When it comes to creativity, humans have no boundaries in thinking differently and creating something extraordinary. And Automobile industry is no different.
So today we are going to talk about the strangest ever wheels made in the history of automobiles. Get ready for a bumpy ride on the few bizarre wheels ever rolled on the surface of earth.
To achieve anything in this game you must be prepare to dabble in the boundary of disaster.
– Sterling Moss –
A world record breaker, number one of today’s list is Peel P50 that holds the record for smallest production car ever made on Guinness Book of World Records in 2010. Manufactured for only three years from 1962 to 1965 by the Isle of Man company, Peel Engineering, the vehicle was designed to fit one adult and one shopping bag. With only one door located to the left side of the vehicle, it has only one headlight and does not include a reverse gear. The company manufactured only 50 of these little odd-looking vehicles, 27 recorded exits up to date. A collector’s item, it was verified that a Peel P50 is sold for US$176,000 at an auction in March 2016.
Ferrari 512S Modulo
With an appearance more similar to a spaceship than an automobile, Ferrari’s 512S Modulo is another bizarre looking car on our list today, which was initially designed as a concept sports car. First appearing at the 1970 Geneva Motor Show, the vehicle comes with an extremely low structure with a squeezed shaped body, where the driver’s entrance to the car was designed by slide opening a canopy styled glass hood. Where all the four wheels of the car partially covered to give an extra visual effect of a spaceship, a Ferrari V12 engine was planted under the hood of 512S Modulo giving the car an ability to reach a top speed of around 220mph as well as gain 0-60 mph within 3 seconds.
General Motors Firebird
Another design not so similar to a vehicle running on the ground, but to a one flying in the sky, General Motors revealed three different types of prototype cars inspired by a fighter jet in 1953, 1956, and 1959 Motorama auto shows, which they named the design, Firebird.
With its short wings, tail fins and bubble topped hood, the car gets a complete fighter jet look and the manufacturers made sure that they give the same experience of flying an aircraft by replacing the steering wheel with a joystick. Although it seemed a bit awkward, Ferrari said that the purpose of it was to give a space-age feel to its customers.
Norman Timbs Special
Honouring its designer by holding the same name, Norman Timbs, a Los Angeles based mechanical auto engineer, this car is considered an iconic American car design introduced during 1940s by Tucker automobiles. It took 3 years for Norman Timbs to complete this car, where the slimmed-down design comes with a pouncing lengthy front nose making it more sophisticated. The strangest thing in this car is that it does not have any doors. Marking an unfortunate ending to its story, the car was destroyed by 2018 Malibu fires after serving as a play item for children in front of a Californian restaurant.
One of iconic car models due to its Hollywood stardom, the 1985 American science fiction movie series ‘Back to the Future’, featuring the DMC DeLorean as a time machine imprinted a steady mark inside the people’s minds.
Manufactured during the time period from 1981 to 1983, DMC DeLorean stood out from its crowd of automobile markets with the sleek design which the car doors opened up and out depicting the wings of a seagull.
Unfortunately, the company had to stop the production in early 1983, though the car’s appearances hit the market hard, the performance and power of it lacked compared to the abrupt price tag. The maximum speed the vehicle could reach was around 150mph, however according to a research by 2017 there were about 6500 DeLoreans existing running all over America. And of course, try and see what happens when you hit the 88mph mark.
Although for all the others, it seems awkward and strange, for the people in the UK, it seems it does not. A quite common vehicle seen running on the roads of Great Britain, Multipla introduced by Fiat has an unusually wide windscreen and two rows of 3 seats instead of typical front 2 seats and 3 behind.
Having abundant space inside even with the unusual seating arrangement, the Multipla is quite famous among the crowd as a family vehicle where the vehicle is much more compatible with the ability of repositioning and detaching the seats according to the requirement.
While the drivers do not like the aesthetics of the vehicle much, Multipla found its place at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, in an exhibition in 1999 holding the title, “Different roads – automobiles for the next century”. Further, Multipla won the Top Gear accolades of Car in 2000 and the award for the ugliest car in 2000 and 2018 by Sunday times.
The first minivan the world has ever witnessed, Stout Scarab is a design by William Bushnell Stout who intended the vehicle to be an office on wheels.
With a short nose, Scarab was manufactured in 1932 including a long wheelbase with the purpose of maximizing the accessible space imitating an aluminium aircraft fuselage. World’s first vehicle having a fiberglass body and air suspension, only about a dozen Scarabs were built, and there are only five survivors reported. Respected as an icon of Art Deco in recent times, the vehicle seemed a bit awkward during its early days and considered an ugly vehicle.
A post World War 2 American sports car, 1948 Tasco was designed by Gordon Buehrig. With airplane stimulated controls, Tasco was the world’s first car with a T – top roof. If you’re wondering, TASCO stands for The American Sports Car Company.
Owning the patent for the particular design, Buehrig sued General Motors when they used the same design for their 1968 Corvette. Looks like little feet, the iconic wheel covers of Tasco made with the intention of reducing the drag by protecting the wheels from the wind and increasing the speed.
Having a monstrous price tag of $57,000.00 the car couldn’t make it to the market due to high production cost and bigger price.
1955 Chrysler (Ghia) Streamline X ‘Gilda’
With the management’s order trying to shift from the long-lasted reputation of ‘box car manufacturer’, the designers at Chrysler looked for various inspirations and ended up at spaceship models.
(Ghia) Streamline X ‘Gilda’ came to the market in 1955 as an outcome of the Chrysler executive Virgil Exner requesting the designers for a new strategy showcasing intense shaping and striving performance. First appearing in 1955 at Salone di Torino, the car got a nickname ‘Gilda’ honouring the performance in 1946 film noir classic ‘Gilda’ by Rita Hayworth.
Two toned body painting and huge tail fins contrasting the car’s design, the cockpit of the car is comparatively small and forward positioned.
While most cars have 4 wheels, the Reliant Robin breaks the trend with its 3-wheeled-design with one in the front and 2 in the rear. Considered the second most prevalent fiberglass vehicle in automobile history, the Robin was made by the second biggest car manufacturer in the UK, the Reliant Motor Company.
Based in Tamworth, England the company manufactured Robin cars over a period of 30 years with several different varieties. From the first design MK1 Robin in 1973 which was much popular due to the better design and the price tag within the means of the buyers to the final in 2000, the vehicle has maintained quite a stardom with the nickname ‘Plastic Pig’.
Thus, we came to the end of today’s list and lets’ meet with another interesting list from the automobile sector soon.