Automobiles are often expressions of one's taste and style, but most of us are limited to the cost and availability of options. But for serious car enthusiasts, engineers and designers, the sky is the limit and is only stunted by one's imagination.
Take John DeLorean, for example, who was once called the Auto Prince by People Weekly, had a dream. The dream was to become one of the major auto manufacturers in the country and for a while, it looked like a possibility. The DMC-12 DeLorean was introduced in 1975 and was very futuristic-looking for the times with its stainless steel exterior, gull-wing doors and sporty features. Unfortunately, the dream died seven years later when the company went into liquidation. However, it became iconic when it was used as the time machine in the feature film trilogy Back To The Future, where it will remain a part of cinema history.
There are also concept cars that most high-end sports car manufacturers produce that are one-off and not intended for mass production. Concept cars are often used to test out new parts, shapes and sizes. Although many of them never see the light of day after their premiere, some of the ideas end up getting used on cars that do get mass manufactured. So they become helpful for the entire industry.
Our cover shot is one weird-looking auto - the Flatmobile - which is only 18 inches tall. The inspiration came from the Batmobile, according to Flatmobile's website, the car is powered by a home built gas turbine jet engine, which is at the rear of the car. The car's designer, Perry Watkins of Perrywinkle Customs, loves to build custom "crazy" cars since 1984. So by the time he developed the Flatmobile, he had already been an auto inventor for 23 years, which was created in 2007.
If you think this car is strange-looking check out our top ten picks below;
10 Dream Car 123 - The Pyramid Electric Car
This auto inventor had a vision that most others would never have dreamed up, which is probably why it is called the Dream Car 123. In fact, it looks like a spaceship from a 1960s science fiction movie.
Inventor Greg Zanis created this futuristic electric auto to act like a tank and look like something someone would wear or win on a game show like "Let's Make a Deal". According to a report in Oddee.com, the auto weighs 8,000 pounds, stops and turns instantly and only takes 3.5 hours to charge. He also designed a tower garage that can capture the sun and wind and act as the vehicle's charger.
This funky-looking auto was being touted as the first "energy-autonomous" car, because it includes a solar panel and a wind turbine for its power. It can also be recharged via an electrical outlet, to boost its lasting power. The energy from the elements can only power the car up to 14 miles per energy-charged day. We have to admit, this car looks more like a golf cart than an automobile we would see cruising down the street.
8 1938 Buick Y Job
This 1938 Buick Y-Job is a good example of a concept car and was built at General Motors' plant in Detroit, Michigan. It was never intended to be mass produced, but instead used as an model to test new ideas. Harley Earl was GM's first design director and this beauty was made under his direction. The integrated fenders and hidden headlamps were new concepts that were integrated into Cadillacs and Buicks in later years. The front and side grilles were intended to add yet another luxury feature, yet they may have overdone it.
7 1967 Dodge Deora
This Deora looks like a futuristic El Camino, and was designed as a pickup. The front end of the vehicle looks very much like the rear end of many cars because there is no visible hood. Detroit's Alexander Brothers were responsible for this design that was promoted as the pickup of the future, according to an article in Popular Mechanics. Luckily, it was a concept car that never made it to the future. Take the wheels/tires off and it resembles something that will, someday, be flying in the air.
6 1942 Oeuf Electrique
The literal translation of this French-named car is "Electric Egg". It was designed by Paul Arzens, from Paris, whose career background was in designing trains and painting. He ultimately decided to try his hand at designing cars and came up with this bubble-like three-wheeler that ran on batteries. The bubble top was constructed from aluminum and Plexiglass and curved by hand, rather than machine. It never made it into mass production, but judging by the popularity of the Smart car, it would probably do well in today's environmentally-conscious world.
5 1970 Ferrari (Pininfarina) 512 S Modulo
Ferrari is known for their sleek concept cars and this unusual-looking one was created for the 1970 Geneva Motor Show. This Ferrari Modulo was designed by Paolo Martin of the famous Italian Pininfarina group, that Ferrari often pairs with. Its top speed is 220mph and it is so low to the ground and aerodynamic that it gets going from 0-60 in 3.1 seconds. Evidently a recent buyer (2014), James Glickenhaus, has been planning to bring it back to its original state. We don't know if it is for display or to take out on the road.
4 1935 Bugatti Type 57S Competition Coupe Aerolithe
This 1935 Bugatti Type 57S Competition Coupe Aerolithe was introduced at the Paris Auto Show. Its back half resembles a Porsche 911 while the front half looks like an old fashion roadster. The back wheel covers are classic and the details are complete luxury. According to an article in the businessinsider.com, the original vehicle was taken apart and used as parts, following the Auto Show. However, it was recreated in 2007 by reviewing paintings of it and has not been put on display.
3 1948 Tasco
Originally, this auto was made by The American Sports Car Company and later coined TASCO, which is its acronym. German designer Gordon Buehrig, was inspired by WWII fighter planes, and was meant to be a sports car. It is the first car-ever to sport a T-top roof and the interior dash panel resembles that of an aircraft. Buehrig patented his one-of-a-kind T-top roof and later sued Corvette for using it on its 1968 model. Unfortunately, he was paid very little for his patent and it became almost a trademark for Corvettes.
2 1910 Brooke Swan Car
The notable thing about this car is that they cost three times as much as a Rolls-Royce back in 1910. The high price came with its own set of luxury amenities and accessories, such as gold leaf accents (see the exterior), Indian silk upholstery, shoots out boiling water from its beak and leaves faux excrement from the rear. The car is generally on display at a museum in The Hague.
1 1956 Buick Centurion
This 1956 Buick Centurion was ahead of its time, as its features were so forward-thinking. The front-seats automatically slid back for ease in entering and leaving as soon as the door was opened. Plus, it included a screen on the dashboard that helped the driver see what was behind the vehicle from the rear-view camera. The two-door, four-seat concept car sported the dual paint colors, which was very popular in the 1950s. The bubble roof was cockpit style, giving this auto a futuristic appearance.