12 of the Strangest Vehicles ever Designed
Sometimes, inventions may seem strange and ludicrous to others. Such inventions may solve the purpose of the inventor, or the inventor too may be amused with the final result of the invention. Phew! But these products do get a shape, form, and existence. Whether they are useful or not, they hold significance as strange creations. Today, we are going to cover some of the strangest vehicles ever made. Scroll down below to read about them and decide whether these 12 strangest vehicles ever designed seem unusual to you or not.
This is probably one of the strangest vehicles ever made. This single-wheel automobile was designed in 1930 by Dr. J.A. Purves from Taunton, Somerset, UK. He was inspired to design this monowheel from a sketch made by Leonardo Da Vinci.
The doctor even patented the monowheel later on. The single wheel was, in fact, the entire car. It had a cabin inside the circumference of the large outer wheel where the driver and passenger could sit.
This vehicle could be driven at a speed of 30 miles per hour. The interesting fact is that the lattice-work in front of the driver’s eyes disappears when the wheel starts in motion, thereby giving a good view of the road to the driver. The wheel in motion flashes past so rapidly that the driver does not experience any difficulty in looking at the road ahead.
There were two prototypes of this vehicle made by Dr. Purves. The larger Dynasphere had a gasoline motor with 2.5 horsepower, enough to propel the heavy, one-thousand-pound wheel forward. The other was a smaller prototype that ran on electricity.
If the structure above reminds you of a plane without wings, then you are not wrong because that was the intention behind the Leyat. Designed by Marcel Leyat in 1909, the Leyat was the outcome of Marcel’s dream of building a plane without wings. He actually wanted to make a propeller car that worked on aerodynamic-design principles. He thought that if these principles made flight possible, they could make ground vehicles too, and make them better and efficient than airplanes.
Marcel Leyat named the vehicle “Helica” or “Helicycle” to make it sound stylish. He chose this name because he thought that the vehicle embodies safety, speed, elegance, and style all in a sleek. aerodynamic framework.
The passengers sat behind each other as in an aircraft. The vehicle was steered using the rear wheels, and the car was powered by a giant propeller powered by an 8 bhp Scorpion engine. Plywood was used for the outer body of the vehicle, and it weighed just 250 kg. Leyat managed to sell 30 Helicas between 1919 to 1925.
3 1942 Oeuf Électrique
Shaped like an electric egg with three wheels and running on batteries, this 1942 Oeuf Électrique was possibly the most futuristic car of its time. Who knew in 1942 that a time would come when we would have to design cars running on electricity someday?
A space-saver too, this car, designed by Parisian Paul Arzens, is made from hand-formed aluminum and curved plexiglass. These materials were hard to find and quite novel some 70 years back. Designer Parisian Paul Arzens worked as a painter and designed railway locomotives before jumping to car designing.
4 Messerschmitt KR200
A funny-looking vehicle, the Messerschmitt KR200 did manage to dominate the streets between 1955 to 1964, with at least 40,000 units being sold. This bubble-shaped vehicle was designed by famed aeronautical engineer Fritz Fend and later manufactured by German aircraft manufacturer Messerschmitt. This tiny vehicle only had three wheels and a huge bar for steering instead of a regular wheel.
This bubble car was made targeting the stylish German citizens who were too posh for a scooter and not rich enough to buy a car. It was also called a “Kabinroller” (“cabin scooter”). The car had tandem seating in a narrow body and a low frontal area. This car was very famous with celebrities in Hollywood and was also featured in several movies such as Strictly for Pleasure (1958).
Elvis Presley had once traded his Messerschmitt KR200 to Bernand Lansky for a two and half-hour shopping spree at the famous Lansky Brothers Department Store in Memphis. This had become a signature move and made the car quite famous.
5 The American Dream – World’s Longest Limousine
As if not long enough, someone did think of designing the longest and wildest limousine in the world! The American Dream, the world’s longest limousine, is an ultra-stretched, 100-foot-long vehicle and was undoubtedly an 80s’ extravaganza!
This 26-wheeled vehicle was designed by Jay Ohrberg of Burbank, California, USA. It features a swimming pool with a diving board and a king-sized water bed. The car can only bend in the middle or otherwise be driven as a rigid vehicle. Its sole purpose was for use in displays and films.
6 1930 Stout Scarab
Aesthetically unappealing, the Stout Scarab is probably the strangest car ever made. Built in the 1930s, this one is actually the world’s first minivan. Scarab is a species of beetle, and it was the inspiration behind the car’s design. It is believed that the designer William Stout of the Stout Motor Company was fascinated by scarabs and wanted to use its name and shape in his creation.
A Stout Scarab today is a rare collectible. Although the car was not entirely functional at that time, as it had no rear visibility, its unique design contributed to its lasting legacy. These days, the car easily tops the list of Art Deco design, and people have forgotten how ugly they once thought it was. It wouldn’t be wrong to call it one of the pioneers of the minivan segment. (1, 2)
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