The Top 22 Weirdest Cars Ever Made
Throughout automobile history, many designers have dared to be different by designing vehicles that are boldly ingenious yet characteristically odd. Everyone knows about many of the world’s most famous cars like the Ferrari F40, the Lamborghini Aventador, and the Chevrolet Corvette, but few know about the weirdest cars ever created.
Usually how a car is designed is based on how marketable it will be, but that isn’t always the case. The vehicles on our list are some of the weirdest cars ever made. It’s highly likely that you have never even heard of many of the models we talk about, like the Popemobile, the Stout Scarab, and the Pontiac Aztek.
Many of the weirdest cars made were purposely designed to be peculiar and intriguing, and others were specifically engineered to be humorous and a novelty. Most of the weird cars on this list aren’t conventionally attractive, and some aren’t even aesthetically pleasing, but they are definitely eye-catching and memorable.
Interestingly many of the cars on our list are concept cars that are not limited by governmental regulations and practicality. Others were specifically designed for a purpose which they fulfilled. Now that your interest is piqued, let’s take a closer look at the top 22 weirdest cars ever built.
1. Ferrari 512s Modulo
Ferrari is well known for creating some of the most extraordinary racing cars, so, unsurprisingly, they have also created some of the weirdest yet most visually appealing vehicles in automotive history. One of the strangest Ferrari models to exist is the Ferrari 512s Modulo concept car, which Paolo Martin designed from the Italian Carrozzeria Pininfarina.
Only one Ferrari 512s Modulo concept car was created, and it featured a distinctive black tuxedo paint job. This vehicle has an incredibly low wedge-shaped body and a glass canopy-style roof that needs to be slid forward for entry into it.
Interestingly all four wheels are partially covered, and it has 24 holes in the engine cover, which reveals the powerful Ferrari V12 engine with a horsepower rating of 550. Additionally, this engine could propel the Ferrari 512s Modulo to a top speed of 220 mph in around three seconds.
The Ferrari 512s Modulo was sold in 2014 to American automotive entrepreneur James Glickenhaus who bought the vehicle for $2.3 million.
2. Volkswagen Thing
The Volkswagen Thing, which was also known as the Type 181, has in recent years seen a huge surge in interest as many more people become enamored with classic car designs. Data has revealed that interest in the Volkswagen Thing has been growing by upwards of 10% since 2010. Yet despite this, it still remains a fairly affordable alternative to a classic SUV with prices ranging from $15,000 to $45,000 depending on condition.
The Volkswagen Thing has a similar appearance to a dune buggy with its classic convertible design. Interestingly this model was designed for the West German Army and was never meant to be permanent as it was meant to only fill in until the Europa Jeep was ready. This strange car was outfitted with a Volkswagen Beetle Type 1 driveline and a Volkswagen Transporter Type 2 suspension.
Unlike other more conventional Volkswagen models of the time, the Volkswagen Thing was a utility vehicle that could withstand rugged conditions. This model was built with four interchangeable and removable doors, a convertible roof, and a windshield that could fold flat. Additionally, it had a basic interior design but featured comfortable vinyl bucket seats, drain holes, and rubber mats.
3. Dodge Deora
Only one Dodge Deora custom vehicle and concept car was ever created and it sold in 2009 for a whopping $324,500. Interestingly the Deora is an integral part of Hot Wheels history. In 1968 it was part of the first Hot Wheels line and became a plastic model kit.
This radically designed vehicle took over two years to build and cost approximately $10,000 to make. The Dodge Deora was based on the Dodge A100 pick-up truck, but it bore very little similarity. When it was sold in 2009, it reportedly had a 2.8 liter 6 cylinder engine equipped that could produce 101 horsepower.
This intriguing vehicle was designed by Harry Bently Bradley and modified by the Alexander brothers Mike and Larry. The base model was a Dodge A100 that was chopped at the back and sectioned to create a futuristic-looking pick-up truck. To enter this vehicle, drivers had to lift the windshield, which was the back hatch of a 1960 Ford Station wagon, and swivel the lower gate.
When the Dodge Deora was unveiled in 1967 at the Detroit Autorama, it won nine awards, including the prestigious Ridler Award.
4. Subaru Brat
You might find it difficult to find a Subaru Brat for sale now. Although approximately 800,000 were produced, it is believed that only about 923 remain. Interestingly, the “Brat” stood for Bi-drive Recreational All-Terrain Transporter. During its production, the Subaru Brat was the only four-wheel-drive small truck designed specifically for international markets.
The Subaru Brat was adapted from the existing Leone station wagon. Although this vehicle looked like a station wagon, it was an incredibly agile compact pick-up truck that could handle various road conditions.
Some of the features that set this vehicle apart from its competition were a spring-loaded hidden door that allowed access to a side step in the cargo bed and a spare tire mounted under its roof. Drivers also had the option of a T-top split roof.
Curiously, this model’s Canadian and American imports had rear-facing jump seats in their cargo area, which was a clever ploy for tariff avoidance at the time.
5. Chevrolet SSR
The Chevrolet SSR, which stood for Super Short Roadster, might not have been a performance car, but it featured spectacularly unusual hot rod retro styling. Although many thought this vehicle would not be a car that sold well when it was unveiled in 2000, it managed to sell 24,150 units by the time production ended.
When this car was first unveiled, many could not wrap their heads around its design. This model had the distinctive appearance of a hot rod pick-up truck, but it was built low to the ground. The Chevrolet SSR was inspired by the 1940s Advance Design trucks and rode on a platform-specific GM368.
Interestingly, the Chevrolet SSR had front fenders built with deep draw stampings, which was an obsolete technique that had to be specifically relearned for this model’s manufacturing. Additionally, the Chevrolet SSR also featured a steel body that had a retractable hardtop design.
6. BMW Z1
During the 1980s, the car manufacturer BMW was consistently shocking the world with its array of legendary vehicles pushing the automotive industry’s boundaries. Unsurprisingly, even one of the lesser-known BMWs from the 80s is still popular amongst car enthusiasts due to its strangely quirky design and distinctive styling.
The production form of the BMW Z1 was revealed in 1987 at the Frankfurt Motor Show. Production for this vehicle ran from 1989 until 1991, and only 8,000 units were made. Similar to other BMW cars at the time, the Z1 featured a plethora of unique design features.
The BMW Z1 had a flat undertray, continuously zinc welded seams, removable plastic body panels, and a roll hoop integrated into this model’s windscreen surround. Interestingly, one of the biggest attractions of this vehicle was that it could be driven without its panels, and drivers could change the original panels with different color panels.
Additionally, another design feature that had tongues lolling at its unveiling was the distinct doors that retracted vertically instead of upwards or outwards. The BMW Z1 has also made an appearance in a film and television series. It featured in the Jackie Chan movie Armour of God II: Operation Condor and in an episode of Wheeler Dealers in 2014.
7. Lamborghini LM002
Many know Lamborghini as an automaker specializing in developing hand-built, high-performance sports cars and supercars. However, during 1986 and 1993, they strayed from this path and produced an immensely popular off-road truck, the Lamborghini LM002, also known as the Rambo Lambo.
Although the Lamborghini LM002 was an off-road truck with a hefty weight, it still exhibited significant performance capabilities that were on par with the brand’s supercars. The LM002 was equipped with a powerful 5.2-liter V12 engine that was the same as the one featured in the Countach Quattrovalvole. It could produce 450 horsepower, was mated with a five-speed manual transmission, and had a top speed of 130 mph.
Unlike other vehicles in the Lamborghini lineup at the time, the LM002 was an all-wheel drive that could climb a 120% gradient. Additionally, this model had an incredibly durable steel tubular space frame with an aluminum and fiberglass body and Scorpion run-flat tires that were specifically engineered by Pirelli, allowing the vehicle to take on a variety of terrains.
8. Stout Scarab
Arguably one of the oddest looking classic cars on our list that some would deem immensely ugly is the Stout Scarab. Interestingly, the Stout Scarab is credited as being the world’s first-ever production minivan. Additionally, the prototype of the Stout Scarab was the first car ever developed with air suspension and a fiberglass body shell.
The Stout Scarab was designed by former aircraft engineer William Stout, a pioneering individual with a superb grasp on integrating luxury and leisure. Unfortunately, despite this ingenious model, the brand never succeeded. This is partly due to the Stout Scarab minivan costing a whopping $5,000, which was more expensive than the Cadillacs and Packards of the time.
Curiously, the Stout Scarab featured ponton styling and had headlamps that were set behind a vertical bar grille. At its rear, the Stout Scarab was equipped with narrow chrome bars that curved from the back window down to the bumper. These distinctive design features gave this model a unique art deco appearance not often seen during the 1930s.
9. Fiat Multipla
It can be argued that the Fiat Multipla is the ugliest car on our list. This vehicle had the appearance of two vehicles that were squashed together incorrectly. Some even stated the car looked like a strange adaptation of a duck. Despite our thoughts on its appearance, there were many who believed this vehicle’s appearance was worthy of praise.
That’s likely why it was displayed at the Museum of Modern Art in 1999. Yet, in 2000 the Fiat Multipla won two Top Gear awards. One was for Car of the Year, and the other was for Ugliest Car. Its unique styling led the Fiat Multipla minivan to become one of the most unusual cars on the road during the early 2000s.
Despite its somewhat controversial appearance, the Fiat Multipla had decent performance capabilities that made it incredibly reliable, which is likely why it sold well during production.
10. BMW Isetta 300
The title for the weirdest small car goes to the BMW Isetta 300. Despite its tiny size, the Isetta 300 did exceptionally well. Within eight months of its release in 1955, the brand produced 10,000 units. By the end of its production, it was the top-selling single-cylinder car globally, with approximately 161,728 units sold.
The BMW Isetta 300 can be described as being an egg-shaped car with bubble-like windows. Unlike any other weird car on our list, the Isetta 300 was uniquely equipped with a motorcycle engine found in the Iso Moto 200. This model had an incredibly small design with a total length of seven and a half feet long with a width of four and a half feet.
To enter this car, a driver would need to open the entire front end of the vehicle as it did not feature doors. It had a canvas sunroof and was equipped with a single bench seat. Behind this seat was a parcel shelf that had a spare wheel located below it.
When it was introduced in 1955, the BMW Isett 300 was the first-ever mass-production vehicle to achieve an impressive fuel consumption of three liters per 62 miles.
11. Pontiac Aztek
The Pontiac Aztek was marketed as a recreational sports vehicle with unique styling, but many didn’t appreciate its aesthetic look. In fact, the Pontiac Aztek was named one of the worst cars of all time by Pulitzer Prize-winning automotive journalist Dan Neil because of its controversial styling.
Although it might seem difficult to believe, it was well-received when the concept car was first introduced to the public in 1999. People enjoyed its extreme futuristic styling and promises of impressive versatility capabilities.
However, the actual Pontic Aztek that went on sale strangely looked to have multiple eyes due to its headlight placement, and its grill had the appearance of two large nostrils. Additionally, many did not like the awkwardly designed wheel wheels. Some even said that the vehicle looked like an angry kitchen appliance, while others stated the car was designed with atrocious proportions and then wrapped in plastic body cladding.
The Pontic Aztek was still recognized as a decent mid-size SUV crossover with impressive performance capabilities despite its strange aesthetic.
12. Suzuki X-90
Most people associate an SUV with a heavy-duty sport utility vehicle capable of handling different terrains. SUVs also tend to be on the larger side, although many auto manufacturers have been creating more compact versions of traditional SUV designs. This was not the case with the Suzuki X-90. It is one of the smallest SUVs ever manufactured and is still smaller than many of the more compact SUVs on the market currently.
The Suzuki X-90 was a two-door, two-seater SUV that featured a strange T-Section removable roof. This interestingly designed model was equipped with a 1.6-liter I4 engine that was paired with a five-speed automatic transmission, and it had 16 valves. Additionally, this engine was able to produce a horsepower rating of 95.
According to records, the Suzuki X-90 wasn’t very marketable and didn’t sell very well. It is estimated that only 1,300 units were sold in Japan, and just over 7,000 units were sold in the US
13. Chrysler Turbine
There are reportedly only two running examples of the Chrysler Turbine vehicle that are privately owned. The Chrysler Turbine car was produced from 1963 to 1964, and only 55 models were ever made, with five of the 55 being prototypes.
The Chrysler Turbine car was strange because it featured a turbine engine and was devoid of crankshafts, a radiator, a cooling system, and connecting rods. Additionally, the vehicle could run on many different fuels, including diesel, kerosene, unleaded and JP-4 jet fuel.
Interestingly, the Chrysler Turbine was designed under the direction of Elwood Engel to resemble the Ford Thunderbird. The body of this model was hand-built by the Italian design studio Ghia.
The turbine-inspired style of the Chrysler Turbine car carried through to the center console design in the interior. Additionally, it had pod-shaped backup lights and deeply recessed tail lights that were mounted in chrome bezels.
14. Aston Martin Lagonda Series 2
Upon its release in 1976, the Aston Martin Lagonda Series 2 was recognized as a nontraditional radically designed sedan. Not only did this car feature a strangely beautiful wedge-shaped body, but it was also incredibly luxurious with many impressive features.
In the early 70s, the Aston Martin brand was in trouble and facing a total halt to manufacturing. Many have stated that the Aston Martin Lagonda Series 2 is the reason the company did not close its doors for good.
The Aston Martin Lagonda Series 2 premiered at the London Motor Show and was noted as a wholly different model to the Lagonda Series 1. This model featured pop-up headlights and had the appearance of a folded paper wedge shape that was immensely popular in the 70s.
It might sound totally unbelievable, but there is a vehicle known as the Popemobile, and it is as strange as it sounds. The Popemobile is a car that is adapted to specifically transport the Pope during public appearances. There have been a few different Popemobiles, but the first is often considered the Mercedes-Benz Nurburg 460 Pullman.
This Popemobile was a stretch model and was longer than the average 460 Pullman. It featured embossed doves and silk carpeting. Since then, Mercedes has donated 12 vehicles to the pop to be adapted for the Pope’s use. Most of the Popemobiles are equipped with a bulletproof glass square box design where the Pope sits on a seat that can be hydraulically lifted.
Additionally, Popemobiles are known to weigh more than three tonnes and are often equipped with glass canopies, raised platforms, and red silk carpeted stairs.
16. Karlmann King
One of the strangest SUVs is also the world’s most expensive SUV, costing $1 million for the base model and up to $3.8 million for a fully-equipped model. The Karlmann King is unique in that its design drew inspiration from a stealth fighter jet which is why it’s known as the Stealth Fighter. This high-end luxury vehicle costs the same as eight exclusive Bently Bentaygas.
Each Karlmann King car is hand-built in Italy, and during production, it requires a manufacturing and design team of 1,800 people. Additionally, it takes approximately 15 months for a base model to be completed.
The Karlmann King has a geometric diamond design appearance with asymmetrical radar deflecting angular surfaces. This beast of an SUV is incredibly rugged and can even be made bulletproof. The entire body of the vehicle is made from steel and carbon fiber, and it’s finished with a matte black paint job.
17. Reliant Robin
When you think of a standard car, you likely picture one with four wheels, but even though most all do, the Reliant Robin does not. The Reliant Robin featured only three wheels, with one in the front and two in the back, making a very odd-looking car. The front-wheel was responsible for the steering, while the engine that was also situated in the front was the driving power for the rear axles.
Even though this model was incredibly strange to look at and seemed unstable, it was in production for more than 30 years and was quite popular in England. It even featured in the comedy, Mr. Bean. Due to its unique tricycle-like style, the Reliant Robin could be driven by those holding a motorcycle license.
The Reliant Robin had one goal that it was able to achieve. It provided drivers with an economical vehicle that provided reliable transportation. This model was equipped with an 850cc engine that could take the car from 0 to 60 mph in 14 seconds.
18. L’ouef Electrique
The L’oeuf Electrique was a concept car that was designed by the renowned industrial engineer Paul Arzens. Arzens only ever made one example of this incredibly futuristic vehicle in the 1930s, and he kept it for himself to use as his daily vehicle.
Interestingly, the L’oeuf Electrique was an electric car that was impressive for the late 1930s and early 1940s when electric vehicles were not the norm. The L’oeuf Electrique, which translates to “The Electric Egg,” had the appearance of a small metal ball, and the entire car was built by hand.
The L’oeuf Electrique had an electric motor and a battery pack that allowed the driver to travel 63 miles before it needed to be recharged. It could seat two people and had a top speed of 44 mph or 37 mph if two people rode in it.
This weird vehicle weighed only 771 pounds and had a wholly aluminum shell with a plexiglass cover.
19. Lancia Sibilo
Arguably, the oddest car designed by Marcello Gandini on behalf of Bertone was the 1978 concept vehicle, the Lancia Sibilo. The Lancia Sibilo featured a radical geometric wedge shape design that was aerodynamic and futuristic. Interestingly, many found the design to be incredibly outlandish, and some believe the Lancia Siblio inspired the design of the vehicles seen in the 1990 film Total Recall.
The glass housing seen on this model was blended into the bodywork to form a seamless appearance. Both the windscreen and the side glass were flush-fitted with carefully laid joints that were painted over. Additionally, the entire body of this vehicle was hand beaten.
Unlike other models, the Lancia Sibilo did not have drop-down windows. Instead, it was fitted with clear plastic side panels with strange circular openings. These openings popped inwards and then slid forwards on runners.
20. BMW GINA
Of the many BMW models over the years, there is perhaps none more memorable than the BMW GINA concept model. It took eight years for this spectacular fabric skinned model that is known as the “shape-shifting” car to be completed.
The biggest design feature that this vehicle possesses is undoubtedly its seamless man-made, water-resistant, elastic, translucent polyurethane-coated spandex skin. Contrary to belief, the man-made skin is believed to be durable as it can withstand low and high temperatures.
Additionally, movement of the car does not damage or slacken the fabric. Yet best of all, the body of this vehicle changes shape according to how fast or slow the vehicle is driving and according to other exterior conditions.
The BMW GINA has only four panels: the two side panels, the trunk, and the bonnet. The doors on this concept car open up in a butterfly style, and the entire man-made skin is pulled over an aluminum wire structure.
21. Bugatti Type 57S
One of the rarest Bugatti vehicles in existence is also one of the weirdest cars ever. The Bugatti Type 57S was designed by Jean Bugatti, and only 710 were produced between 1934 and 1940. Although the design of the Bugatti 57S is strange, its styling also allows it to be one of the prettiest cars ever manufactured.
The Bugatti Type 57S has spectacularly symmetrical flowing lines and incredibly well-thought-out proportions. This model featured a v-shaped dip at the bottom of its oval-shaped radiator and had mesh grills on either side of its engine compartment. Additionally, the Bugatti Type 57S was so low to the ground that the rear axle passed through holes located in the chassis.
22. Cadillac Cyclone
The Cadillac Cyclone was an extraordinary concept car that was built in 1959 and designed by Harley Earl. Although this vehicle was strangely designed to appear as if it had rockets on either side and fins at the rear, it was still aesthetically pleasing. This vehicle was unfortunately never mass-produced, but it can be found at the GM Heritage Center.
This model was specifically engineered to serve as a “laboratory on wheels.” The team behind its production wanted to demonstrate the many designs and engineering advancements the car represented to showcase the auto industry’s future.
Most of the design elements of this vehicle stemmed from America’s fascination with space travel. The Cadillac Cyclone featured a clear one-piece canopy specifically coated with vaporized silver to protect against UV rays. This clear canopy opened upwards when the doors needed to be opened. Additionally, the prominent black nose cones that project forwards from the vehicle front acted as proximity sensors.
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