strange cars

strange cars

  Strange cars, funny cars, weird cars

Aston Martin Rapide S

Aston Martin Rapide S has been rumored for quite some time now, but just now Aston Martin decided to take the car out for some testing sessions. And luckily for us our spy photographers were in the right place at the right time and managed to shot some images of the next Rapide S.

As you can see the prototype is heavily camouflaged and its pretty difficult to see what changes will be made for the luxury sedan, but the spoiler looks as it will go deeper than on the normal Rapide , and the grille has also grown and will receive bigger air intakes - proof that under the hood there will be a more powerful engine. At the back the rear lights have also been changed and the spoiler is also bigger and more sculpted.

Under the hood Aston Martin will place the same 6.0 Liter V12 engine, but with output will go up to about 500 - 520 HP. It has also been rumored that the next Rapide S will also get a modified chassis setup.

Expect to see the new Rapide S launched by the end of the year.

Terrafugia's Transition: the flying car zooms forward

The Terrafugia Transition is more of a drivable plane than it is a flying car, but it is a trailblazer in the industry nonetheless. At 225 inches long, 80 inches high, and 90 inches wide, it is a little bit awkward. The length is a little bit shorter than your average four-door pickup truck, as is its height. At 90 inches wide – 11 inches wider than a Ram 1500 – it is really not suited for cruising down a country road.

All of that said, this is still an innovative vehicle and it looks like it’s close to finally bringing us to the reality of cars that can fly. The Terrafugia Transition has been under development for what seems like forever, and it is finally undergoing FAA testing. Just recently, it passed the first round of in-flight testing, leaving just five more test rounds to go, then it needs to pass driving safety regulations.

From the looks of things, the Terrafugia Transition is a sure thing, as the company is already taking $10,000 reservations for it, and is saying that it anticipates a one- to two-year lead time until it is delivered.

Like we said, this is not your daily driver car, it is something that will be convenient to drive to the airport and fly somewhere, as opposed to having to store it in a hangar. This is, however, a solid step in the right direction of flying cars. Given the automotive world’s copycat nature, other companies will be quick to take Terrafugia’s technology and find out how to make it more compact and drivable, once all of the testing is complete.

Now, will we ever be able to flip our wheels inward and take off Back to the Future style? Probably not in my or your lifetime, but one day it is possible and they will look back on this Terrafugia as the car that spawned it all, given it doesn’t fall out of the sky on one of its tests.

Prior to his death, ex-TVR owner, Peter Wheeler, decided that despite the fact that he no longer owned TVR , he still had the fire to build wild and crazy cars. From that fire began the project that he dubbed the Scamander, which is named after the Greek river god. This amphibious machine came to life just before Wheeler’s death, but it was a very rough machine that still needed a lot of work to be perfect.

After his death, Wheeler’s wife and a group of engineers completed Wheeler’s project and made it into something that Wheeler would have been proud of. This RRV, as Wheeler called it, has a V-6 turbocharged engine that cranks out about 300 horsepower and is said to hit 60 mph in eight seconds. To boot, it has an impeller on its rear end for propulsion in the wet stuff. This impeller certainly beats the rear wheel-mounts paddles that were on the original prototype Scamander.

Image note: The images provided are of the concept version of the Scamander.

Unlike the One Lap of America race, which recently ended, the Houston Half Mile Shootout is a brand new race for 2012. This year it was run in conjunction with the 4th annual Aeros & Autos event at Ellington Airport in Houston, TX.

This race is much like the Texas Mile, as it is purely a top speed-style of race, where your goal is to reach the highest speed within the half-mile-long track. Simple enough, right? Well, driving in excess of 200 mph is never simple, but rules sure are.

This inaugural run includes cars and motorcycles, both street legal and off-road only, which makes for some really intense speeds, but also some utter disappointment. The biggest disappointment that we see is Mario Williams, an NFL Linebacker, running his Aventador down the half-mile track and only hitting 167 mph in the above video. C’mon, man, open her up a little. That’s just getting that $400,000 supercar warmed up.

On top of that, event organizer John Hennessey shows that he is not a football guy, as he calls Mario Williams an “All Pro defensive player from the Houston Texans,” but Williams signed with the Buffalo Bills in March, oops. We have to give Hennessey a pass though, as the video was taken on March 5th and Williams was still a free agent at the time, but he certainly was not a Texan at the time.

Fortunately that was just a warm-up lap, as we saw much more speed as the event went on.

Click past the jump to read more about the event, cool cars and highlights.

A few weeks ago we brought you Justin Bieber’s completely ruined – chromed – Fisker Karma and we pretty much marked that monstrosity up as the world’s worst car modification. Well, it didn’t take too awful long for something a little more disgustingly over the top to unseat Bieber’s rolling mirror.

This 2005 Porsche 996 Turbo Cabriolet, which we all know and love dearly as the 911 Turbo Convertible, has received some real blingage in the form of gold leaf covering the entire body of this once gorgeous machine. According to rumors afloat around the Interwebz, this debacle of a modification took somewhere in the range of $600,000 to create.

Should you desire to be as conspicuous as possible and snag up this rolling theft bait, you can do so at the tune of just 1.8 million Russian Rubles, which equates to just a tick above $61,000. That price has to be rather disappointing for its owner if those $600,000 build cost rumors are actually true, as that is only about $9,000 less than you can get a mint condition 911 Turbo Convertible with 58,000 km (36,371 miles) for, sans the gold.

With a price that low, there may be quite an interesting back story to this entire sale, given the price is 10% of the initial cost and less than the actual market value of the car. There are no mentions of its mechanical condition, so that could be the reasoning for its low cost, or maybe the owner is tired of panhandlers peeling off sections of his car to pawn.

Here’s to hoping that someone buys this once awesome car and converts it back to its correct form, which shouldn’t be too hard since the interior looks pretty much stock.

Source: Konig Motor

Every car buff knows that when you need to haul 15,000+ pounds, rip a stump out of the ground, or pull down an aging barn, you’re best off if you use a diesel-powered machine. Not due to its horsepower, but due to its torque. See, diesel engines notoriously have extremely high torque ratings, but their horsepower is typically very low in comparison.

So now you can understand our confusion and excitement when we hear about a diesel-powered dragster. That’s like hearing about a 1994 Geo Metro that can tow 10,000 pounds; it just doesn’t quite make sense. Well, now it does. What we have in the above video is a rail car with an International DT466 engine, which primarily saw use in school buses and farm equipment.

We are not too sure which DT466 this dragster has, as there are several variants – MaxForce DT466, DT466E, and DT466 – but we do know they produced a maximum of 300 horsepower, which is certainly not enough to get the car down a quarter mile in 7.6 seconds. According to the original poster of the video, the engine was built by famed diesel engine specialists Hypermax.

Needless to say it is fairly badass to hear a diesel engine spooling up three turbo chargers, then flying down a racetrack with black smoke billowing away. Yeah, a 7-second drag car is fun, but the added effect of the diesel sights and sounds just make it absolutely insane.

Crank up those speakers nice and loud, and enjoy the sounds of this beast.

Okay, I have worked in many repair shops in my day. During my tour as a service manager, I came across a fair share of “Mountain Man Mechanics,” which is the politically correct thing to call them. These guys love taking the strangest vehicles and creating monsters out of them.

There was one mechanic that took a 1980s Honda Civic hatchback and dropped a 1300 cc Hayabusa engine in it, thinking it would increase the Civic’s performance. He didn’t quite grasp the logic of torque-to-weight ratio and ended up with only a really cool sounding Civic .

Another monster that sticks out in my mind is when a mechanic tore apart his unwilling wife’s mid-1990s Mitsubishi Mirage and dropped its body on a self-shortened S-10 frame. He then dropped a 307 cubic-inch Oldsmobile engine in it and connected the Olds engine to the transmission and transfer case on the S-10 frame. It actually looked and sounded mean when he was done, but instead of re-welding the frame together, he used several bolts to secure it. Guess what happened...

What’s my point here? Well, a new monster has recently come to our attention, which is for sale on Craigslist. The owner has dubbed this machine a 2007 Willys Trike. This trike has a stretched Jeep CJ-2 body with a motorcycle wheel on the front. The body sits on a custom frame – hopefully it’s welded – and has the rear independent suspension from a T-bird.

Instead of having the old Jeep CJ-2 engine, this beast has a Chevy 4.3-liter Vortec engine, which is good for around 190 horsepower, if it is stock. Plus it has a four-speed transmission connecting the engine to the rear wheels.

The handle bars for the motorcycle wheel span all the way from the front of the vehicle through two slots under the windshield. We bet this thing is a scary animal to maneuver at high speeds. But anyways, this “Mountain Man” monster can be yours for “just” $11,000. We bet this thing sits on the market for a while.

Source: Craigs List

We are no vacuum cleaner experts, but we can say from firsthand experience that Dyson vacuums suck, in a good way. As a company it’s obvious that they don’t suck, as the above video makes it look like the employees and management sure do know how to cut loose sometimes. Okay, we are done with the “suck” jokes.

The video shows what happens when a company has a few too many spare parts lying around, some extra time, and a team of engineers that simply love building random stuff. What you get is a fastest vacuum cleaner car competition.

The rules were simple; build an electric car using spare parts from a Dyson vacuum cleaner. Some of the cars looked a little boring, but others were amazingly innovative and downright fast. The engineers then launched their creations down a drag-racing track made from empty boxes and wooden pallets to see whose car was the fastest.

Though the video doesn’t show a winner, it was still entertaining. Far and away our favorite clip was the dude donning full racing garb going down the track on a go-cart-like contraption that he built. We’re pretty sure the racing equipment was more for effect than actual fear of injury. Another funny one is at the 0:32-second mark when the operator looks like he’s diffusing a bomb, when in reality he is pressing the launch button on an impressively quick creation.

It’s always nice to see a large company like Dyson pulling off a fun project like this. And it’s even more impressive to see the kinds of wheeled contraptions engineers can zip-tie together from a few spare vacuum parts. Enjoy watching what happens when engineers have too much free time on their hands.

As much as we try to resist talking about every single celebrity’s car, there are some cases where a celebrity car also happens to be 100% ridiculous. In those cases, well, we just can’t help ourselves. Enter in, Justin Bieber’s 2012 Fisker Karma .

We aren’t reporting on the fact that this teen pop idol is being environmentally friendly, nor that he was handed the keys to this beautiful black Fisker Karma free of charge. Nope, that’s not the story. The story is that this 18-year-old pop sensation turned this beautifully sculpted ECO-supercar into a rolling mirror, literally.

We are cool with a little chrome, but there is a point when it becomes excessive. Mr. Bieber, you hit that point of excess, then broke through the barrier and tossed a live grenade at the remainder of that barrier to make sure it can never be crossed again.

This young man chromed out the entire car, not just a few accents here and there, the e-n-t-i-r-e car. Top to bottom coated in shiny, sunlight-reflecting chrome. Now, if he lived somewhere that the sun wasn’t excruciatingly intense, that might be cool, but this dude lives in California. As you can see from the above video, the sunlight creates a nearly blinding reflection on the car’s surface, which we would assume is illegal.

Um, nope, according to California law, a fully chromed out car is perfectly legal, but those pretty little mood lights under the front bumper are not legal. I remember getting pulled over repeatedly in Pennsylvania for my Camaro’s exhaust being too loud, that monstrosity of a Karma is louder than my Camaro’s exhaust could have ever been.

Hit the jump to see this beautiful machine before Bieber ruined, err, customized it.

So what happens when an Aston Martin Zagato, a 2000s Thunderbird , and an Austin Healy all get tipsy on high octane fuel and have one wild night? You get the newest retro sports car by custom car builder Fornasari, the Gigi.

To say this thing is awkward looking is an understatement, but then again nearly all of Fornasari’s cars are awkward looking. The Gigi has the signature double hump roof of a Aston Martin Zagato, the taillights and rear fenders of a 2000s Ford Thunderbird, and the front clip from an Austin Healey 3000. Well, it doesn’t literally have these parts, but it sure looks like it. All awkwardness aside, this car is supposedly going to be a real screamer.

Fornasari claims this car will come fitted with a 6.2-liter V-8 engine that will produce more than 500 horsepower. This will propel this Frankenstein car to 60 mph in roughly 3.5 seconds, per Fornasari, and will have a top speed of 200 mph. If you feel you can bypass the goofy, err, "retro" looks, you can snag one of these things up for just shy of $290,000.

Besides the aforementioned details, there is not much more on these cars and no delivery dates are set. The only other tidbit of information we managed to dig up is that a convertible option is in the works. We’ve attached a few concept pictures in the gallery below, so you can see exactly what we are talking about.


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