HarleyEarl

The Offbeat, the Unusual & the Ugly

61 posts in this topic

I thought it would be fun to have an ongoing thread hilighting unusual automobiles. Post some craziness.

How about this zany 'Ferrari':

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This '34 McQuay is way radical for the times. It must come from the airplane school of design. Dig the deep dash. Man, I thought the VW New Beetle's was deep, this beats it by a mile.

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How about the Beech Plainsman?
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Beechcraft built this in '48 thinking that military and civilian market for aircraft would dry up in the postwar glut. It was not only a hybrid gas/electric car but was four-wheel drive as well due to the 4cyl air-cooled engine being used to power electric motors at each wheel. Cost: $5000. What else cost that much in 1948? An airplane.

Note the loop-style AM radio antenna and expansive greenhouse. And, note to Subaru, you actually have to have a hertiage in avaition before claiming to have a grille like that be inspired by such.
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TurboRush, that Saab is so interesting. You almost never see Saabs done up like that.

And speaking of unusual customs check this one out. Its a 53 Jaguar.

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Let's not forget the Checker of taxi fame. For many years they used the Chevy 350 engine. Here is a nice '81.

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You guys are scareing the hell out of me. The Jag is beautiful, the Saab is excellent, the Sparrow is just what I need and the Ferrari is made from my favorite natural resource. The other pictures should be burnt - just kidding.
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I am a big fan of some of the orphan companies like American Motors and Studebaker. A descendant of Studebaker is the Avanti car company and this I believe was their latest. You guys are very good at figuring things out. Doesn't this car look like its based on the last Firebird....note the roof line and windshield area. I can't find much info on it. Apparantly the Avanti car company is up for sale?

Avanti:

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'48 Davis: pretty interesting: there is a nicely done devoted site: www.suarezweb.com/davis/
15 built (11 known to exist) plus 2 'jeeps'.

'34 McQuay-Norris: 6 built by the company of the same name to test piston rings and other internal engine components they manufactured. Engineering students were paid to drive these across North America to meet dealers & mechanics. They were built on completely stock '34 Ford Model A chassis'- thus the way-back driver's position. As of today, only 1 is known to exist, which I find hard to believe; they are so completely unique.
http://www.lanemotormuseum.org/restoration.htm

'48 Beech: 2 were supposedly built, tho I have not heard that either have survived.

The Avanti was indeed based on the last generation Firebird. I haven't looked into it far enough to learn if they are still in production using 'used' chassis' or what's going on there.
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How 'bout the revolutionary and innovative Dymaxion car designed by Buckminster Fuller in the early 1930s?
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That's the latest of three built. Its was extrodinary for its day, riding on an inverted and converted Ford chassies with a 90hp V-8 driving the front two wheels and steered with a single rear wheel. It sat 11 passengers, could travel up to 120mph, and did that at 30mpg - remarkable even today.

Unfortunately, during a demonstration drive, the driver of a Dymaxion was killed when another car collided with it. Naturally, the press blamed the accident on Fuller's weird car and that doomed it to being another unfulfilled dream.

One cool aspect about the Dymaxion was that the ultimate fruition of Fuller's car would be for it to be a three-dimensional transport, meaning it could fly somehow. Obviously since that technology didn't exist back then - or really even now in that application - the road version of the Dymaxion was supposed to be the first step.

Fuller also had a ton of other revolutionary ideas and concepts that he actually demonstrated, like advanced houses that weighed less than a ton and cost a fraction of a brick-and-mortar home, yet could withstand earthquakes and tornados. He was a very amazing guy.
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Father of the Geodesic Dome... Love the Dymaxion. Only 1 is known to exist today, IIRC. Absolutely fascinating car.
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Hey thanks balthazar, flybrian, variance and others for some great automotive info on these interesting and sometimes strange vehicles. I am in complete awe of some of the people that dream up these things and actually produce them. I find it absolutely facinating. I love this stuff.

The '67 Amphicar, these always intrigued me ever since I was a little kid when I first heard of them. They were designed and built in Germany from 1961-68. They operate on land and water. They can drive right out of the water onto the shore.
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Does the trailer float, or sink like a stone? What if you forget to unhitch it when you get the urge to take a dip? Does it pull the car down with it? Does the ship's orchestra play in the background as the headlights slowly but surely point to the sky, then dim as they go under? I wonder......
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Does the trailer float, or sink like a stone?  What if you forget to unhitch it when you get the urge to take a dip?  Does it pull the car down with it?  Does the ship's orchestra play in the background as the headlights slowly but surely point to the sky, then dim as they go under?  I wonder......

[post="1479"]<{POST_SNAPBACK}>[/post]



OC, you're too funny!!!! :lol: :P
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Blu, so funny. Wouldn't that be a great idea, have this car-boat pulling a house boat and they both float. The ultimate.

Speaking of houses on wheels, check this out, a very early motorhome, based on a Ford:

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Fiero-based '86 Zimmer Quicksilver

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Mustang84!....what a great collection of photos of the Quicksilver. Is it alright if I use for my collection? I have searched and only have one. I always liked this conversion.

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Mustang84!....what a great collection of photos of the Quicksilver.  Is it alright if I use for my collection?  I have searched and only have one.  I always liked this conversion. 

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[post="1537"]<{POST_SNAPBACK}>[/post]


They're actually not my photos...I just Googled them off the internet.

I too like the Quicksilver. That big chrome front end is just so cool. :) Edited by mustang84
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The Avanti is still alive... Studebaker dropped a long time ago and someone restarted the Avanti name as a company. The company now produces the Avanti and the Studebaker XUV.

The 2005 Avanti using the Ford 4.6L DOHC engine and based on the, you guessed it, 2004 Mustang.

2005 Avanti
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Studebaker XUV (I'm not yet sure if this has begun production)
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This is an odd little sportscar I saw at a show last fall. I haven't been able to ID it yet: Anyone know it?
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