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10 Vehicle Front Ends That Have Stirred Controversy

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Love 'em or (usually) hate 'em: Auto123 presents 10 vehicles that have stirred up controversy with their polarising front ends.

A few weeks ago, BMW presented the new generation of its 4 Series coupe, and more than anything, more than the new tech and the new powertrain, what most got folks talking? That huge front grille. Some people love it, while others are accusing the automaker of extreme bad taste, if not outright heresy.

From our perch as grizzled industry watchers, we can say, however, that this isn't the first time in history that a car’s front end made people talk. And argue. In fact it’s happened dozens, if not hundreds of times.

For the heck of it, Auto123 looked back in time and chose 10 models, including the new 4 Series, that elicited strong reactions when they first showed their noses. We proceed in order of chronology, not of ugliness. Because beauty is in the eye of the beholder, after all…

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1 — 1934 Brewster

1934 Brewster
Photo: RM Auctions
1934 Brewster

Imagine this: at the onset of the 1930s, the Brewster company was already 120 years old. It had made a name for itself as a carriage-maker in the early 19th century. The firm’s attention was drawn to the newfangled automobile in the early 1900s, and it produced its first models starting in 1915.

The crash of 1929 hit Brewster hard, however, and in the early 1930s it was looking for some way forward. One of them was to acquire 135 Ford V8 chassis and rework them to offer an original product. The “new” model was presented at the New York Auto Show in 1934 and was critically acclaimed, mainly because of, you guessed it, its very different front grille. Today, you could say that classic-car lovers have a love/hate relationship with this model.

1934 Brewster, three-quuarters front
Photo: RM Auctions
1934 Brewster, three-quuarters front