Since the first car was ever made, we have all been treated to some sublime, crazy, stupendous, and thrilling cars. Not all cars have impressed, with many forgettable, and poor attempts, however occasionally some golden nuggets have been unearthed that stay with us forever.
We have listed below 10 of the coolest and most unique cars. What do you think – do you agree? Let us know in the comments.
1. 2021 GMD T.50
Gordon Murray – famed designer of the McLaren F1 – has sought to reintroduce a driver-focused car in an era where computers and fancy electronics ultimately determine how a car is allowed to be driven.
The new GMD T.50 is a hyper car that does things differently from the others. For starters – besides its 12,100 rpm red line – there is nothing that stands out from the car as far as specs go.
It is pricey at a £2.4 million purchase price. This car was designed to deliver the most immersive driving experience possible. At the forefront of this is the return of a 6-speed manual transmission.
2. 1981 DeLorean DMC-12
If there was ever a car that could define an entire generation, it would have to be the Delorean DMC-12. Its peculiarly desirable silhouette – with a blend of both futuristic and retro looks – would go on to catapult it to cult status as one of the co-stars of the Back to the Future movie series.
Through the scope of being an actual automobile, there is nothing particularly desirable or outstanding about it. Its 130 hp engine could only propel the car from 0-60 mph in just under 10 seconds, which makes you wonder how Marty McFly even got up to the 88 mph needed to traverse the flow of time.
The good news is that DeLorean as a company still exists and offers restoration services for your DMC-12. You can also commission some upgrades which will bring it a notch closer to modern standards, including an engine tuning package which will allow the stock power plant to produce over 200 hp.
3. 2021 Tesla Roadster
The original Tesla Roadster was unveiled in 2007, boasting a top speed of more than 130 mph, a range of 250 miles on a single charge and a 0-60 mph time of about four seconds. Its brief production run from 2008-2012 would set the foundation on which Tesla would proliferate its product to the mass-market via the Model S, Model X and Model 3.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk has confirmed a return of the Roadster to the line-up, equipped with vast improvements over the first iteration. Time has been kind to the Roadster in this sense, as it looks to benefit from nearly a decade of additional R&D.
This go-around, the Roadster is said to achieve a 0-60-mph time of 1.9 s and a top speed of 250-mph. The new and improved 200-kWh battery is projected to provide up to 620 miles of range on a single charge when driven in a range-conscientious manner.
4. 1973 Reliant Robin
Can you quite believe this car was still in production until 2003? A car with just 3 wheels and what may as well be a lawnmower engine, it was a car that was just absolutely bonkers.
The Robin is proof that even the most modest of vehicles can be commercially successful when it properly caters to its market. For one, it was affordable. Very affordable.
Compounded by its excellent fuel economy, the Robin became doubly popular during the gas crisis in the 1980s. It is said to have peaked as the second most-owned UK-built car for many years during its production run.
These days the car has garnered quite the cult following, and is popular amongst collectors who have an affinity with the peculiar.
5. 1961 Amphicar Model 700
Unveiled at the 1961 New York Auto Show, it would go on to see a production run of 4 years. The Model 700 was built by the Quandt Group in West Germany and marketed primarily in the United States. Its amphibious architecture was based on the Volkswagen Schwimmwagen; a military vehicle used to traverse aquatic terrain during World War II.
The steering wheel also served a dual-purpose, allowing the driver/captain to point the car in the intended direction on both the dry and in the wet.
6. 1959 Cadillac Cyclone XP-74
The Cyclone, a 1959 show car with an aircraft-inspired design, explored futuristic technology. An early version of a crash avoidance system was the Cyclone’s radar-sensing technology that provided the driver with information on an object ahead, including distance to the object and stopping distance, both measured in feet.
Another forward-looking car from the 1950s, the Cyclone was a precursor of what we would see in the future. For example, when a sensor in the console detected rain, it automatically put up the one-piece bubble top. It also came standard with automatic climate control and featured a front-mounted engine with rear-mounted transmission and transaxle.
7. 1934 Stout Scarab
Designed by aeronautical engineer William Stout, the Scarab would ultimately become one of the most influential vehicles of the 20th century as it would become the pioneering foundation of the modern-day minivan.
However, it wouldn’t be enough just to call the Stout Scarab the world’s first minivan, although it does thoroughly deserve this accolade. Afterall, the Scarab came standard with a number of industry-disrupting features which included ambient lighting, power locks, flexible seating configurations and a central passenger door (which functions much like the ones we see on minivans today).
Sadly, the onset of World War II would prematurely end the Scarab’s production run at just 9 units. There are less than a handful which exist today, with one of them being Stout’s personal car which racked up over 250,000 miles – a true testament to an end product based on pragmatic engineering and design principles.
8. Dodge Daytona/Plymouth Superbird
Hands up any ‘Disney Cars’ fans? Not just me then?! The eagle eyed amongst you will notice this car as ‘The King’ from that movie franchise, and is a hall of famer in its own right.
The Superbird was made to dominate stock car racing and elevate Plymouth’s race credentials at the same time. These modifications helped the car beat the Ford Torino Talladega at NASCAR.
Due to homologation requirements, both Dodge and Plymouth had to produce the Aero Warriors in substantial numbers. In Plymouth’s case, 1,920 Superbirds had to be made and they were all built in 1970. It was based on the standard Road Runner which featured cartoon character stickers and a ‘beep-beep’ horn.
While the race versions got full blown Hemi engines, most of the Superbirds got 440 Super Commandos or 440 six-packs rated at 385hp. Of the 1,920 cars made, only 93 got the Hemi 426. These were conservatively rated at 425 bhp at 4,500 rpm, but actually peaked at 5,800 rpm producing 550 bhp.
9. 1997 Thrust SSC
While the Thrust SSC can barely be called a car – being powered by jet engines and piloted by a Royal Air Force Pilot, for starters – it does in fact hold the world land speed record. This feat was achieved on October 15 1997, when it reached a top speed of 1,228 km/h (763 mph) and became the first land vehicle to officially break the sound barrier. It holds the record to this day.
Powered by a pair of Rolls-Royce Spey turbofan engines from the McDonnell Douglas F-4 Phantom II supersonic jet fighter, the Thrust SSC was able to generate over 40,000 pound-force of thrust.
People who were on site at Nevada’s Black Rock Desert, remarked hearing a “sonic boom” as the SSC appeared to smoothly and assuredly accelerate past the sound barrier. RAF pilot Andy Green described a much different experience, recalling his moments in the SSC as “a massive handful, bordering on uncontrollable.”
10. Engler F.F SuperQuad
I had the pleasure of sitting on this car at the 2020 Salon Prive event in UK. It was a baffling motor, as it is essentially a quad bike, but is classed officially as a hyper car. Whatever it is, it is mind-bogglingly outrageous.
Carrying a price tag in to the millions, only a few are to be made, with a limited run. But for an exclusive vehicle, andif you have spare money burning a hole, then why not buy this death trap. It is stunning and beautiful, but equally ridiculous and ultimately squeezes into our unique 10.