Check Out These Absolutely Odd Automobiles In Production
At first glance, cars can seem pretty standard. But look a little closer and you’ll find that some of these beauties are anything but!
From odd-shaped boats to cars so outrageously small your pocket might be jealous, we’ve put together an entertaining list of the weirdest cars in the world – prepare to be amazed! So strap yourself in and get ready for a wild ride around the weirdest automotive rides imaginable.
1973 Volkswagen Microbus
The Volkswagen Microbus which also internationally goes by other names such as the Transporter and the Kombi is described as a modern cargo and passenger van.
The idea for the body design of the Microbus came from the auto and parts importer Ben Pon who was inspired to make modifications to a Plattenwagen when visiting the Netherlands to purchase imports. The Microbus ran production from 1950-1967 in the US and Europe and from 1957-1975 in Brazil.
The Popemobile is designed to make the Catholic Pope visible when greeting large crowds and driving through cities.
The Popemobile was inspired by the sedia gestatoria which was a chair that the Pope rode through public and was carried by the attendants of his papal which ended in 1978. Popemobiles have been built by various manufacturers throughout the years including Mercedes Benz and GMC but typically have a similar body style and shape with a tall clear glass rectangular box for the Pope.
The Subaru Brat is an all-terrain recreational vehicle manufactured during the late 1980s from Subaru. The Subaru Brat was a four-wheel drive, 2-door coupe with rear-facing jumpseats in the cargo bed. Buyers who were interested had the option of buying a turbocharged engine that would add 94 additional horsepower.
Subaru never made more than a few hundred of the Subaru Brats during its production run in the 1980s so they would be rare today.
1973 Volkswagen Thing
Originally developed for the West German Army, the Volkswagen Thing was a four-door, two-wheel-drive convertible military vehicle.
Depending on what part of the world you lived in, the Volkswagen Thing went by many other names such as the Type 181, the Kurierwagen, the Trekker, Safari, and Pescaccia. European governments wanted an amphibious and lightweight vehicle that could carry personnel quickly on both land and in water. It’s production time ran from 1968-1980 with over 50,000 vehicles made and delivered.
Ferrari 512S Modulo
The Ferrari 512S Modulo was a V12, 1 door sports car designed in the 1970s by Paolo Martin.
It was originally designed to be a show car and debuted at the 1970 Geneva International Motor Show painted black and white. The Modulo had a 5-speed transmission, a top speed of 220MPH and could go from 0-60 in approximately 3 seconds. While there is only one in existence, it was sold to a collector in 2014 who is currently restoring it.
1962 Peel P50
This car made the 2010 World Guinness Record Book for being the smallest production car ever made. It was manufactured from Peel Engineering Company and was designed as a city car for one person.
The Peel P50 had three wheels, only one door that was on its left side and included only one headlight. Brand new the vehicle cost US $8,500 at the time it was built but was recently auctioned off at over US $176,000.
1990 Toyota Sera
Known mostly for its glass roof canopy and butterfly doors, the Toyota Sera is a 2-door hatchback that was mostly sold in Japan during the 1990s.
The design of the butterfly doors are what inspired the McLaren F1 and Saleen S designs years later. The interior of the Sera included bucket seats and three-point seatbelts which slide to give access to the backseat. Since being introduced in 1990, the Sera has undergone 3 phases with the final phase producing roughly 1,500 cars.
1975 AMC Pacer
The 1975 AMC Pacer was a two-door compact car sold between 1975 and 1979.
Its odd round shape made it unique to other cars in that decade and it was even dubbed, “The Flying Fishbowl.” The Pacer had 37% glass on its body surface and was designed to have ample space for all of the passengers on the inside. The car sold over 250,000 units during its production lifespan and even had an electric model.
2003 Chevrolet SSR
The SSR in Chevrolet SSR stood for “Super Sport Roadster” and this hardtop convertible pickup truck ran its production from 2003-2006.
At its debut, the SSR could go from 0-60 in 7.7 seconds and had 300 horsepower. By 2005, the SSR’s engine matched those of the Corvette, Trailblazer, Pontiac and the Tremec. After the SSR was debuted, it undersold, with less than 9,000 models at $42,000 apiece and never sold more than 24,000 units in total.
2002 Lincoln Blackwood
The 2002 Lincoln Blackwood was a 4-door luxury pickup truck manufactured by the Lincoln division of Ford during the early 2000s.
After Lincoln discovered it could have success with the Navigator, designers wanted to create the first luxury pick-up truck to add to its lineup. The truck only came in black and was released later than expected due to a supply issue. Lincoln shortly discontinued the truck citing its high price and limited options not making it appealing to buyers.
Ferrari Monza SP1 (2018)
The Ferrari Monza SP is a carbon fiber limited edition speedster. Ferrari introduced a new lineage of models called the “Icona” models in which the cars are modeled after previous Ferrari releases. Less than 500 of the Monza SP1 will be produced when production ceases.
The Monza doesn’t include any windshields, had one door, a top speed of 186 mph and can go from 0-124 mph in 7.9 seconds. Instead of a windshield, the car is designed so that airflow moves around the driver.
2009 Nissan Cube
Popular in the US in the late 2000s, the Nissan Cube has been manufactured in Japan since 1998. Slightly larger than the Nissan Micra hatchback, the first generation of the Cube had a four-wheel-drive option and a 1.3 L inline four-cylinder engine.
The third generation of Cubes were designed like a jacuzzi with its curves and interior shape. The Cube was discontinued in 2014 in the US but is still sold in the Japanese market exclusively.
With only 800 produced in its first year at $300,000 a piece, the Ferrari FF gained the title of the fastest four-seat automobile in the world in 2011 when it was first introduced to the public at the Geneva Motor Show.
The FF in Ferrari FF translates to “Ferrari Four” because of the car’s four doors and four-wheels. It has a top speed of 208mph and can go from 0 to 62mph in just 3.7 seconds.
2000 Honda Insight
The Honda Insight is a hybrid electric vehicle designed in the late 1990s that became popular for its liftback trunk which allows more people to fit into the car and that gives the Insight its unique body style.
The Insight gets up to 70 mpg and was a top-selling vehicle in Japan during 2009 selling almost 150,000 units. Since its introduction to the public, there have been 3 generations of Insights produced by Honda with its latest model still currently in production.
1973 Reliant Robin
The Reliant Robin is one of the most popular fiberglass cars in history and has been produced for over 30 years.
The Robin is a small three-wheel car manufactured by the Reliant Motor Company as a replacement for the Reliant Regal. Designed to be economical and efficient, the Robin had a top speed of 85 mph and went from 0 to 60 mph in 14 seconds. The Robin was most popular in the United Kingdom where it was manufactured and is sometimes referred to as the “Plastic Pig.”
1964 Peel Trident
No bigger than a go-cart, the 1964 Peel Trident is a three-wheeled micro car with two seats and a pop-off hood.
It was originally manufactured in the 1960s by the Peel Engineering Company and had a flip-top in order to get into the vehicle instead of a door. The Peel Trident weighed 330 lbs and had a top speed of 28 mph. Production picked back up on the Peel in 2011 and they are still available today.
1987 GM Sunraycer
The idea behind the Gm Sunraycer was that it was going to be the world’s first solar powered race car. It was a collaboration car that was part of General Motors, AeroVironment and Hughes Aircraft.
The idea for the Sunraycer came from an Australian GM team who wanted to compete in a solar race but needed something to race in. The shell of the car was made from Kevlar so it was incredibly lightweight and could go up to 36 mph.
2014 Mercedes-AMG G63 6×6
The Mercedes-Benz AMG G63 6×6 is a 6-wheel SUT and is one of the largest and most expensive street-legal off-road vehicles.
The Mercedes-Benz AMG G63 6×6 comes with a twin-turbo V-8 5.5 L, 536 horsepower, and is designed to be able to drive off-road in both luxury and ruggedness. Mercedes-Benz declared the truck sold out in 2015 to maintain the vehicle’s exclusivity and only produced a limited amount of vehicles for purchase at a median price of $600,000.
Ford Model B (1932)
Following the Model A in 1927, the Model B came in a variety of body styles and a Standard or Deluxe trim.
Depending on which body style that you wanted, you could have paid anywhere from $490-650 for the car during the time that they were sold. The Model B sold hundreds of thousands of cars in its 2 year production cycle before Ford moved onto the Model C in 1934. Ford sites the vehicles discontinuation from buyers disliking four-cylinder models after V8 engines became popular.
1953 General Motors Firebird I XP-21
Over the course of its production, there were 4 Firebird models that were designed during the 1950’s and 60’s.
The lead GM designer of the Firebird, Harley Earl, took inspiration from fighter aircraft jet designs at the time and wanted to use the Firebird as a way to showcase what General Motors could create. The Firebird-I looked very similar to a jet on wheels and and had an engine that had more than 350 HP.
The Citreon SM is a high-performance coupe that was produced during the early 1970s. It debuted during the Geneva International Motor Show and was considered unusual compared to the trending luxury vehicles in France(where it was manufactured) at the time.
The Citreon stemmed from Project S which was the sports design for Citreon during that production cycle. Even being the smaller car that it was, the Citreon could maintain high speeds for hours while getting roughly 24mpg.
1961 Amphicar 770
Designed by Hans Trippel, the Amphicar was an automobile with boat features that allowed it to drive and swim in water.
The same engine that drove the car on the road, also powered reverse propellers once the Amphicar was submerged in water. The car appeared in numerous television shows and movies and is even now a ride at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida. During it’s production time, the Amphicar sold just under 4,000 units across the US and Europe.
Nissan Pulsar NX
Also going internationally by the name Nissan Pulsar EXA and Nissan EXA, the Nissan Pulsar NX was a 2-door coupe manufactured by Nissan during the 1980s.
The Pulsar was a small compact, with a convertible option available. The 1.5 L turbocharged engine of the Pulsar pushed out 103 hp making it economically a sound choice for the savvy car shopper. During the late 1980s as the vehicle gained worldwide popularity, other body types such as the Sportback and the 3-door T-top coupe became available.
GMC Envoy XUV
The GMC Envoy XUV was part of the 2nd generation of the Envoy during the early to late 2000s.
The XUV was GMC’s attempt at making a pickup truck and SUV combination and was only sold in the US. It included a two-way tailgate that could hinge sideways or drop-down, with the tailgate glass retracting into a solid tailgate. This top enclosure allowed the XUV to be a fully functional SUV which helped it stand apart from its competitors like the Chevrolet Avalanche at that time.
1986 Lamborghini LM002
The Lamborghini LM002 is an off-road, high-performance, super truck. Lamborghini had been designing military vehicles during the 1970s and their first model, the Cheetah had a lot of unfavorable characteristics that deemed it unmarketable and after some time reconstructing and brainstorming ideas, the LM002 was created.
The LM002 was unveiled to the public at the Brussels Auto Show in 1986 and was dubbed the “Rambo-Lambo” because of its luxury features including tinted windows, Pirelli Scorpion tires, and full leather trims.
The Toyota Previa can be described as a futuristic multi-purpose vehicle that was designed by Tokuo Fukuichi and David Doyle in the early 1990s.
The idea behind the Previa was to showcase some of the new technology that Toyota was capable of adding to their van lineup and future vans. Being only marginally smaller than some of the other vehicles in the Toyota Van lineup, the Previa was more economical for those on a budget.
1976 Tyrrell P34
The Tyrrell P34 was a six-wheeled Formula One race car designed by Derek Gardner. It is dubbed one of the most recognizable design entries in the history of world motorsports because of its unique look.
By adding more wheels, the Tyrrell had better handling and could brake easier. Initially, it won races during the the 1975 and 1976 racing season but was quickly abandoned after a few years. Recently, the P34 has been trying to make a comeback into the world of racing as a few have been spotted on the track.
1935 Stout Scarab Chrysler
The scarab is considered to be the worlds first American minivan. William B. Stout, the designer of the Scarab dreamed that his vehicle would be an office on wheels and wanted to build a futuristic looking automobile.
It came with running boards and a long wheelbase but only had a single door for passengers to enter and exit. Costing the equivalent of US $80,000 today at the time it was released, there are only about 5 left in the world.
1956 BMW Isetta
Also known as the “Bubble Car”, the BMW Isetta was a mass-produced international microcar built during the 1950s and early 1960s.
The Isetta, designed by Ermenegildo Preti and Pierluigi Raggi not only had the same engine as a motorcycle, but the Isetta could hold up to 2 adults and a small infant and also had a canvas sunroof and single door in the front of the car that the steering wheel and instrument panel were attached to.