World's Strangest Vehicles, Part 3

"QUANTUM SHOT" #297(rev)
Link - article by Avi Abrams

Cars that are... different

Some are ugly; some are more than ugly, crossing into hideous; some are better looking and possibly better designed than most modern cars - so you get all ends of the spectrum here. Since our last article in this series, we've received many tips about the cars we would not know (or recognize) otherwise. There is no end to people's creativity when it comes to one of most treasured perks of civilization - the automobile. Don't miss Part 1 and Part 2 of this series!

Limos (and custom stretches) with identity disorders

Here is the video of "The World's Longest Limousin", with 26 wheels and counting, plus a helicopter landing pad... Turning a street corner would certainly be a problem:

(image via)

Various Morris Mini limos, old and new:

(images via)

More crazy limo goodness (these would be great to use in modern hip-hop music videos):

Ferrari limos are a "thing" nowadays, too. On the right is the 360 Modena Ferrari stretch limo, the only one in the UK - more info:

(images credit: Ferrari-limos.co.uk)

This super-limo from Japan (the electric-powered KAZ) is all about efficiency and performance, but looks like a mutated caterpillar with a few legs missing. Read more about it here.

(images via)

The car above seems to be designed with a wheel or two too many. Speaking of extra wheels, the configurations shown below perform very well on a racetrack (this is the Tyrrell - P34):

(images via 1, 2)

Off-Roading Beasties

"This abomination was seen at the Star of Texas Fair & Rodeo" - the image on the left was sent to us by Greg Hewgill:

(left image credit: Greg Hewgill; right: original unknown)

This 4-axle SUV looks like a confident rock-climber:

"Fordvette" monster truck is on the left - more info:

(top left image via)

Here is the "Big Foot", seen in Orlando, Florida: a 1996 Ford F250 pickup body with a 460 cu inch V8 for power. Bigfoot weighs 28,000 lbs (12700 kg) and stands 15 feet 6 inches tall. The enormous tires are from the Alaskan Land Train, a vehicle used by the US army in the 1950's.

(images credit: Avi Abrams, Dark Roasted Blend)

What is this "Land Train", you ask? Built by LeTourneau, this was the longest road-train vehicle ever made; it had the crew of six and a 1,200 hp turbine engine... more info here:

(images via)

Here is another cool-looking vintage off-road vehicle: the "Mobile Geological Laboratory" GEOLAB from 1970:

(image from "A Source Book of Unusual Vehicles" by Gordon and Marjorie Davies)

The all-electric off-road GEM vehicle is actually tricked-out ATV variation, jacked up and ready to frolic in the dunes:

(images via)

Can't make a "strange vehicle" article without mentioning some little-known variations on SUV theme from Russia:

A rare Soviet van concept from 1966 (left image below), and another rare Russian sports car concept (they did not seem to take better pictures at that time in Russia):

And then there was the Soviet Premier Leonid Brezhnev's super-exclusive all-wheel-drive "Volga" modification. Only 5 copies of Gaz-24-95 have been made for the communist leader, who liked to use it for his hunting social events in the country:

(images and more info here)

In our own archives we found this mysterious Russian concept (which seems to be amphibious, too):

Trust the Russians to mix a tractor with a sports car:

Holland produced some weird-looking cars, too - this is the first Dutch post-war car "Gatso":

(images credit: Modern Mechanix)

Coming back to modern times, there's a new rage (or rather, hype) about the canopied car/bike vehicle types, which are growing in popularity, at least in Europe:

Monotracer, the epitome of cool?

"MonoTracer" from the Swiss company Peraves (who also for many years built the iconic "Ecomobile") is a fun sporty vehicle. As Ferry Porsche once said: "The last car to be built on earth would surely be a sports car". The Monotracer can be a perfect combination of a touring motorcycle and a powerful sports car. It's a cabin motorcycle performance vehicle, with the only obvious drawback - the price. For 52,000 Euros you can also buy yourself a Mercedes SLK model.

They do, however, promise the performance of the likes of Porsche 911. Acceleration 0-100 kph (0-62 mph) = 5.7 sec. Top speed in excess of 250 kph. (155 mph) -

(images credit: Peraves)

Here is the older EcoMobile model, quite popular in Switzerland (they have been seen there for 15 years already). Eric Mortelmans tipped us of its existence and said that it was a fantastic experience to drive in one. The company covered 12 million miles on the "Ecomobile" tours around the globe, crisscrossing USA without a single technical problem, according to their site.

(images credit: Micheal Moore (MaxPower))

Vehicles from the same school of thought as the "Monotracer" should include The Carver, which we mentioned in Future Tech 2 article. The Carver has been covered by guys at Top Gear (who were absolutely ecstatic about it!) and indeed seems to offer a perfectly exhilarating ride for a self-balancing vehicle:

(images credit: Carver)

The Dynamic Vehicle Control (DVC) automatically tilts the cabin, depending on the steering input, speed and acceleration of the vehicle, much like a motorcycle.

Another iteration of the same idea: the "Acabion GTO", which is a neat little airplane... er, bike. It's meant to be taken seriously - after all, "Acabion" is technically the world's fastest production car at 342 mph!

(images credit and more pics: Autoblog)

The Mercedes Company also weighs in on the concept: they unveiled the F-300 LifeJet way back in 1997 at the Frankfurt International Motor Show:

Consider it a joke, but all these vehicles seem to stem from this futuristic golf cart:

(image via)

More strange roadster concepts: here is the Corbis "Merlin" from 2001 -

(image via)

Another futuristic-looking older concept: "Modulo" from Pininfarina, 1970:

(images via)

Tri-Magnum was offered as DIY kit "car" since 1983 (watch the video here):

(images credit: Tri-Magnum)

A Potpourri of Weirdness

There is something about this idea (left image below): combine an 18-wheeler with a convertible! On the right is one hot tractor:

School buses frequently become a victim of malicious customization:

(bottom right image credit: Tom Kennedy)

Read more about this topsy-turvy school bus here. Created by ever-amazing Tom Kennedy it really makes you scratch your head!

A wooden wonder, Hentai-style (left); and a device to dirty up your legs (right):

Vehicles as Art

The beauty, as always, is in the eye of a beholder! Check out these real-life versions of the classic Hanna-Barbera "Wacky Races" cartoon cars:

(sent in by Laura Adler)

Ring...Ring... Read about the car on the right here:

(images via)

Mercedes car covered in pens? Yes, you heard it right. Lots of pens; the more pens, the merrier! See the owner's website for information:

(image credit: Costas Schuler)

On the left you can see the bamboo-camouflaged WWII Willys; and on the right.... Oh no, not another shoe car! -

Product-branded (Promotional) Cars

Cars of this type are often the weirdest examples of the "kitsch" art, or even of "marketing gone wrong". Seriously, would you be reconsidering your buying preferences and brand loyalties, looking at these gaudy creatures? There were lots of promotional cars produced, back in the 1930s-1960s, and most were of a very questionable taste... but here are some of these vehicles that we like (sort of):

The "Pep-O-Mint", 1918, with driver sitting in the middle of the "O" - more info:

(image credit: George W. Green)

Can't beat the "Zippo" car for sheer weirdness, even though it was based on 1947 Chrysler Saratoga New Yorker (check out these neon flames):

(images credit: Brian Shorey, Jake Petersen)

The following car is such a classic, that it transcends the "genre": Planters made out of a nameless RV:

Neatorama documents more instances of marketing-inspired vehicle madness.

Other Creative Means of Transportation

Not necessarily "cars", these wheeled beauties will bring you to your destination in all kinds of styles, with the added bonus of attracting large crowd of on-lookers. And it costs only $1,023 USD! -

This one is actually pretty neat. Subtitled "Surf Your Life!", this Easy Glider from Switzerland can revolutionize the commuting office crowd, turning them into a wild bunch of boarders:

(images credit: Easy Glilder)

What IS this thing?? - Well, turns out it's a "HyperBike". Powered by both arms and legs and capable of speeds up to 50 mph. See more here and here.

(images via)

Car on Legs. Next we'll see some legs, mounted on cars.

After all, it's nice to have your car run to you, make circles around you, and almost wiggle its tail, isn't it?

Article by Avi Abrams, Dark Roasted Blend.





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Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'd like to add
to your collection: http://www.okatuning.com.ru/oka-tuning-!works.htm

A bit of fake (I suppose), but fun


Anonymous John Silver said...

The Mean Green exists:


Anonymous Jim-Bob said...

One of the vehicles pictured is actually a production variant of the Lada Niva called the "Marsh". It's intended for areas with lots of wetlands and heavy snowfall, thus the wide tires. If you go on Avtovaz's (Lada) website, you can order one!

Blogger Graham Clayton said...

A lesser-known motor racing 6-wheeler - John Stirk's late 1970's BRISCA Formula 1 stock-car:



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