10 American sports cars that will ruin you with maintenance and repairs

The line between muscle cars and sports cars is often blurred, any more than with American automakers.

Any car is expensive to develop, but getting one sports car the law still costs much more, especially in terms of research and development. As a rule, sports cars also prioritize performance, which makes this development time all the more important. This is something that has never been welcomed by large companies, because downtime means loss.

Although the Corvette name is big, there are few other genuine sports cars that have established themselves on the world stage. Generally unreliable and always heavy on maintenance, these are some of the worst sports cars money can buy.

Related: 10 American pickup trucks that will bankrupt you with maintenance and repairs

10/10 DeLorean DMC-12

1981 DeLorean DMC-12 cropped
via mecum.com

The DeLorean story is one that just can’t be said in one entry. It’s a long and winding story that ended quite tragically. One look at the brushed stainless steel body and you’ll quickly realize how beautiful the DeLorean is in person. The photographs don’t do it justice.

1981 DeLorean DMC-12 2 cropped
via mecum.com

It’s incredibly low to the ground and those butterfly doors only add to the theatricality. Unfortunately, all that design work was undone by the woeful PVR-sourced V6 engine, which thankfully wiped out performance, mechanical reliability and drivability in one fell swoop.

9/10 Bricklin SV-1

Briklin SV-1 - Front
Via bring a trailer

If you want to split hairs, these are technically Canadian cars. In their infinite wisdom, they chose an AMC V8, the already heavy polycarbonate (plastic) body had to be dragged along by an underpowered, low-emission engine that liked to eat its own oil pump.

Orange 1975 V8-powered Bricklin SV-1
Via: Mecum

It turned out that the build quality was lower than most regular cars. It was also more dangerous than them, and even slower than them too.

8/10 Chevy Camaro

Chevrolet Camaro - Front
By ClassicCars

The first thing that might come to mind when you think of this generation Camaro is the Iron Duke, which was another kind of awful, but not really high maintenance.

Chevrolet Camaro - Rear
By ClassicCars

Unfortunately, the high-performance V8 didn’t have much power either, and getting them back into shape isn’t worth the effort these days, thanks to their low value. The vast majority of these cars are barely worth scrap value today.

Related: How a new Chevrolet Chevelle could take GM’s muscle crown away from the Camaro

7/10 Avanti

Studebaker Avanti
via bring a trailer

We are all now well aware that betting on a sports car ended up being a pretty bad move for Studebaker. The Avanti looks nice and runs well, but it just didn’t sell well, mostly due to its fiberglass construction, which made it look more like a kit car.

Via Bat

It will then be sold in this kit car form until 2006 (above). The original Avanti made by Studebaker is now an expensive classic, but these kit cars are unfortunately a bit hit and miss, varying wildly in quality. Nothing is more expensive than someone else’s project.

6/10 Ford GT

Doug DeMuro Ford GT Full Front Sunset View
via Doug DeMuro’s YouTube channel

The GT was actually developed under a cloud of hype and speculation. The cost was and still is exorbitant, and the end product, well, mediocre.

2005 Ford GT
Via: Netcarshow

Supercars and hypercars are advancing quite quickly. So while these cars are all collectibles, they aren’t that fast by modern standards and will most likely be blown away by a regular Tesla Model 3. However, they still cost as much as any supercar to maintain.

5/10 Excalibur

VIa: Mecum

What makes the Excalibur so strange is the fact that it is now a classic car, based on a vintage car. Thousands of them were made in Milwaukee, and the prices are oddly on the rise.

1967 Excalibur Series I SSK Roadster
Via: BringaTrailer

This is arguably one of the ugliest cars you can get today, but taste is subjective. What isn’t is the fact that the build quality was never great to begin with and replacing all the non-mechanical parts will cost a fortune today as you will have to have them reconditioned .

4/10 Saturn Sky

Front 3/4 view of a red Saturn Sky Red Line

The Saturn badge has only served to confuse everyone, including GM themselves, and it’s nothing but an Opel by any other name.

Rear 3/4 view of a red Saturn Sky Red Line

This particular Opel had a lot of potential, but was let down by the same shoddy build quality and plastic interiors that plague all 2000s GM products.

Related: 10 American SUVs that will bankrupt you with maintenance and repairs

3/10 Dodge the Viper

1995 Dodge Viper R/T 10 muscle car wallpaper hd
Via Broad Arrow Auctions

Dodge broke the mold when they released this monster V10 in the 90s. It’s the right kind of different and arguably one of the finest American sports cars ever made.

1996 Dodge Viper GTS V10 blue engine
I detailYouTube

It’s also a really fun way to die, because there are no safety nets and rolling up the back is even easier than you might think (yes, even easier). Rolling up the rear will also cost thousands of dollars each time, thanks to the sheer size of those rear tires.

2/10 Ford Mustang SVO

1984 Ford Mustang SVO
Via: Mecum

Of all the crazy things to do, the SVO wasn’t a bad idea, it was just poorly executed. Taking a heavy-duty engine and adding a turbo is a great way to gain power.

Ford Mustang SVO
Via: Bring a Trailer

Sadly, that’s literally all Ford did, they added a turbo, no upgraded cooling, no intercooler, nothing. Small wonder these are maintenance nightmares.

1/10 Chevrolet Corvette C3

Via: Favcars

The biggest issue with the C3 is the fact that it’s made mostly of fiberglass. Working with fiberglass is a somewhat lost art, especially in the automotive world.

Via: Favcars

For any bodywork, you just might end up in a shipyard, and they won’t hesitate to charge extra to work on something unfamiliar (although it’s as long as most boats).

Source: Hemmings, YouTube

About Dwight E. McCray

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