June 21, 2013

Ugliest Car Ever: 'Breaking Bad's' Aztek

"Breaking Bad" creator Vince Gilligan said he chose the Pontiac Aztek for main character Walter White deliberately because of its ugliness. It does reflect Walt's misery in those first seasons of the hit show. IMDB.com reports that the producers kept a few on set painted in the same dull non-factory green. CNBC named it to its list of ugliest cars of all time. However, as ugly as that car was, it has plenty of company. Following this short list, you'll find a few suggestions on how to turn an ugly set of wheels into a head-turning ride.

Hit With the Ugly Stick

1.1970 Gremlin — This bubbly AMC car had loyal fans, but there was no denying it was ugly. The grill looked like a wide-eyed bug and the back of the car slanted down from the roof precipitously. It also came in strange colors, like neon green, deep purple and copper brown.

2. 2013 Jeep Cherokee — The latest Jeep SUV made the "London Telegraph's" list of he ugliest cars in the world. We can see why. It kind of looks like it's growling.

3.2013 Nissan Cube — Nissan's press release says it's cute, but this boxy vehicle looks to us like something the bad guys would drive in a "Batman" movie. Don't just take our word for it. This car made Edmunds' ugliest cars of all time list.

4.1959 El Camino — Who is old enough to remember this ill-conceived half-truck, half-car? Business in the front, party in the back? Unfortunately, it didn't succeed at looking like either. This car may have been released more than 50 years ago, but it still made "Business Week's" ugliest car list.

5.2003 Honda Element — Combining a camper and a car might have seemed like a good idea on the drawing board, but the reality is boxy and awkward-looking. That's probably why Honda stopped making the Element after five years.

How to turn an ugly car into a cool ride (without spending a fortune)

If your car is an ugly duckling, you don't have to put up with those looks from other drivers when you're stopped at a light. There are ways to turn your less-than-beautiful car into a ride your friends will envy without having to spend a fortune.

One of the easiest things you can do is replace the wheels and tires. A set of new Michelin, Nitto or BF Goodrich tires is a great way to start with your vehicle makeover. If you're not sure what size your used jalopy requires, most online retailers such as DiscountTire.com, will have online tools to help.

Drab to Fab for Less Than $500. 

Other affordable car makeover ideas include installing tinted windows, adding chrome accents and/or upgrading your hub caps. Tinted windows cost between $100 and $400, depending on the size of your car and the quality of the tint job. Hub caps run around $15+ each, but you may be able to find some at a flea market or garage sale, if you're lucky.

Lastly, don a pair of $150 Raybans or Oakleys and invest in teeth whitener. Seriously. No matter what you drive, if you look cool behind the wheel, it won't matter. With the wind blowing through your hair (because the A/C has long been dead), and your million-dollar smile, they'll think you chose the car deliberately for its ugliness.

Creative Commons image by Bull-Dozer