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5 Ridiculous Special Edition Cars

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author photo by Doug DeMuro January 2017

In the automotive world, "Special Edition" is actually a code word that means something else. Normally, it doesn't signify something "special," but rather a car model that an automaker is having trouble selling, which means they've resorted to a "Special Edition" badge to convince people it's more exciting than it actually is.

Indeed, automotive "Special Editions" are usually far from special -- and I've listed five that are particularly unimpressive. This list, it should be noted, is far from all-inclusive. On the contrary, I could probably make a "Top 200" list of ridiculous automotive special editions. But we'll start with these five.

Bugatti Veyron Special Editions

Bugatti Veyron Special Editions

At some point during the production run of the Bugatti Veyron supercar, it became tremendously clear to everyone that the Veyron wasn't really going to reach 300 units of production in its normal state. So Bugatti began creating an enormous amount of special edition models with names such as Grand Spot Vitesse and Grand Sport Venet and Grand Sport Vitesse Legend and Grand Sport Vitesse La Finale and Grand Sport Xerox Machine and Grand Sport Ceiling Fan and probably others. By the end, virtually every Veyron was one-of-one. My personal favorite was the Grand Sport L'Or Blanc, which, as you can see in this photograph, was heinous.

Buick Regal Joseph Abboud Edition

Buick Regal Joseph Abboud Edition

Ahh, the Buick Regal Joseph Abboud Edition. Released around 2000 to help save the ailing Buick Regal in the face of newer rivals, all of which were far better, the Buick Regal Joseph Abboud Edition was an unusual tie-up between Buick and the mens' fashion line. Did the Joseph Abboud Edition come with a free suit? Custom tailoring? A gorgeous quilted interior, finished to perfection? No. It had two-tone seats. That was about it.

Indianapolis 500 Pace Car Editions

Indianapolis 500 Pace Car Editions

Be honest: There's nothing more ridiculous than an Indy 500 Pace Car special edition. Now, I think the whole tradition of having some cool new American car pace the Indianapolis 500 is kind of cool -- but I think the hundreds of cars they make afterwards with the Indy 500 Pace Car Logo inexplicably printed on the door are a little less cool. Why do they do this? Why do they make these "pace car clones" that never actually paced the Indy 500? And, more importantly, why do people who own these pace car clones think they're worth a multi-thousand-dollar price premium over a regular model?

Jeep Grand Cherokee Orvis Edition

Jeep Grand Cherokee Orvis Edition

The Jeep Grand Cherokee Orvis Edition is one of my all-time favorite special editions, and I've written about it here on Oversteer before. Specifically, the Orvis Edition came out at a time when it seemed like every other automaker was teaming up with a clothing company -- like Ford and Eddie Bauer, and even Mercury and Nautica. So Jeep followed suit, and the result was the Orvis Edition, which was a normal Grand Cherokee Limited that had green seats. I am completely serious. It had a little Orvis logo on the outside, and it had green seats on the inside. How special.

Lincoln Aviator Kitty Hawk Edition

Lincoln Aviator Kitty Hawk Edition

The Lincoln Aviator was one of Lincoln's many duds of the past two decades, as it was basically a Ford Explorer with slightly different bodywork and barely any additional luxury or high-end equipment. The car-buying public largely sensed this and stayed away in droves, leading to an early cancellation -- but not before Lincoln could debut the highly exciting Aviator Kitty Hawk Edition. Apparently named due to the tie-in with the "Aviator" name, the 100th anniversary of powered flight, and Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, where the Wright Brothers first flew their airplane, the Aviator Kitty Hawk Edition was loaded with a chrome grille, chrome wheels, special wood trim and a couple of "Kitty Hawk" logos. Stunningly, this wasn't enough to save the Aviator from its demise.

Doug DeMuro is an automotive journalist who has written for many online and magazine publications. He once owned a Nissan Cube and a Ferrari 360 Modena. At the same time.

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5 Ridiculous Special Edition Cars - Autotrader