What’s the Worst Car You Almost Bought?

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Maybe everyone who’s got this car just doesn’t want me to know how good it really is. Maybe the performance is worth it even though the car never runs. If I don’t buy it, how will I ever know what I missed out on? It’s such a good deal, I’d be a fool not to!

Rationalization is a powerful force, particularly for those of us stricken with the debilitating condition of car enthusiasm. Sometimes we make choices we’re not proud of. I asked Reddit users about the times they nearly made that choice, but backed out in the nick of time. My question: What’s the worst car you almost bought? If you’ve ever been tempted to buy an awful car, well, you’re not alone. Here are some of the best answers.

You Drive a What?


If I were to tell you a carmaker existed that both owned Lotus and was owned by Mitsubishi, how would you feel about that marque’s reliability? Good enough to buy one?

Such a marque does exist. It is the Malaysian automaker Proton, and user mazurri got dangerously close to rolling a Proton product down the boulevard. After owning a string of Alfa Romeos, they went for the four-door Saga model. Maybe he/she was looking for an upgrade in reliability?

If improved reliability is even a question after owning an Alfa, should you really consider buying one? It does bear a slight resemblance to the late-‘80s Milano.

Sebring That Back


Speaking of Mitsubishi, user XIIXO shared a story about nearly picking up a Galant. The thing about stories of horrible cars you almost bought is, you can still buy a worse car. XIIXO admits doing exactly that, by picking up a Chrysler Sebring and, well, it’s a case of two evils. You choose which is worse.

For Queen and Country


When it comes to cars you just don’t mess with, vehicles of the vintage British variety rank quite high. While styling and powertrains might be enticing, their reputation for electrical failures has defined this niche of the enthusiast empire.

Don’t try and tell greenmtnmurican that, though. The current Camaro IROC-Z owner wisely passed up a $3,000 1982 Rolls-Royce Silver Spur and a ‘76 Cosworth Vega at the very low price of only $1,200. While it’s not a Brit, the addition of a $700 Maserati Biturbo rounds out the cars on his list that come with low price tags. There’s also a Jag XJ12 of unknown value with, surprise, “a bunch of electrical gremlins” and the esteemed scent of wet dog.

You could probably buy a real AMC Gremlin and enjoy more time with a running car than all four of these would offer put together.

Bigger Than a Lincoln


Many used-car sites have filters to make finding your perfect car easy, but not a single one has a search for vehicles “bigger than an ‘82 Lincoln,” because we all know the only reason Ford created the Excursion was to satiate the selective “is it bigger than my Lincoln” crowd.

Derma5 found something to scratch that itch, though, and it wasn’t a Ford. It was a 2000 Land Rover Discovery, and while Dermau5 was forced to concede what we all know in the comments — the Disco’ is, in fact, not a longer car than an ‘82 Lincoln — its ample cargo space apparently made up for that.

I was hoping the cars next to this user’s name would include “82 Lincoln,” since this is a piece about cars you almost bought. Sadly, all it showed was a pragmatic Focus ST and an E30 that sits in a field.

If you want to read more stories of nearly catastrophic car purchases, check out my post on Reddit. Or drop me a line about your close call. It’s OK, we’ve all had them.