World's Strangest Vehicles, Part 2

"QUANTUM SHOT" #226(rev)
Link - article by Avi Abrams

The Weirdest Means of Transportation

"Automotive wrongness, some of it so wrong it emerges on the far side of the veil as a new kind of right..." --Jay Lake

As we've seen in Part 1 of this series, some cars can be made without wheels, tracks or skis (and still get places just fine, thank you), others may not even require an engine, while some vehicles are so strange that can hardly be called "cars" anymore. On top of all that, some car designers must have something against drivers, judging by profoundly befuddling and non-user-friendly setups they come up with. In most cases, though, these experimental machines do get around quite well (sometimes even more efficiently than traditional vehicles), and almost certainly turn into prized collection items. So pick your favorites and marvel at the audacity of engineering in "The World's Weirdest Cars & Bikes", Part Two.

The Extraordinary "Peugeot Design" Competitions

French company Peugeot is one of the most active firms in advancing and promoting cutting-edge automotive design. It not only regularly comes up with wonderful Peugeot concept cars (more so than many other companies), but it also hosts fabulous annual design competitions, which consistently yield most unusual vehicle ideas:

(images credit: Peugeot)

The 2000 Peugeot VrooMster:

(images credit: Peugeot)

The Peugeot Bobslid:

The Peugeot Moonster is perhaps the most radical design submitted to Peugeot. Marko Lukovic won the competition back in 2001, with this super-fluid, utterly reflective form. Just looking at this car is an experience in itself, not to mention encountering it in traffic. "Close Encounters of the Peugeot Kind"? (we just had to say it):

(images credit: Supercars.net)

Speaking of reflective finishes, take a look at this more recent Peugeot Onyx concept debuted at the 2012 Paris Motor Show from Automobile Magazine. Confused? Well, the bottom image revelas more conventional car forms when seen from another angle:

(image via)

One of our all-time favorite Peugeot concepts is 2005 Peugeot Moovie, by a Portuguese designer André Costa - more info:

(image via)

German company Jetcar offers this highly-customizable fuel-efficient vehicle (they've tried to keep the body very slim in profile, in order to minimize wind exposure):

(image credit: Göran Gnaudschun)

Another great aerodynamic offering is this rare M-505 Adams Brothers Probe 16, made in 1969:

By the way, it also appeared in Staley Kubrick's "Clockwork Orange" movie:

(right image via)

This is actually an interesting, streamlined shape, which found its further expression in the Sterling "Nova" 1972 kit car:

(images via)

"The Zoop Car" is the electrical vehicle capable of speeds up to 120 mph, designed by Maison de Courrèges:

(image via)

Promotional vehicles advertising a certain brand are often pretty wild-looking, too. On the right you see the famous Wienermobile, which has become a cultural icon since its introduction in 1938:

Last word in car audio? - turn your rear window into a one humongous subwoofer. Sure, why not:

(image via)

Interesting Toyota concept vehicles

These mechanized mobility suits "i-foot" and "i-unit", perhaps, should not even be called "cars" in a conventional sense of the word (these units can climb stairs and do any other number of mobility tricks). These concepts were presented as part of "The Wonders of Living and Moving Freely" and "The New Relationship Between People and Vehicles" exhibitions:

(image via)

Also strange-looking are the latest Toyota miniature urban vehicles i-ROAD, utilizing cool turns and angles of lightcycles of the "Tron" movie fame (left image below; on the right is the "i-real" unit):

(image via)

Speaking of experimental not-a-car means of transportation, check out this Exoskeleton Springwalker: this incredible invention allows the "brave soul testing it" (or perhaps the military?) to run at 35 MPH and jump 5 feet into the air - more info:

(images via; left photo by Brian Smale)

Eliica: the very fast electric car

This Japanese car runs on lithium-ion batteries and can reach speed of 370 km/h (230 mph):

(images credit: Gearlive)

This car has eight wheels for better traction, cool aerodynamic shape and takes 10 hours to fully charge the battery from your usual residential plug: all this fades in comparison to latest advances in electric car technology, but still worth a mention:

Outrageous Art Cars

Of course, this is simply "modification for the sake of art". Or maybe "modification because they can". Or simply "because".

The Sunflower art car (shown at the 2002 Houston Art Car Parade, left image). On the right is the Austin art car "monstrosity":

(images credit: Sunflower, Austin Art Car)

Here is a giant bug art car (solar-powered) at the "Burning Man" event (left image). On the right is another art car from "Burning Man" - a giant skull:

(images credit: Mayhem, Electrifying times)

"Finjet" is the Argentinian art car made from three Mercedes station wagons, parts and all:

(image credit: Paul McRae)

This beautiful Art Deco car is called "Phantoms"; it's based on a 1936' Bugatti Atlantic classic automobile, re-imagined by WT Burge of Houston, Texas:

(images via; bottom image credit: Paul McRae)

The "Camera Van" creation by Harrod Blank - more info:

(images credit: Harrod Blank)

There is plenty of "art & conceptual cars" to see at this link. Many are simple modifications, or basic "kit car" enhancements, but there are some genuine masterpieces - for example, this pinnacle of wild car design:

The "Carthedral" by Rebecca Caldwell

Imagine the full-size "Gothic Cathedral" 1971 Cadillac (with a VW Beetle stuck somewhere on top of the hearse, for good measure) - complete with the flying buttresses, arched stained glass windows and (of course) gargoyles:

(images credit: Harrod Blank, Gothic Revue)

"Nameless" Wonders (sadly, unidentified):

Raising 'em up, for a better view... the car on the right is likely a Photoshop job:

Redneck monster truck concoctions:

Put the engine in a coffin, see what transpires. On the right you can see the... horse-powered car! -

And... there is a vehicle for all couch potatoes out there: the Couch Bike -

(image courtesy B. Durbin)

Article by Avi Abrams, Dark Roasted Blend.





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Anonymous Anonymous said...

The golden star car is the Houston Chronicle newspaper's art car. The picture is from the Houston Art Car Parade.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Tomahawk was produced as "rolling sculpture" not intended to be ridden, and has never been taken beyond 100 mph.


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