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strange cars

strange cars

  Strange cars, funny cars, weird cars

Jay Leno is no stranger to odd cars. His massive warehouse garage is full of such things, and Jay is known for his daily rotation of what he drive to the NBC studios for taping his hit television show, The Tonight Show, which he will stop doing on February 17th when Jimmy Fallon takes over.

But this is Jay’s first time in an aluminum-skinned moped.

The three-wheeled trikes are built by his good friend and longtime builder Randy Grubb. Randy has tooled such things as Jay’s "tank car" and "decoliner." The design of these so-called "Decopods" are yet another original idea form his eccentric mind.

Build from a Piaggio MP3 scooter, Randy strips the trike of its plastic bodywork, lowers the seat an handlebars, and adds on his hand-crafted aluminum bodywork. The 250 cc scooter is capable of hitting 70 mph on the interstate, while keeping the rider sheltered from the wind with the plexiglass windscreen.

Considering himself an artist more than a businessman, Randy will only build six of these little art-deco wonders. He makes mention in the video above about one selling at the Barrett-Jackson auction for over $25,000, so if you’re in the market for one, you’d better save up and speak up.

More information can be found about Randy and his masterfully crazy creations at his website, RandyGrubbs.com

Click past the jump for videos on how Randy built his Art-Deco masterpieces

Posted on by Simona  

Shortly after Chevrolet launched the SS sports sedan onto the market Hennessey Performance came up with a pretty amazing tuning kit that raised the standard output up to 600 horsepower — up from 415 horsepower.

A few weeks ago, we got a look at the Hennessey SS hitting a top speed of 163 mph on a Texas Toll Road, and today the tuner released a video of the sports sedan running the quarter mile in 11.84 seconds at 117 mph. To put that into perspective, a Ferrari 458 Italia runs the quarter in about 11.5 ticks at 125 mph — not too bad for a sedan.

The only update the model received besides that bad-ass HPE600 kit was a set of drag radials for extra grip.

As a reminder the HPE600 package includes a TVS2300 supercharger, HPE air induction system, fuel system upgrades and ECU modifications. A series of aesthetic updates were also made, including a carbon aero body kit and a carbon-fiber kit for the interior.

When trolling the interwebz, there is no telling what sort of shenanigans one can find, and in honor of Christmas, we’ve dug up this amazing example of time-well-spent: a Mitsubishi Lancer covered in over 3,000 LED lights.

This video, which was recorded last year, shows the 2004 Lancer ’s illuminated transformation, as it’s consumed by Christmas lights in an eerie horror film-like garden of possessed strands of wires. The Lancer, now wearing a coat of many colors, rolls down the streets bringing Christmas cheer to homes along the road and bystanders observing a parade.

According to the YouTube page, a simple power inverter was needed to light the 3,000 bulbs without needing to upgrade the car’s alternator, thanks to the low power needs of LEDs. We’re not sure how the lights were actually attached to the car, besides perhaps an excessive number of Scotch tape rolls.

The videography is half the fun in this three-minute production. Camera shakes, blurred lights, and out-of-focus shots make images of a car covered in lights somehow more interesting. Not to mention the creative plot line of parasite Christmas lights attacking a moving vehicle. Our hats are off to these guys and their ludicrous Lancer, but we’re hoping they shoot some slow-motion sideways drift action for their next iteration of the series.

Happy Halloween, TopSpeed faithful, and as we do on most holidays, we have put together a special article to get you in the spirit of the season. This time around, we polled 30 key members of the automotive editorial industry, yours truly included, to find what car best symbolizes Halloween to them.

Now, the symbol of Halloween doesn’t necessarily mean it is a scary car. It could be a car that simply reminded the person of their childhood and trick-or-treating; maybe a car that looks like a pumpkin; maybe one that is set to tackle the zombie apocalypse ; maybe a car so ugly that it looks like it is wearing a scary costume; or maybe even the car that the bad guy in a horror flick drove.

So, kick back, relax, snag a few mini chocolate bars from you kid’s bag — claiming the wrapper looks "tampered with" — and check out what cars remind the brass of automotive journalism of Halloween.

Click past the jump to read all 30 journalists’ favorite Halloween cars.

Posted on by TB +  

Something that is really incredible about the Olympic Games is how enthralling it can be to hear the winning athletes talk about their sport. Even if the sport is something the viewer has never done or even seen, hearing an expert break it down can really bring it to life.

That is the mood from Brian Darwas in the latest promo for his mastercraft custom car shop, Atomic Hot Rods . He walks us through his vision for the hot rod ’s final state: authentic and real are the goals, so much that a bystander cannot tell if the car was made into a hot rod in 2002 or 1952.

There’s a real art to his craft and a beauty to bringing dead cars back to the roads. The best part of this expert promo video? The car (or one quite similar) featured within is for sale. A one-of-a-kind 1932 Ford Roadster with an all-steel Brookville Body is currently on the market from Atomtic Hot Rods.

Click past the jump to watch the promo video, featuring Brian Darwas and Atomic Hot Rods.

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The question of where to take Lincoln ’s styling was top-of-mind for Ford during the mid 1950s, and the net it cast was to both the internal styling teams and one special dream car creator of Italy.

Turbulent times for all the Blue Oval brands followed the market flop of their Edsel series, and Chevrolet was lighting up newsprint and auto shows with their swanky Motorama events and the original Corvette concept of 1953.

The desire for miraculous styling direction and stunning concept cars led to all the non-GM American car brands to pair off with Italian styling houses. During this flurry of deals, Ghia signed up with Chrysler , Bertone for Packard and Carrozerria Touring with Hudson.

Lincoln went with a less-renowned name of Felice Paolo to dress a rolling chassis with bespoke coupe bodywork ahead of the Turin motor show. The orange lacquer paint was barely dry on the 1955 Lincoln Indianapolis Exclusive Study by Carrozzeria Boano Torino when it was rolled onto the rotating platform of the Turin auto show.

This stunning concept car is headed for the glitz and flash bulbs again this November with RM Auctions, where the car’s previous million-dollar pricing is expected to climb in value yet again.

Click past the jump for all the unusual and one-off style of the 1955 Lincoln Indianapolis Concept.

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When it comes to Mr. Snuggles (Kobe Bryant) and his West Coast Customs ’ 1963 Impala SS Convertible, it seems that having $100,000,000 in the bank will change a man’s taste in automobiles.

From this air-ride and 808-thumping beast, Kobe’s previous taste in cars was not quite as universally refreshing as his favorite brand of soda, which is Sprite, by the way. Painted a hideous purple/blue blend and with Cheech and Chong-style low-rider wheels: this nasty custom is really an L.A. special.

The 100-spoke, 13-inch wheels and the interior are reasonably well done, but watching the West Coast Customs ’ brain trust on cable TV does not inspire confidence in one inch of the engine mechanicals, handling, reliability, performance or value of this 1963 Impala SS.

This example is for sale at $100,000 even, with over 700 people watching the auction and dozens of offers already rejected. No word if West Coast Customs would do a barter deal for tutoring and (maybe!) get these artistic geniuses a GED certificate or two.

Click past the jump to take a fantastic voyage in Kobe’s baller Impala , which might even come with a grumpy meet/greet with Jesse James.

Lamborghini Urus

Harry Metcalfe from Evo Magazine was one of a select few to find himself at Lamborghini ’s 50th anniversary gala and apparently he took to tweeting during the event. One of his tweets alerted us to something that we all assumed but were still uncertain of: Lamborghini will produce its first SUV since the LM002 starting in 2017.

You read that right, folks; we are just three or four model years – depending on whether Metcalfe was talking U.S. model years or Euro model years – away from seeing the Lamborghini Urus in showrooms. Of course, we do take this report with a little doubt, as it is not straight from the mouth of Lamborghini, but the source is still rather reliable.

Surprisingly, the Tweet has remained up for quite a long time without Metcalfe getting too much flak from Lambo over it. And the longevity of this tweet lends a little authority to it, as Lamborghini is quick to squash any leaks that are either huge secrets or outright lies.

We’ll keep an eye on the twitter world to see if Metcalfe changes his tune soon or if Lamborghini chooses to release this information after seeing how much press it’s getting. Stay tuned!

Click past the jump to read more about the Urus

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Source: Twitter
Posted on by Simona  

A four-wheeler is very practical; a two-wheeler makes you look cool in front of the girls; a three-wheeler can be an alternative; but what about a six-wheeler, or more? We know there are lots of people out there that are looking for an alternative to their everyday ride and, why not; models with more wheels can be the right choice.

If you are one of those guys and want to stay in touch with all the news available for these kinds of vehicles, we have found a pretty cool website that provides them: SixMania. It’s true, the site is written mostly in French, but that’s what Google Translate is for, right?

The website offers details on lots of models and all the crazy things people do in them, but also presents the creators of the vehicles. This site features all sorts of cool news and even cooler videos; we definitely suggest taking some time out to take a look at it.

Source: sixmania.fr

Fornasari made headlines almost a year ago when it released renderings of the Gigi sports car, a questionably named, retro-looking coupe that didn’t inspire much in the way of fascination.

To be fair, images of the Gigi were only renderings so we’re going to hold off on serious judgment until the Geneva Motor Show when the Gigi finally makes its world debut. More importantly, the Gigi won’t be alone in the Fornasari booth, as it appears that the Italian automaker will also have a couple of other still-to-be-named vehicles in Geneva.

Looking at the preview image on their website - again, all renderings - Fornasari is bringing a couple of SUVs, including the 2011 RR99 , a Porsche Cayenne look-alike if there ever was one and a camouflaged Hummer with a more pronounced front end.

Fornasari hasn’t released any details on these other models so it’s probably a safe bet to say that they’re preparing these models with intent to shock and awe all of us at Geneva.

Whether they accomplish that remains to be seen. But we are intrigued, which in itself is already half the battle won.


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