Sometimes co-branding a vehicle works: Harley-Davidson and Eddie Bauer have had major successes adding a little panache to cars, but there are plenty of times when these projects have resulted in some really questionable vehicles. These are the five worst:
5. Volkswagen Touareg Kong
To capitalize on the SUV’s appearance in Peter Jackson’s “King Kong,” VW released this movie tie-in. What made this a special edition? Exclusive paint and interior colors? Performance parts? Unique equipment? Nope. The only thing on the Kong that wasn’t already sold on Touaregs were the King Kong badges.
4. Chevy Venture Looney Tunes Edition
Back in 2000, the Venture introduced a built-in TV, one of the first on the market. However, instead of promoting this feature by itself, GM licensed the Looney Tunes characters from Warner Bros.
The included compilation of cartoon shorts makes sense, but the rest of the package seems to have been chosen from whatever licensed gear was in WB’s warehouses: a set of boys pajamas, a cooler, a keychain and a beach blanket.
3. Jeep Wrangler Call of Duty: Black Ops Edition
There are a lot of special edition Jeeps out there, and they usually follow the same formula: add some custom badges, unique interior colors and a few Mopar performance parts to a standard model. This edition received the same treatment, but it’s hard to see how buyers a few years from now will want a Jeep with faux-military insignia from a barely-remembered video game.
2. 1983 Shelby Charger
Shelby worked with Chrysler to build some interesting tuner cars of the 1980s, like the GLHS, a tiny Dodge Omni fitted with a 175 hp turbocharged engine. However, the first model from this partnership was based on the Charger. The suspension was lightly modified and engine output went up 20 hp for a total output of just 107 hp. While it provided a respectable boost in performance, the Charger fell far short of expectations for a car from the man who built the Cobra.
1. AMC Gremlin Levis Edition
Leather. Alcantara. Canadian tuxedo?
For an extra $135, buyers could get “the car that wears jeans.” The seats were covered in a denim-look vinyl, the doors had pockets made out of real denim and the interior received multiple copper buttons. It may be hard to understand how new and exciting now-ubiquitous blue jeans were when this car was released, but today it looks as dated as a pet rock.
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