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10 Ugliest NASCAR Paint Schemes of All-Time


10. 1998 No. 9 Cartoon Network Ford Taurus

1998 No. 9 Cartoon Network Ford Taurus — Lake Speed

Yabba Dabba DON’T. In the late '90's NASCAR was prime time—but this is one paint job that should’ve been cancelled. Lake Speed is a former World Karting Champion, defeating the likes of seven-time Formula One champion Michael Schumacher, but I don’t think Schuey or even Ralf would have the bad taste to pilot this sled in public. Truth be told, there were a number of Cartoon Network paint schemes that season, however, this one is particularly hideous. 

—by Vito Pugliese

9. 1998 No. 13 First Plus Financial Ford

1998 No. 13 First Plus Financial Ford — Jerry Nadeau 

If you’ve watched HBO’s "Hard Knocks" this season, you know that the Miami Dolphins, for the most part, suck. Really bad. Kind of like this paint job. What better way to strike fear into the heart of “The Intimidator” than with teal and orange? Not even a federal bailout could save this doomed team and franchise — there’s probably a reason why not many owners are clamoring to run No. 13, even if it was their jersey number. 

8. 2008 No. 24 Nicorette Chevrolet — Jeff Gordon

2008 No. 24 Nicorette Chevrolet — Jeff Gordon

Why is “Four-Time” a little upset? Because he has to wheel this gawd-awful car around Las Vegas Motor Speedway four years ago. It was the first iteration of the Car of Tomorrow as well, which combined helps move the ugly needle exponentially. How bad is it? So bad that it could literally drive you to start smoking rather than quit, and repulsive enough that Gordon drove it head-on into a non-SAFER Barrier wall and flung the radiator out of it on the final lap (just for good measure).

7. 1998 No. 44 Blues Brothers 2000 Pontiac

1998 No. 44 Blues Brothers 2000 Pontiac — Kyle Petty 

What is it with the late '90s and bad taste? I guess that helps explain The Backstreet Boys, N’Sync and 98 Degrees. Kyle Petty was pushing the sequel that should never have been allowed to be made, even as a straight-to-video offering. Without Jake, there should have never been Elwood, and coming off “The Big Lebowski,” Goodman should’ve bowed out on top of his game. What’s worse is that his primary Hot Wheels paint scheme (and the whole idea of Hot Wheels in NASCAR) was actually pretty awesome. This? Not awesome.

6. 1994 No. 94 McDonald’s Mac Tonight Ford

1994 No. 94 McDonald’s Mac Tonight Ford — Bill Elliott  

First of all, I find Bill Elliott driving anything other than a No. 9 Coors car hateful, but I will abide a No. 9 Dodge. So long as it’s No. 9. This thing though … what is Mac Tonight anyway? McDonald’s created this guy back in late '80s/early '90s to either cash in on Jay Leno and Ray Charles’ popularity, or to thoroughly creep people out. “Lunar Craters” is my new term for really bad acne scars, and this guy has them in spades. Awesome, Bill? I think not.

5. 1997-2012 M&M’s Pontiac/Ford/Toyota

1997-2012 Nos. 36, 38, 18, M&M’s Pontiac/Ford/Toyota — Ken Schrader, Elliott Sadler, David Gilliland and Kyle Busch

Okay, truth time: The M&M’s car sucks. First of all, it’s yellow, the color of the Peanut M&M’s bag. Nothing is worse than Peanut M&M’s. You think you’re getting a handful of milk chocolate goodness, only to nearly bust a tooth on the Trojan Horse of snacks. God forbid you’re allergic to peanuts — these could be lethal. Between that, the “scarred” M&M on the tail panel, the “sultry” green girl M&M and then the dopey red one … can’t do it anymore, Mars. 

4. 1995 No. 12 Mane ‘n Tail Ford

1995 No. 12 Mane 'n Tail Ford — Derrike Cope

Kind of a funny sponsorship for Cope, seeing as that a few years later he was hocking hair growth treatment. Would have been an even better sponsor for the former No. 12 driver Jimmy Spencer. For the first half of the year, I thought this was literally for horses. I hear one of the Cope twins needs some cash for Charlotte … and you know all about those two and the fried-platinum blond locks — maybe Mane 'n Tail has its avenue for re-entry into the sport.

3. Marty Robbins … Just “Marty Robbins”

Marty Robbins … Just “Marty Robbins”

How bad was the Dodge Magnum? Bad enough that The King himself bailed mid-season in 1978 to start driving Oldsmobiles and Chevrolets, effectively severing what had been a 17-year association with Chrysler (this also coincided with mother Mopar bailing on NASCAR). Country singer Marty Robbins seemed to like his, however. Not sure what he was thinking with the color combination. It’s like there was a head-on collision at a lemonade stand, and … we all lost. 

2. 2005 Furniture Row Racing — Jerry Robertson

2005 Furniture Row Racing — Jerry Robertson

I wonder what the thought process was behind this one? “Because Brown is such a beautiful hue, let’s throw some yellow on top of it, like it’s mustard running all over a cow pie.” The more I look at it, the more it starts shifting shapes. The yellow looks like a decaying tooth if you stare at it for a few seconds. No wonder why they went to a flat black paint job. It’ll hopefully prevent more of these unfortunate incidents from reaching the racetrack.

1. 2000 No. 3 GM Goodwrench Chevrolet

2000 No. 3 GM Goodwrench Chevrolet Peter Max Scheme — Dale Earnhardt

At first thought, this might get a rock thrown through my front window with a death threat attached, but even Senior fans have to admit that this was just a really, really bad idea. Back when “The All-Star Race” was “The Winston,” it would bring about some pretty nifty paint jobs as a way to sell some die-casts, which were a hot property at the time. This, however, makes the blood run cold. What is going on here? It’s like some hyper-active eight-year old just barfed a bowl of Trix down the seven-time champ’s hood at highway speed. The only thing yellow I ever remember about the No. 3 was the Wrangler machine, and I prefer to keep it this way, thank you. Purge this one from the memory bank.