Interiors can make a or break a car – or just leave you scratching your head thinking, “what the hell were these guys thinking?” Here are five whips that take quirky ergonomics to the next level.
When it comes to candidates for the best worst car ever made, the beautiful but flawed Contact (above), below, features strongly for many reasons. One of them has to do with the driving position. Tiny pedals offset to the right, big non-adjustable steering wheel offset to the left – it makes you feel slightly drunk even when you’re sober.
Alfa Romeo 145
Long in the leg? Short in the arm? Not proportioned like an ape? Then you’re going to struggle at the helm of the Alfa 145. Which is a pity because it remains one of the best cars they’ve built. Especially the lovely Quadrifoglio model that drove way better than any 147 ever did. The last of the great analogue hot hatchbacks.
Built for rallying, the sexy Stratos, above, was a nimble whip thanks to its short wheelbase and Ferrari V6 engine mounted amidships. These proportions meant the space-strapped cockpit had homoerotic overtones. While driver and navigator basically sat on each other’s laps; each gear change would culminate in some unplanned man touching. Yep, only those comfortable with their sexuality need reach for the keys.
Right-hand-drive versions of the original Porsche 911 (made up until 1989, below) are infamous for their strangely offset pedals. So forget to recalibrate your feet and you’ll end up hitting the brake instead of the clutch. Not ideal when you’re busy navigating some aggressive curvature.
Toyota 2000 GT
Ah, yes, the lovely 2000 GT. It’s the automotive equivalent of that sultry siren shouting, “you’ll never get this” from behind the bars of a gilded cage. And you know what, you just won’t unless you measure in under 1.5m. There’s a reason why they had to cut the roof off for Sean Connery in You Only Live Twice. – Thomas Falkiner