There are bad car accessories – plenty of them, in fact – but these are the ones that are truly cursed. More than just terrible ideas, there are darker undertones behind the concept of these products that their creators failed to consider… or perhaps simply didn’t care about in their pursuit of your hard-earned.
If you’ve made the mistake of buying any of these, beg to your chosen deity for forgiveness.
Handpresso 12V espresso machine
We question the sanity of anyone who thinks a pressurised vessel filled with scorching-hot liquid is a good thing to have sitting right next to your pelvic region, but that’s precisely what the Handpresso is.
Sure, the company would probably prefer that you only operate its portable espresso coffeemaker when the car is parked, but considering that human beings tend to do dumb things on a regular basis we’ve no doubt that some would be tempted to unleash their inner barista while doing 110km/h down the Hume highway.
“Why does everything smell like a macchiato?” the first responders will say.
Max Burton 12V Oven To Go
“Why does everything smell like lasagne?” the first responders will say.
These are an old favourite of people who’ve just bought their first car. They also happen to be a pox upon humanity.
Essentially a small metal ring that you clamp to your exhaust tip, they’re sold on the premise that they impart a sporty turbo-like whistling note to your car as exhaust gas rushes over it.
In reality, they generate a cranium-splitting banshee screech that’s more suited to Guantanamo Bay interrogation rooms than public roads.
Masochist’s car polisher
We’ll be honest, this one caught our eye because at first glance it looked more like a marital aid than anything automotive, but that’s not why it’s on this list.
Rather, this polishing tool - or to use its full name, the “12V 60W Electric Scratch Repair Tool Car Beauty Maintenance Equipment Auto Cleaning Polishing Machine Car Polisher” – belongs here because it is more ‘cruel joke’ than ‘useful appliance’.
Sure, it could be useful for fiddly detail work and small scratches, but the marketing artwork heavily implies you could use its microscopic head and 12 measly volts to polish an entire car. Technically possible, but likely to drive you insane.
On the face of it, the Tiddy Bear seems wholesome. A soft, cuddly toy bear that’s designed to reduce seatbelt-related chafing on your chest and shoulders, it appears to be the pet project of a bored retiree.
But then you watch its infomercial (above). It’s depicted being used almost exclusively by women in low-cut tops, with enthusiastic testimonials about how thanks to Tiddy Bear they “REALLY enjoy driving again”. It’s made extra unsettling by the fact Tiddy Bear is oriented face-first into your cleavage by design, turning it from an ergonomic aid to something more akin to a lingering hug from a creepy uncle.
Monkey tissue box
Nothing says “nawwww, cute” quite like pulling facial tissues from the plush butt of a toy monkey. If you need an explanation, we have none.
Hermetically-sealed anti-coronavirus screen
You know that scene in American Psycho where Patrick Bateman puts on the clear raincoat and murders his colleague? We reckon he would have appreciated this product and its anti-spatter, upholstery-protecting qualities.
Ostensibly created to protect drivers from potentially virus-riddled passengers, this product just makes you look like a late-stage Howard Hughes… or a serial killer.
Any form of in-car toilet
What’s worse than having to pull over on the freeway and take an emergency leak behind a bush? Whipping out a portable toilet made of thin plastic and praying you don’t get anything on your carpet or upholstery!
Granted, if you’re stuck in traffic then maybe, just maybe, these products might be useful. Some are filled with a gel that turns urine into a stable jelly-like substance to help minimise mess, but the issue here is being able to get that liquid inside it in the first place.
If you’re a slim-thighed Olympic gymnast you might be able to contort your body to the right position, but god help anyone else.