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Click & Clack

CLICK & CLACK : Ugly and Then Some

Sunday, March 6, 2005; Page G02

T OM: I think we can all agree that my brother and I know ugly. And we've noticed something recently: There are some truly ugly cars on the roads these days.

RAY: We're not talking about the old, beat-up, smelly ones like my brother drives. We're talking about brand-spanking-new sheet metal (or sheet plastic), hot off the assembly line.

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TOM: So we got to wondering: Which new car -- for sale today in the United States -- is the absolute butt-ugliest? Which car would you drive only if you could wear a ski mask while behind the wheel?

RAY: We asked our radio listeners for nominations, and we've narrowed the field down to 10 deserving finalists. Your job, should you choose to accept it: Help us pick the winner. It's our first ever Ugliest New Car contest.

TOM: Here -- in no particular order -- are the finalists, along with some actual words used by our listeners and readers.

RAY: The Honda Element: "A rollover would improve its looks." "Looks like a Soviet-era ice-cream truck." And "if they put a trunk on the front, they could call it the Honda Elephant."

TOM: The Pontiac Aztek: "One of our neighbors has a green one, which we call the 'toad-mobile' -- which, come to think of it, is an insult to toads." And "was Pontiac taken over by a high school shop class?"

RAY: The Hummer H2: "Proves yet again that money can't buy you looks." And "the automotive equivalent of Aunt Bertha."

TOM: The Chevrolet Avalanche: "Adorned with more plastic than Anna Nicole Smith." Ouch.

RAY: The Dodge Magnum wagon: "Looks like a hearse. Are caskets an option?" And "the Welsh corgi of the car world -- it wishes to be the big dog, but it's cut too short to the ground."


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