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1. Tyrell P34: A six-wheeled Formula One racecar whose design never caught on.
2. 1970 Ferrari 512 S Modulo: A Ferrari concept with a futuristic design from one of the most popular design firms in Italy
3. Amphiccar Model 770: An attempt in a production model amphibious car design, which shows the creativity of automotive design
4. 1970 Lancia (Bertone) Stratos HF Zero: A concept design that inspired the classic Lancia Stratos.
5. 1953 GM Firebird: A jet-inspired design which sports a bubble cockpit and a powerful engine.
6. 1955 Chrysler Streamline X “Gilda”: A futuristic design that inspired Chryslers future car designs.
7. 2001 BMW GINA Light Visionary Model: A car with a spandex that shifts for optimal aerodynamic performance.
8. 1942 Ouef Electrique: An eccentric electric car concept designed by a French painter.
9. BMW Lovos: A bizarre design which intended to “escape the conformism” of standard car designs.
10. Thrust SSC: A custom jet-powered car which is the first land vehicle to break the sound barrier, thus holding the world land speed record.
Automotive design has seen numerous developments over the past few decades. With various automotive companies pushing the limits of performance and design every year, it is always a spectacle to see some of the best and newest models around. While not all automotive designs and parts, like mufflers (which there are sellers in the Philippines) and spoilers, become available in the market, the ones that have definitely stood out from the crowd.
In fact, some car designs were created for the purpose of experimenting with design and performance, while others were made for the purpose of art. From unusual Formula One models, to weird sport car concepts, here are 10 of the weirdest car designs of all time:
Famously known as the only six-wheel car to ever race in the Formula One circuit, the P34 also saw success on the race track despite its brief tenure. Designed by Derek Gardner, the uncanny P34 was used by three drivers in over 30 races over the course of two seasons. It was able to win one race (driven by F1 legend Jody Scheckter), and helped the Tyrell F1 team to reach the top 3 and the top 5 during those two seasons.
The reason behind the six-wheel design was due to the idea that you can get the same amount of traction from the smaller front wheels, as the one from regular-sized ones. Unfortunately, the design never caught on, with most teams sticking to the standard four-wheeled models.
Created for the 1970 Geneva Auto Show by the Pininfarina design firm, this customized 512 had a somewhat futuristic design, which was reminiscent of something people would see in science fiction movies and television shows. Unfortunately the futuristic design didn’t become popular, and never reached the production stage.
Like something you would see out of a James Bond film, the Amphicar is a car that can traverse water like a small speedboat. The Amphicar is a creative design that shows off what automotive design can do. It may have never seen production, but it was a car that was way ahead of its time. Only time will tell when the next amphibious car would finally be available in the market.
While it may not have been released in the market, this concept design became the basis of the popular Lancia Stratos sports car. One of the most notable things about this car is that it was only 33 inches tall, which meant that drivers had to enter through the windshield to get in the car.
Taking its inspiration from jet fighters and rocket aircraft of its day, the GM Firebird is a car with a bubble cockpit, a pair of wings, and a tail. It was also powered by an actual jet engine which generated 370hp, which was very powerful at that time. While it may not match the supercars of today, the Firebird was a pretty hefty machine which packs some heavy power.
Another spaceship-inspired design, the Gilda was supposed to be another car powered by a jet engine turbine. A standard 1.5 liter engine was eventually installed instead. It was branded as a touring car, and became the inspiration of Chrysler’s line of turbine powered designs.
Designed by BMW’s own Chris Bangle (who was known for his geometric and chunky designs), this concept car is known for its unique sporty look, and a spandex body which was coated with polyurethane. The spandex was meant to help the body shift to various angles for aerodynamic purposes.
Known in English as the electric egg, this was a tiny, three-wheeled car that ran on batteries. It was one of the earliest electric car concepts during that time, which never caught on due to the dominance of gasoline-powered engines. This was also decades before the current line of electric cars entered the mainstream car market. Designed by painter Paul Arzens, it was inspired by futurist designs, and was constructed with aluminum and Plexiglass.
Perhaps one of the most bizarre designs ever conceptualized and created, the Lovos was created by Anne Forschner and was designed for the purpose of “escaping conformism.” The design has 260 interchangeable parts, and had “particles,” which open up and look like fish scales. These “particles” function both as air brakes, and solar panels to charge up the car’s batteries.
A custom model, this car is powered by two Rolls-Royce jet turbine engines, and holds the current land speed record which is 776mph. The two jet engines were taken from an F-4 Phantom fighter jet, and each engine brings about 25,000hp. The vehicle is 10 tons heavy, and is the first land vehicle to break the sound barrier. To make sure that accidents would not happen, the vehicle was driven by a Royal Air Force pilot.
While these designs were just concepts, these cars helped pave the way to improve automotive design, push boundaries, and defy standards set by a majority of auto manufacturers. Who knows when the next weird car design would arrive?