Usually the car you see in movies are either objects of desire or so run of the mill they are not meant to be noticed. Iconic cars such as the GT500 look alike Mustang in the film Gone in 60 Seconds capture the emotions of millions and become poster cars. However, recently arguably the worst car ever made has been created, on purpose, for the new movie “Vacation”, a re-make of the classic Chevy Chase movie National Lampoons Vacation. In the original movie the Grizwald family set out on a ill fated journey in a tragically designed American station wagon in green with wood effect panels. In the new movie the Tartan Prancer sets out to best it’s predecessor by being even worse. The directors actually went to the lengths of creating a brand called Tartan and even producing a fake TV advert, but the real genius is in the Tartan slogan; “The Honda of Albania”.
The Tartan Prancer
The Prancer is based on MPVs like the Seat Alhambra and the Ford Galaxy, both of which are highly regarded cars. The car it self is a master stroke of cataclysmic car creation. It boasts several winning features such as a water fountain in the cabin, 2 fuel filler caps and a detachable steering wheel. Other little touches include exterior door handles that double as cup holders and double wing mirrors to allow the driver to use one for driving and one for checking hair or make up.
Although the Prancer is thankfully not a real car it does highlight the fact that there are some historically awful car designs out there, and some that are scarily still being created. Car designers seem to sometimes get lost in what they are doing and stop thinking about the real world. Other times you get the sense a car has been designed by 3 or 4 groups of people that have never discussed the final vehicle. Although there are no cars with quite the same awful “toys” as the Prancer there are some pretty awful models out there. History is full of examples like the Austin Allegro with it’s square steering wheel, or the Morris Marina that was just plain bad. Then there are newer crimes against car design, the Rover City Rover, for example. This car was the last car Rover ever made, and due to terrible build quality and less appeal than a punch in the face it was possibly the worst too. Car manufacturers would do well to take note of the Tartan Prancer, it is a very good warning and a lesson for everyone who designs and builds cars…be careful.