These 10 Cars Used To Be Cool But Aren't Anymore

Ford Thunderbird

Cheapism / DALL-E 3

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Ford Thunderbird
Cheapism / DALL-E 3

When Lemonade Turns Into Lemons

There are plenty of classic car models that have stood the test of time and cemented themselves in auto history, from the Camaro to the Mustang. And some cars were not as sought-after during their heyday as they are now (we're looking at you, El Camino). But let's not forget that in the auto world, what's cool one day might be considered a complete lemon later on. Here are a handful of rides that used to be considered cool and now raise eyebrows.

Hummer H2

1. Hummer H2

Hummers began as a military off-road SUV, and from 2002 until 2009, the H2 version was wildly popular among everyday motorists. Hummer later debuted its H3 models, which were slightly smaller but still undeniably bulky. Often spotted in bright colors like cherry red or bold yellow, the giant gas guzzlers grew far more obsolete as drivers began shifting toward more fuel efficient options. And let's be real: These weren't exactly the most practical rides on the road.

Chrysler PT Cruiser with Flames

2. PT Cruiser

These ... interesting ... cars were all the rage during the early 2000s. It was impossible to confuse the compact hatchback with any other vehicle on the roadways because of its unique design, and you could often spot these with flashy decals and flames — you know, to really deck them out. And lest we forget the woody version, a true Bad Mama Jama. Between 2005 and 2008, drivers could even get their hands behind the wheel of a convertible PT Cruiser option, which pretty much feels like a fever dream at this point.

Volkswagen New Beetle

3. Volkswagen Beetle

There was nothing quite like punching your brother in the shoulder and obnoxiously jeering, "Slug bug, no slug bugs back!" when you spotted a Volkswagen Beetle during a road trip. There was a time when these little cars were considered adorable by almost everyone, and it helped that you could find them in cutesy colors like lime green and bright yellow. That time has morphed into a memory. Sorry V-Dub Slug Bug.

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11th generation ford thunderbird
Wikipedia / Kevauto

4. Ford Thunderbird

First introduced in 1955, the Ford Thunderbird completed an entire evolution until its final model year in 2005. And looking back, that evolution was an utter disaster. Seriously, this thing looked like a sedan swallowed a wannabe sports car. We will never get over that godforsaken porthole that Ford felt the need to embed in the hardtop. 

Related: Coolest, Most Iconic Cars of the '50s

1980 Ford Mercury Capri
Wikipedia / Rutger van der Maar

5. Ford Mercury Capri

Ford's Mercury Capri looked sort of like the Mustang's younger half-brother. From the 1970s and 1980s, the European-inspired coupe was known as a stylish and sporty car that captured the spirit of its time. Alas, as the automotive landscape evolved, the Capri lost its luster and its appeal eroded. 

Related: Mustang, Corvette, and Other Iconic Cars That Have Gone Electric

Buick Regal
Wikipedia / Accord14

6. Buick Regal

Like its name, the Buick Regal once exuded some luxurious vibes, all while offering comfort and affordability. All things considered, this car had a great reputation. Still, once drivers began gravitating toward more modern, performance-oriented vehicles, the Regal struggled to keep up. 

Oldsmobile Toronado
Wikipedia / Greg Gjerdingen

7. Oldsmobile Toronado

It's Tor-oh-nah-do, not tornado. Don't overlook the extra "o," guys. Spelling and pronunciation alone let everyone know this car was supposed to be cool. The car was celebrated for its innovative design and powerful performance, setting it apart from its competitors. As time went on, the Toronado was unable to hold onto its reputation as a trendsetter, and its design became increasingly dated while its performance faltered among competitors.

Chevrolet Chevette
Wikipedia / dave_7

8. Chevrolet Chevette

Chevrolet has done some really great things in every decade since its inception, but the Chevette wasn't one we look back on with the same rose-colored glasses as drivers saw it through in the '80s. The once-cool subcompact now looks like a subpar beater car to our eyes.

Ford Pinto (1971)

9. Ford Pinto

You know the drill. Subcompacts didn't really transcend as far as coolness is considered. The Pinto was Ford's very first subcompact, which added to its allure throughout the '70s. Nowadays, we see it for what it really is: kind of freaking ugly.

red second generation Mitsubishi Eclipse

10. Mitsubishi Eclipse

True story: This car was once so cool that I can remember it being one of the sought-after options in a game of MASH. You know, that game you played in school where you'd list out different house, car, job, and spouse options and go around crossing off entries until you wound up with final choices in each category. The Mitsubishi Eclipse was always a contender for one of the car models you'd cross your fingers to get as though your fate really rode on that grade school game. Today's kids have probably never even heard of this ride. It's, dare we say it, a total eclipse of the heart.