So what cars make Bodden’s list of funniest autos? Here they are in descending order. And you’ll be happy to learn that not all of them are American made.
10. The Fiat 500 – “It’s fun to drive a car that looks up to Mini Coopers as if they are limos,” Bodden says. “Did I mention it’s powered by a 500cc motorcycle engine? Just the thing to get out of the way of rampant SUVs. Of course, if you’re under 5 feet tall and want 1,000 mpg, it’s perfect.”
9. AMC Pacer – Of course anything by AMC could make the list in Bodden’s book. But the Pacer stands out as the first wide-body small car. “AMC always liked to answer the questions no one asked,” he says. “Like, ‘Why do you need a wide, small car?’ Then again, if you like riding in a fishbowl, there is really only one choice.”
8. AMC Eagle – The Eagle was the first 4wd sedan, which sounds like a good idea. But an ugly body grafted onto a jeep chassis is not. “Maybe they were trying to take the title of trailer trash car from the El Camino,” Bodden hypothesizes.
7. El Camino – Business in the front and fun in the back . . . or was it fun in front and business in the back? Who knows? “Listen, Jeb,” says Bodden, “put the El Camino up on blocks, let it rust and go buy a real pickup truck.”
6. Mercedes Unimog – More unbelievable than funny. “Huge, indestructible – it will go anywhere and destroy anything in its path. ‘Fun’ would be driving one to the next Sierra Club rally.”
5. The Edsel – Ford’s folly is often cited as the essence of how to do things wrong. “Sure it’s ugly, but that’s balanced by the fact that it’s under powered and handles poorly,” Bodden says. “Way to go, Ford!”
4. The Pinto – And while we’re chuckling at Ford’s expense, don’t forget the Pinto. “What could be more fun than a car that would rust to pieces while you’re waiting for someone to hit it so you could see the gas tank explode? Pintos weren’t exactly built ‘Ford tough,’ “ Bodden says.
3. The Popemobile – OK, not technically a make and model, but a funny vehicle, nonetheless. “Jesus walked on water and they put the Pope in this,” Bodden says. “Are we sure they’re talking?”
2. Dodge Viper – An example of the philosophy of do one thing and do it well. “It was 600 horsepower of pure acceleration for no reason at all. It can slam the front of your chest to the back seat and it doesn’t have the luggage space to carry a briefcase. Step on the gas and try not to laugh at the excess of it all.”
And, the number one funniest vehicle of all time is . . .
1. The Minivan – Yes, it works and it’s a great way to carry the kids and all their stuff. “But what a sad way to castrate Dad,” Bodden says. “That’s right Dad. No matter how much you trick it out, you’re still driving a minivan. Sorry, man, but the hottie you just drove past isn’t looking at you. She wants you to move out of the way so she can smile at the guy in the Porsche.”
Bodden’s show, “101 Cars You Must Drive” premiered June 23 on SPEED and can be seen Mondays at 9 p.m. ET. Exclusive short-form content will be available on Speedtv.com, VOD cable, iTunes video podcasts, mobile phones, cable broadband sites and viral distribution. Full-length episodes will be available on Sprint wireless handsets via Sprint TV. Speed clips and original short-form content will be available to Sprint, Cingular, MobiTV and others. Free clips and full-length episodes will also be available for download via iTunes, Amazon, Best Buy and other electronic download distributors.
To learn more about the show and Bodden, visit www.alonzobodden.com or www.speedtv.com.