Home Cars These Vehicles Are The Worst Sports Cars Ever Made

These Vehicles Are The Worst Sports Cars Ever Made

Vukasin Herbez November 9, 2022

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Triumph Spitfire

The Spitfire was the definitive British sports roadster of the 1960s. Despite having similar mechanics, similar modest power, and performance, the Spitfire got its name from World War Two fighter plane and boosted a much more aggressive and sportier design with lower sides and a sharper front end (via Auto Express).

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This legendary roadster was introduced in 1962 and powered by a pretty diminutive 1.1-liter four-cylinder engine with 63 HP. Over the years, the power grew to a 1.5-liter engine with 71 HP and more torque, improving the driving dynamics. Like all other British roadsters, the biggest market was the US, and from 314,000 made, most of them ended up here.

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Bricklin SV-1

The SV-1 was the brainchild of automotive entrepreneur Malcolm Bricklin. It was produced in Canada from 1974 to 1975 in less than 3000 examples. For a short while, the SV-1 was the best and most advanced sports car in America. Yet as soon as the first cars started rolling from the assembly line, it was clear that the SV-1 wasn’t as good as people expected it to be (via Supercars).

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The idea was to produce a safe, fast sports car, as the name SV-1 (Safety Vehicle One) suggested. Bricklin designed the car with big bumpers, numerous additional features, warring sensors, power Gullwing doors, no cigarette lighters, an integrated roll cage, and many other things making it heavy and not very agile. The power came from a 360 AMC V8 engine which wasn’t very powerful. The company later turned to a 351 Ford V8, but it still needed to deliver actual performance.

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Datsun Fairlady Roadster

Everybody knows Japanese manufacturers started as downsized copies of European and American cars. One of the most attractive Japanese copies of European cars was a cute and compact Datsun Fairlady Roadster built from 1959 to 1970, also known as Datsun Sports (via Nissan USA).

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Japanese carmakers borrowed the design, technology, and feel from British roadsters, especially Triumph and MG. However, Datsun did more than copy the British. It gave the little roadster significant power with the 2.0-liter engine, better handling, and driving dynamics. Most importantly, it guaranteed the quality of the cars, which is something that British examples had difficulties with. Datsun made over 40,000 of those nifty little cars over an 11-year production period, with most of them sold in the USA, of course, with left-hand drive.

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Opel GT

In the late ’60s, the German brand Opel was one of Europe’s most popular economy car manufacturers. Since General Motors owned it, the design of all Opel’s models was approved or even styled by GM’s design department, which meant that Opel models looked like scaled-down versions of Chevrolets or Buicks. This was precisely the case with Opel GT, a sporty affordable coupe presented in 1968 (via Net Car Show).

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Opel needed a sports car based on its entry-level model – the Kadett, and in the mid-1960s, it got approval from GM to introduce such a vehicle. The design was heavily influenced by Corvette and GM’s concepts from the mid-1960s. Of course, with 1.3 and 1.9-liter four-cylinder engines, Opel GT didn’t have any of the Corvette’s power or performance, but it had the looks. Opel sold it in America through the Buick dealership network; interestingly, it sold well. More Opel GTs were sold in the US than in Europe during its five-year production run.

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Triumph GT6

The GT6 project started in the mid-’60s when Triumph realized they needed a coupe version of their popular roadster. However, just putting the roof on Spitfire wouldn’t do the trick. They needed to extensively re-engineer the car and add a more powerful engine for the chassis to cope with the added weight of the coupe body style. So Triumph engineers installed a 2.0-liter six-cylinder engine with 106 HP, providing the GT6 with more power and performance than the similar Spitfire (via Auto Express).

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The GT6 was officially presented in 1966 and discontinued in 1973 after around 45,000 examples. The GT6 was never as popular as the Spitfire, but it was arguably a better car and a cool-looking alternative to all other sports coupes on the market.

Porsche - Volkswagen Group
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Porsche 914

Porsche 914 was built from 1969 to 1976 as an entry-level model. It was a product of cooperation with Volkswagen and is sometimes called VW-Porsche 914. Behind the driver is a Volkswagen-derived flat-four engine with around 100 HP (via Porsche).

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It doesn’t sound like much and this Porsche wasn’t truly a sports car despite its low weight. The 914 looked like one made by a notable sports car company. It had the engine in the back, but unfortunately, you could beat it with a V8 family sedan.

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Honda CRX

Japanese brands almost entirely dominated the market for affordable performance models in the early ’80s. The Honda CRX is the perfect example of one of the most memorable cars from that era. Built from 1983 to 1991, the CRX used the Civic with a lower and sportier body and only two seats. It was light, nimble, and with precise steering, although with front-wheel drive and up to 140 HP (via Road and Track).

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This model’s most significant selling points were a highly light body, as the whole car weighed 1,800 pounds and a high-revving four-cylinder engine. Drivers couldn’t expect any real performance, but it did deliver some driving feel.

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Mitsubishi Starion

The Starion is a forgotten JDM legend from the early ’80s. It featured a turbocharged engine and cool period styling with mandatory pop-up lights. It had rear-wheel drive and composed handling and was Mitsubishi’s answer to Mazda RX7 and Nissan 300 ZX (via Gauk Motors).

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Buyers could choose between 2.0 and 2.6-liter engines with the same power level, but the 2.6-liter had more torque. On the American market, the Starion was the Chrysler Conquest.

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