powered by a Toyota V6 making around 240 hp. Despite how instantly the ugliness hits you when looking at it, Orochi’s still sell for over $100,000 on the used market.
A supremely luxurious and sporty car that was a status symbol of its time, with many celebrity owners, the Dual-Ghia is a strange mix of Italian design, and American muscle.
Originating with the futuristic Dodge Firearrow concept car, the former truck builder Dual Motors purchased the rights to the concept’s design, and enlisted Italian design house and coachbuilder Ghia to tweak the design for production. Amalgamating their names to Dual-Ghia, the car came out in 1956, with a hand-built Ghia body, Dodge Chassis, and big ‘ol Dodge V8 under the hood. An incredibly expensive, powerful, and luxurious car for its time, only around 100 Dual-Ghias were made, with owners like Frank Sinatra making it the ultimate in glamor. While incredibly sleek for the ’50s, the front end of the Dual-Ghia is incredibly strange, almost looking sad and unsure of itself. Regardless, when one comes up for sale, the rare high-end car goes for around $400,000.
While the Corvette gets the glory as America’s sports car, it was not the first. While the Nash-Healey also was not the first, it predates the Corvette by several years, yet looks several times stranger, with a design that gets hilariously ugly up front.
A brand that would merge with several others to form AMC, Nash was a respected automaker in the late ’40s and early ’50s, with models like the Rambler offering one of the first true compact car experiences in America. Formed with a chance encounter by the CEO of Nash and the owner of Donald Healey Co, a deal was struck to build a sports car that blended British style and American engineering – much like the later Shelby Cobra.
Released in 1951, the Nash-Healey at first looked like a rather typical British sports car, but was re-designed by Pininfarina in ’52. While the body is the typically sleek and stylish Pininfarina job, the front grille and headlight combo tucked behind the extended fenders looks hilariously ugly, almost as if it’s shrugging its shoulders in defeat. Still, as a historic classic, Nash-Healeys sell for around $100,000 depending on spec and condition.
4 Lamborghini Veneno
Cool? Very much so. Ugly? Indeed as well. The Lamborghini Veneno is one of those cars that’s just so extreme in its looks, it’s hard to make heads or tails of it. But, as an ultra-exotic, ultra-limited edition supercar, the Veneno is worth millions of dollars to collectors.
Essentially a (relatively) normal Lamborghini Aventador dressed up with some insane bodywork, the Veneno debuted in 2013 and was meant to celebrate Lamborghini’s 50th anniversary with the craziest, most outrageous styling possible. Outrageous is no exaggeration, as the Veneno is sculpted with some of the most chaotic body lines ever devised. Only 13 were made, and each sold for around 3 million euros when new. Today though, the love-it-or-hate-it Veneno can sell for up to a staggering $8 million+ at auction.
3 Lamborghini LM002
Known mainly for their supercars, Lamborghini’s origins rested with tractor making. But, one area Lamborghini briefly tried to enter was the world of military vehicles, an unsuccessful venture that resulted in this strange-looking SUV.
Starting off as a proposal to the US Army, Lamborghini created a prototype known as the Cheetah in 1977 as a battle-ready all-terrain vehicle. Shot down by mechanical and legal issues, the design was gradually morphed into the LM002, and went on sale in 1986, acquiring the nickname “Rambo Lambo.” Powered by the Bizzarrini V12 found in the Countach, the brutal-looking LM002 saw celebrity owners like Mike Tyson drive one. Sticking to function over form, the LM002 is by no means a pretty car and is filled with strange-looking body lines and angles. But, with the Urus re-introducing the concept of a Lamborghini SUV, the LM002 sells for upwards of $250,000.
2 Gumpert Apollo
An absolute beast of a car, the Gumpert Apollo was one of the fastest supercars of the early 2000s, with a record run on the Nürburgring to back it up. But, as wickedly fast as the car is, it’s also wickedly ugly.
Founded in 2004, and showing a prototype in 2005, Gumpert was a German brand founded by Audi’s former head of motorsports – Roland Gumpert. Going on sale in 2007, the Gumpert Apollo was powered by a twin-turbo Audi V8 that let it do a 0-60 mph run in 3 seconds flat and hit a top speed of 224 mph. Breaking the Nürburgring production car record in 2009, the Gumpert Apollo was an absolute monster. But, those function-first body lines and design elements like the grille do it no favors, making the whole car look rather awkward. Still, as a beastly performance machine, the Apollo commands respect and a $350,000+ price tag.
1 Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren
A luxurious and supremely fast supercar, the Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren paid tribute to Mercedes’ past, while looking forward with great performance, but some very odd styling.
Based on the 1999 Mercedes-Benz Vision SLR concept, which in turn was a tribute to the legendary ’50s 300 SLR racecar Mercedes enlisted McLaren’s help to develop the production car, and thus the SLR McLaren was released for sale in 2003. Packed with the best performance tech the two brands had to offer, the SLR McLaren was an awesome supercar that also enveloped you in luxury on the inside. But, the front end of the car is just plain weird, with an aggressively long nose, Mercedes badge bigger than the headlights, and a chaotic assortment of vents all around. Worse still, past the hood, the car’s design turns super-sleek, adding to the chaos. But, the SLR McLaren is still a rare and desirable supercar, with prices reaching over $300,000 for low mileage examples.
NEXT: We Can’t Decide Whether These Cars Were Ugly Or Awesome
These Sports Cars Were Outdated The Moment They Left The Factory
About The Author