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World's Strangest Vehicles, Part 4


"QUANTUM SHOT" #404(rev)
Link - article by Avi Abrams




Sheer Auto Adrenaline!

Spotting such vehicles in our usual boring stream of traffic can be as rewarding as catching a smile of a beautiful woman - or on the contrary, may only produce a yelp of disbelief "what in the name of Motoring Mother Mary was THAT?"

Another entry in our popular "World's Strangest Vehicles" series, this article is chock-full of surprising, and wildly confusing designs, some of which only their mother (i. e. their creators) would love.

We'll start with some vintage coolness: this "truck/passenger trailer" scores on many points. It's rare, spectacularly different, and Swiss-made:


(image credit: Vitaly Volkov)

"This vehicle was used in Zürich airport to bring passenger from terminal to the planes. Picture taken in the Swiss transportation museum in Lüzern (note: the thing above cab that looks like gun doesn't belong to this truck; it's water-gun of a fire truck that stands behind)"


This wonderful creation is the Fiat Multipla beach vehicle from the 1960s:


(images credit: Spiny, Brian Snelson)


The "Modulo" from Pininfarina, 1970 (this was back when every Italian concept car invariably became an instant classic):




Now, let's see what automotive weirdness can be spotted on modern streets and parking lots. How about ... the T-Rex vehicle? A bizarre and futuristic-looking enough to come from some obscure Star Wars concept art. The amazing thing is that it's currently in production by the Campagna Corporation located in Quebec, and has been commercially available since the early 1990s:




Futuristically styled by Deutschman Designers, the "T-Rex" provides ferocious performance, getting from 0-100 km per hour in just 3.92 seconds with a topspeed of 220 km/h:


(images via)


New Zealander Alex Hodge has come up with a similarly wild vehicle to give the "T-Rex" concept some competition. Take a look at the "Hawk":


(images via)


Colvini's 6-wheeled sports car looks pretty nifty and offers more traction for cornering and braking:



(images credit: Colvini)


Speaking of supercars, this one is rarely mentioned and little-known, although it certainly looks the part. The MC-1, made in cooperation between C2P Automotive and MotorCity Europe, boasts very sharp design by David Hilton:


(images via)


Future is friendly... and full of beautiful curves

Getting back to vintage cool designs, we have to mention concept vehicles created for the British "UFO" TV series. They were exceptionally sexy in the combination with futuristic ladies, posing in and around them:





(images credit: Cloudster, UFO series)


Moon Vehicles that did not make it to the Moon

In its heyday NASA has come up with multiple ideas and concept designs for Moon exploration on wheels (and some variation of tracks) - here are the Lunar Rovers that were introduced in the 1960s:




An early Grumman LSS Rover concept, this one dates from 1963 (this vehicle was designed to be launched and delivered to the Moon inside a single Saturn V rocket):




(image via)

"This is a photo of Mike Vacarro(NASA MSFC) and Hayden Grubbs (Brown Engineering) siuted up and preparing to do a human factor exercise and behind them is the NASA Marshall Space Flight Center MOBLAB Simulator."


(Early NASA MSFC/Northrop MOLAB Concept, via)


This unusual "reinvented wheel" concept is the Grumman Lunar Roving Vehicle from 1965 - more info:


(image via)


The Lunar Worm! This Planetary Roving Vehicle Concept was introduced by Philco Corp. in 1966. "It was a bellows-concept mobile vehicle which could 'inch' its way across almost any kind of lunar surface." (more info)


(image via)


This "2001: A Space Odyssey"-styled Mobile Geological Laboratory concept was built by General Motors in 1966, and delivered to the USGS Center of Astrogeology at Flagstaff, Arizona:


(image via)

More of these awesome machines can be seen here.


The Ultimate Limousine: The Wingless 727

This is really hard to beat: take a used Boeing 727, get rid of its wings and customize it into a most luxurious and biggest limo on the planet! This is exactly what Mexican Vaca Meters Limos company did to immortalize itself in the annals of strangest vehicle producers:


(image credit: av8rdan)

"Up to 50 passengers can boogie on a dance floor, make a pit stop at a bar or retire to a "romantic" space in the back of the luxury aircraft/automobile." Top speed: 200 kilometers (124 miles) an hour, it has a six-cylinder, turbocharged diesel engine in the back and air brakes and suspension. The company plans to offer similar ultimate coaches to clientele in the US.

More interesting limos and stretches:




Eye-Catching Art Cars

This traditional section of our series deals with outrageous avantgarde and art vehicles (which some art critics would love and the others would immediately donate to the Kidney Foundation).

The vehicle on the left seems to be a knock-off of the "Camera Van" by Harrod Blank. On the right is the Big Bang Theory by Eric Staller:


(right image credit: Eric Staller)


Eric Staller's creations are uniformly weird and marvelously tongue-in-cheek, as this automotive marvel (left image below) clearly illustrates: it's called a "Roly-Poly" and it would look awesome cruising Las Vegas - watch it rolling and lighting up with neon lights at the same time:


(images credit: Eric Staller)


Here is a car covered in corks (left), a car that breathes dragon steam, and car that... well, grins:




Also check out these Communist Propaganda mobiles, made from standard trucks specifically for proletarian parade appearances:




Ugliness Turns Heads

That's the only explanation we can think of, to justify the existence of some of the disproportioned and mis-concieved vehicles featured here.

Mockingly described as "It might fly, if it had wings - or an engine", this example of crazy styling comes from reputable Italian design firm Ghia. The strange exterior is somewhat compensated by the cool aircraft-type steering wheel inside:


(images credit: Modern Mechanix)


Left image below: This is not a VW Beetle any more (only the "eyes", or er, headlights, are left... after what seems to be an extensive car surgery). This vehicle looks similar to the legendary Dave Major's propellor cars:



Right image above: a half of a car, and an ugly one at that... What could possibly be the reasoning behind this??


Similarly one-sided (wooden!!) car from Ukraine - more info:




The Monkees-mobile (some say "there is no excuse for bad taste", but we think it's groovy, shaggadelic, and totally "fab") -




Do not mess with this undertaker: this is the "Kargoyle" by Brett Barris - with a traveling Kasket beer keg included! (made for the movie "Terror on Wheels" that was released in 1980's) -


(image credit: Barris)


This "Aaah! Uuugly!" moment obviously is created for the sake of art:


(image credit: Andy Saunders)


The prize for intentional ugliness goes to this monster:




Miscellaneous Tinkering

Apparently, someone in a Siberian village in the middle of nowhere got infected by the custom car fever... Here is a vintage wonder, courtesy of Danila -


(images credit: Danila)


Old used cars make good trailers:


(right image via)


Macho School Bus:




"The Vampire" rocket-dragster, that nearly killed "Top Gear" presenter Richard Hammond in 2006 (video of the the crash) -




Customized Gyroscope/ Segway units:




That would be Photoshop, sir - (the Russian text says "Everything is Possible"):




Perhaps the most fascinating vehicle -

...is the Japanese Land-Walker Exoskeleton, created by the Sakakibara Kikai company. It's over 3 meters in height, and weighing in at 1000kg (2,205 lbs), so to see it waking around is quite an impressive sight. It's powered by a 250 cc engine and controlled by the operator with the help of custom computer software. Amazingly, you can order your own Land Walker for only $350,000 (£185,000):


See the video of this unit walking here. You can walk around your neighborhood, scaring bejesus out of the sleepy elderly populace.

Article by Avi Abrams, Dark Roasted Blend.


READ THE PREVIOUS PART! ->


READ PART ONE ->

READ PART TWO ->

CHECK OUT THE REST OF "AUTO" CATEGORY ->





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YOUR COMMENTS::

7 Comments:

Anonymous Jim-Bob said...

The blue Geo Metro was actually built for improved fuel economy. It managed 75mpg with the body mods and a few mechanical changes like a very tall final drive. For comparison, my daily driven mildly modified Metro (with a mildly taller than stock final drive ratio) can only hit 50-55 mpg on the highway and 40-45mpg in town. While this may not seem impressive compared to some hybrids, it is important to note that the Metro is not a hybrid car. It only has a 55hp 3 cylinder engine, but weighs less than 1700lbs.

As for the car identified as a Beetle, it appears that the center section is the body from a Messerschmidt micro car of the 1950's.

___  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

TV Truck

http://www.artcaragency.com/gallery/tv-truck-art-car-by-dan-lohaus/

http://www.nytimes.com/1999/11/07/nyregion/neighborhood-report-times-square-a-tv-quiz-show-that-can-stop-traffic.html?n=Top%2fReference%2fTimes%20Topics%2fSubjects%2fT%2fTelevision

___  
Anonymous Max said...

As even a quick, superficial image search uncovers, the "half car" (not the Russian one - the blue American one) was apparently modified for better aerodynamics and weight, to get a better mileage. Which it allegedly did get: http://metrompg.com/posts/xfi-aero-car.htm

___  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That's the great Formula One driver Graham Hill trying to extricate himself from the second "UFO" gullwing car to the amusement of the beautiful lady and the crowd. "Watch your head, Graham!".

___  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Loved those UFO cars, note that there was no mechanism for assisting or holding the doors open - there is a rod in every picture. During filming an off-screen worker would assist with opening the doors.

Sadly, their condition is very worse for wear:

Paul Foster Car: http://epguides.com/comics/shado/foster.shtml

Ed Straker Car:
http://epguides.com/comics/shado/straker.shtml

___  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Too bad nobody posts the beautiful and sleek "Penis Mobile" once posted on the Steppenwolf album "For Women Only". It wasan actual car built on a Model A Ford chassis, and driven around LA on a daily basis. The front(head) was painted purple and the 2 rear fenders were the balz. Beautiful workmanship. Wonder if it still exists? It would surely be a porn museum piece.

___  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The car that breathes dragon steam is actually purging his nitrous oxide system.

___  

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