Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, the DeLorean time machine and almost every James Bond car ever made. We all know of some very uncommon cars from movies which have very strange designs and futuristic, yet not always realistic, features. You may think that these cars only exist in the movies, but that is not the case! In real life there are a lot of strangely weird and wonderful cars developed and produced. Our classic car auctioneers have put together a list of some of the most craziest and unbelievable cars ever made. You have to see them to believe them so read on!
10. Ferrari 512S Modulo
We start off our unbelievable list with a car that was developed to be as fast as possible, and so has quite an uncommon design to make it that way. The Ferrari 512S Modulo is very low (less than a metre high) in order to be as aerodynamic as possible. And it succeeds… this race car can reach a top speed of 350 km/h. Although built back in the 70s, it still looks quite futuristic today. Unfortunately it never went into production; Ferrari kept it as a one-off.
9. ISO Isetta
Next we have the ISO Isetta. It’s a cute little Italian car with a big door which opens at the front. Because there was a lack of material after World War II, small vehicles were very popular. It became famous when BMW built the Isetta on license and it was the first car to achieve a fuel consumption of 3 L per 100 kilometres. The 3-wheel car is very efficient, but not very fast. During it’s production run from 1953 until 1961, more than 160,000 Isettas were produced.
8. Stout Scarab
The next car looks a bit like the Isetta, but is longer and has 4 wheels. Believe it or not, it is considered as the first minivan in the world. It is not a very big car but despite that, it is fitted with a Ford V8 engine in the back. It was designed in the early 30s and cost 4 times more than a luxury Chrysler Imperial of the same era. Unfortunately few people were willing to pay for the innovation; only 9 examples of this minivan were built and only 5 still exist today.
7. Nissan S-Cargo
The name is a pun, standing for ‘small cargo’ and ‘escargot’ which means ‘snail’ in French. And unsurprisingly, this Nissan looks a lot like a snail. It is a small commercial van which was built from 1989 until 1991 and its design was inspired by the Citroën 2CV Fourgonnette. In the short 2 year production run, Nissan produced 8,000 S-Cargos, but only for the Japanese market.
6. Messerschmitt KR200
This Messerschmitt is called a ‘kabinenroller’ in Germany which means cabin scooter. It is a 3-wheeled bubble car for 2 persons. One in the front, driving and the passenger sits in the back. It was produced from 1955 up to 1964 and 40,000 units were sold. This Messerschmitt holds a speed record: the cabin scooter reached a top speed of 103 km/h, that’s faster than any other 3-wheeled vehicle. It is designed by Fritz Fend, an aircraft engineer which you can see in the design of this car.
5. Peel P50
To continue in the 3-wheeled car trend, the 5th spot on our list goes to another one: the Peel P50. It’s the world’s smallest car weighing in at only 59 kg. Although inadvisable, it can reach a top speed of 61 km/h. To save weight, it has no reverse gear, but that’s not a problem. You can easily pick it up and turn it around by a special handle due to its light weight. You could even park it in your office or on your desk if you want. Only 47 of these micro cars were built.
4. Amphicar Model 770
We continue the list with a car with 4 wheels and two propellers. What? Propellers? Yes! This car can drive on the road and sail on the water! It is watertight and features a flag and navigation lights. It performs well in the water but is very expensive to produce and for that reason, only 3,878 Amphicars were made in just 7 years.
3. Bond Bug
You might think that this Bond Bug is a special vehicle used by 007, but that is not the case. This minicar was made by the Reliant company, known from its 3-wheeled vehicles. It was produced as a fun car and it was often used by motorcyclists and young people because no license is required to drive this car.
2. Davis Divan
Another exceptional vehicle is the Davis Divan. This is again a 3-wheeled vehicle with a very round design. After 2 prototypes, the company’s owner launched a very aggressive promotional and publicity campaign for the car across the United States. He raised over €1 million from 350 car dealerships to finance his project, but it never came to a mass production. Davis did not pay his employees and could not deliver the cars to the dealerships. Therefore both parties sued the Davis company. There are only 13 Davis Divans built and 12 of them still exists.
1. General Motors Firebird I, II, III, IV
A few other weird and wonderful cars were built by General Motors just to show what they were capable of in terms of technique and design, namely the Firebirds. General Motors was inspired by the world of aviation and their designs have a lot in common with fighter jets. The cars were powered by the same big gas turbine engines which also powered fighter jets. The cars were very unstable due to the high power so it was difficult to test them.
Some of these cars are so rare that they almost never are for sale or up for auction, but what a treat it would be to have one in your garage. Luckily we have enough other special cars and automobilia in our Classic Car auctions every week! If you want to sell a classic car at our auctions, this is also possible. Simply register as a seller for free and start offering up your classic cars and other special objects for auction straight away.