It’s not only the car industry. For every few successful products, there’s bound to be an unsuccessful one. Whether it’s simply bad, misunderstood or introduced at the wrong time, that’s bound to happen. Cars work in similar manner, but given their relatively high price, it’s easier to weed out the occasional failures. Sadly or luckily – depending on a perspective – these automotive failures usually end up soon forgotten. It’s a good thing considering there have been great many POS cars over the years. It’s unlucky because some fine specimens have shared the same fate although it wasn’t their fault.
Great many reasons can be behind one car’s ultimate success or failure. Even being revolutionary doesn’t always help as you’ll get to know from this list. To the contrary. However, most of the misunderstood cars that’ll appear here are exactly that – misunderstood cars. Whether they were too bold for their time, not economical enough, too expensive, etc. – they probably deserved a different fate. Or at least another chance as their production runs were often too short for them to catch on. In any case, here are 15 fine examples of automotive industry’s obvious strikeouts.
My guess is as good as anyone’s. Sunbeam Tiger would have probably succeeded had Carrol Shelby had gotten the chance to produce it at his American facility. Instead, Rootes Group went Jensen’s way and made it in the UK while paying Shelby an undisclosed royalty fee. Roadster was still a fine car, don’t get me wrong. After all, it had 260ci Ford V8 engine during the Mark I run. Mark II models, of which only 633 were made, had even stronger 289ci Ford V8s. All I’m saying is that it probably would have caught much more attention under Shelby’s wing. This way, it remains a rare gem of a sports car which never managed to fulfill its potential. It’s now simply another one of the misunderstood cars.