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Unusual Cars

Delahaye 175S Delahaye

1939 Delahaye Cabriolet Delahaye 1895 - 1954
Delahaye automobile manufacturing company was started by Emile Delahaye in 1894, in Tours, France. His first cars were belt-driven, with single or twin cylinder engines.

In 1935 the introduction of the Coupé des Alpes car model and the Model 135 car brought success to their car business. Delahayes of this period are recognized to be some of the most beautiful automobiles ever built.

1936 Stout Scarab
1936 Stout Scarab

stout-scarab1946 1946 experimental prototype of the Scarab

The Stout Scarab is a 1930-1940s automobile designed by William Bushnell Stout and produced in small numbers by Stout Engineering Laboratories and later by Stout Motor Car Company of Detroit, Michigan.
Along with many novelties and innovations, the Stout Scarab is credited by some as the world's first production minivan and a 1946 experimental prototype of the Scarab became the world's first car with a fiberglass bodyshell and air suspension. In 1936 it featured a removable table and second row seats that turn 180 degrees to face the rear – a feature that Chrysler marketed as Swivel 'n Go in 2008. The $5000 price tag in the 1930-1940 eara doomed this minivan. Stout also designed what eventually became the Ford Trimotor.

Davis Devin  1948 Davis Devin
Davis model 494
Davis Model 194 military vehicle
The Davis Motorcar Company was an American automobile manufacturer based in Van Nuys, California, which produced three-wheeled automobiles from 1947 to 1948.

Berlinetta BAT

The Alfa Romeo BATs were Italian concept cars. The car originated in a joint collaboration project between Alfa Romeo and the Italian design house Bertone that began in 1953. Three cars were made in the 1950's, the BAT 5 in 1953, the BAT 7 in 1954, and the BAT 9 in 1955. 50 years later another BAT model came out. The BAT 11 made its début in Geneva in 2008 The new BAT 11, based on the Alfa Romeo 8C Competizione, shares many styling cues with the classic BAT cars of the 50s.

Citroen Sahara Citroen Sahara

Citroen Sahara 4x4 The real unusual feature of this car is how it achieves four wheel drive. Citroen wanted a four-wheel-drive model, but they felt a conventional all wheel drive setup was too costly and complicated. Citroen bypassed both problems with a very unique solution. The Sahara had an extra engine mounted in the rear compartment to drive the rear wheels while the front engine drove the front wheels. The two engines were completely independent units with their own gearboxes, fuel tanks and starter buttons. On flat surfaces just one of the engines could be used to save fuel and on rough terrain the second engine could be engaged. The Sahara was built from 1959 - 1971.

Brütsch Mopetta

Brütsch Mopetta, a three-wheeled microcar designed by Egon Brütsch. Only 14 of this particular model were built. These were made between 1956-1958 in Germany.

Zoop Car
The 2006 Zoop Car, an electric vehicle designed by Paris-based Maison de Courrèges. Three people can fit inside, and it’ll go up to 120 mph.

McQuay-Norris Streamliner
McQuay-Norris Streamliner

The six McQuay-Norris Streamliners produced in 1934 were built to be driven by McQuay-Norris engine component sales representatives.
As well as advertising the company, McQuay-Norris used the Streamliners as test-beds for new engine components, and for this purpose the interior was fitted with many dials and instruments to monitor performance and engine condition.
The McQuay-Norris Streamliner's chassis and running gear were based on a Ford V8, and the aerodynamic bodywork was made from steel and aluminum attached to a wooden frame. The curved windows were made from Plexiglas.

The McQuay-Norris Streamliners were rolling test beds and promotional vehicles for the McQuay-Norris Company of St. Louis, which manufactured replacement pistons, rings, bearings and other automotive bits and pieces that one might need in order to rebuild an automobile engine or chassis. The idea to build the cars first came in 1932, and the task fell to Cincinnati, Ohio's Hill Auto Body Metal Company, which used unmodified 1932-33 Ford V-8 chassis and engines as the basis for the six Streamliners. Bodies were constructed of steel sheet metal attached to wood framing, with the exception of the doors, which were aluminum.

Missing on these vehicles were windshield wipers and rear windows. Reportedly, the company engineers who drove the streamliners noted that the faster they drove, the better the visibility during rainy days, as the water rolled back thanks to the rounded Plexiglas front window panes.

Reeves Octoauto
Milton O. Reeves attracted stares with the Octoauto he built by adding four more wheels to an Overland in 1911. It was advertised as "The Easiest Riding Car in The World" and said adding the extra wheels was done to offer the smoothness of a train ride and to save on tire wear.
Reeves, an early car inventor who built many different cars founded the Reeves Sexto-Octo Company in 1911. Time Magazine has named this car as one of the most ugly ever produced. At the time, however, the Octo-Auto was hailed by writer and editor Elbert Hubbard for its comfort and durability. It had a 40-horsepower engine, was over 20 feet long, sat 4-passengers, and retailed for $3200.00.
There are still a few still running and they celebrated their 100 year anniversary in Indiana in 2011with the largest gathering ever of all the surviving 1911 Octo-Autos. When Milton died in 1925 he held more than 100 patents.

Brigss Flyer

Briggs & Stratton Flyer
Now known for building small engines, Briggs & Stratton built an almost-automobile from 1919 to 1925. With a wood frame doubling as chassis and suspension. Virtually all Flyers were painted red and were known widely as the “Red Bug”. The Flyer is listed in the Guinness Book of Records as the most inexpensive car of all time. The book lists the 1922 Briggs & Stratton Flyer as selling from US$125 to US$150.
A few Smith Flyers still exist in collections around the country, and blueprints for the car are available online.

Tatra T971936 Tatra T97

Tatra is a vehicle manufacturer in the Czech Republic. The company was founded in 1850 as Schustala & Company a wagon and carriage manufacturer, and in 1897 produced the first motor car in central Europe, the Präsident. Tatra is the third oldest car maker in the world after Daimler Mercedes-Benz and Peugeot. During World War II Tatra was instrumental in the production of trucks, and tank engines for the German war effort. Production of Tatra cars ceased in 1999 but the company still produces a range of large trucks.

Messerschmitt  KR175

Messerschmitt, a famous German aircraft manufacture known primarily for its World War II fighter aircraft was banned from making aircraft after WWII. In 1952 they started manufacturing small motor vehicles.
Their first vehicle was the Messerschmitt KR175 of the Kabinenroller series which means "scooter with cabin".
The KR175 ran on a 173 cc air-cooled single cylinder two-stroke engine positioned in front of the rear wheel, just behind the passenger's seat. The engine was started with a pull rope as standard, but there was an option of an electric starter. The transmission was a four speed with no synchronization or reverse gear.
The KR175 was steered with tubular steel handlebars operated by pushing rather than by turning. The throttle was operated by a twist-grip on the left handlebar.

This was also the car "Cousin Itt" drove in the Addam's Family Movie.

Unusual Swan Car

This Swan car was created by Robert Nicholl Matthewson, a Scotsman living in India in the early 1900s, when the maharajas were having some extraordinary one-off automobiles built.
Built on a 1910 Brooke 25/30 HP chassis, the Swan can open its beak and spray steam, light up its eyes and play an 8-note horn.

Turtle Car Wooden Car
Too much Turtle Wax?
This Turtle Car and Wooden car are interesting designs, but we probably won't see them assembly line produced!

The last Yugo and other auto failures

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