You may remember the AMC Gremlin–a strong claimant for ugliest car ever. The Gremlin was produced back in the 70s, but there are still a few around, like this one, which I photographed last year in San Francisco.
The enterprise Java experience today reminds me of this piece of American motoring heritage. The Gremlin was a desperate response to the oil shock. AMC needed a “compact” car, so they took the smallest car they had and chopped it in half. The end result sold surprisingly well, but showed unmistakable signs of the fact that its front and rear were produced by different teams and hastily cobbled together. Needless to say, it was Japanese and European manufacturers who triumphed in the shift toward smaller cars.