When Ford came up with a not-so-sporty version of the Pinto and slapped Mustang badges on it in 1974, that was a low point for the Mustang name. When Chrysler applied the venerable Town & Country name on perfectly functional but unglamorous minivans, it saddened many of us. But perhaps the biggest demotion for a once-proud model came when, in 1988, General Motors imported a misery-enhancing Daewoo from Korea and called it the Pontiac LeMans.

1966 Pontiac LeMans

The original Pontiac LeMans was a great-looking midsize car with fairly advanced (for the time) suspension design and engine options including potent V8s and a screaming overhead-cam straight-six. The Daewoo-based Pontiac LeMans was a cramped, shoddy hooptie that served only to ruin the LeMans name forever, while stealing sales from the Suzuki-based Chevrolet Sprint.

2004 Mercury Monterey

Sure, using the once-respected Monterey name on the Mercurized Ford Freestar was bad, but Mercury didn't have long to live at that point. I say the downward spiral of the LeMans name was the most agonizing in automotive history.

What do you think?

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