Lexus SC 430, shown here attempting to increase its driver’s chance of developing skin cancer.
There is a special point in the Nightmare Garage past which gravity collapses upon itself and no light can penetrate or escape. It is all-encompassing nothingness, Dante’s undiscovered Tenth Circle of Hell where one car floats in the void, mercifully divorced from the road for time immemorial. That hovering mass will be remembered for eternity as one of the greatest automotive failures that mankind ever accomplished. It was humanity’s most terrifying achievement, eclipsing even the mighty atomic bomb in terms of mass devastation. You cannot see it in The Darkness, but you can run your hands over its dumpy jellybean shape and realize that you are touching the abomination that is the Lexus SC 430.
A 1994 Corolla, not mine, because who would want to document that?
I credit my fascination with cars entirely to my first car, a hand-me-down 1994 Toyota Corolla. As my first car, it also played host to a slew of other firsts: first manual transmission, first taste of freedom, and first accident caused by me. It was an embarrassing car when I first took ownership, and it was infinitely worse after I hit a truck’s tow hitch one day and crumpled the hood in addition to pushing the front fender backward. From then on out, it was open the driver side door and attempt to needle my 6’3″ body through a 2 inch gap (which also scraped the door and fender, resulting in a sound not unlike a a deranged guinea pig attacking a screaming cat) , or climb in through the passenger side. The entire entry and exit ritual was rather undignified, as was the bright orange bungee cord that kept the hood from flying upward. Post accident, my left headlight terrorized owls and other critters that slept in trees, as it was permanently pointed upward and to the right. And then there was the time a friend of mine backed up right in between both passenger doors and disabled those in addition to leaving a bright red kiss against the dark green color scheme. It was an uncomfortable car that I hated forever, and I will only visit it again if my Nightmare Garage becomes a reality.
Like the Ferrari Mondial that instigated the Nightmare Garage series, mentioning the Chrysler TC by Maserati is a sure-fire way to send any Car Guy into an uncontrollable rage that can only end with bloodshed and/or tears. Back in the 1980s, Chrysler CEO Lee Iacocca contacted his old friend and then-Maserati CEO Alejandro de Tomaso (whom he worked with at Ford), and discussed building a sports coupe utilizing both companies’ strengths. The evil spawned from the fruit of their cursed loins would be the universally despised Chrysler TC by Maserati.
Photos from topspeed.com
I absolutely love writing the articles that comprise the Dream Garage feature: they are the cars I will buy once I achieve my chosen profession of Eccentric Billionaire, and I simply list them to remind myself what to purchase once I hit that milestone. But as there are two sides to any coin, there must be an inverse to the Dream Garage, and “Cars Regurgitated From the Fiery Depths of Hell,” while certainly more descriptive, is more unwieldy than “Nightmare Garage.” It is with the Ferrari Mondial 8, arguably the worst Ferrari ever made, that we christen the Nightmare Garage.