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Favourite oddball cars

casm

NAXJA Forum User
Location
Oklahoma
In the spirit of the cars you love or hate threads, here's yet another one. This time you get to nominate vehicles that you like because of their eccentricities. The rules (yes, there are rules):

- Vehicles should be oddballs for one reason or another. This is totally subjective, but something like a '57 Chevy wouldn't make it because (despite being old) it's way too common as a collector car and, styling aside, doesn't really have anything all that unusual about it mechanically. Strange or unique sub-models are OK, though.

- You must state *why* you have made your choices - just saying something like 'I always thought Dodge Darts were weird' or 'K-Cars RULE!' doesn't cut it. Links expanding on this are encouraged.

- Exotics, low-production-run, mass-production-run, orphan marques, prototypes... It doesn't matter. It just has to have something that makes it not mundane (yes, that does somewhat contradict the first rule above, but I did say this would be subjective).

- You're free to disagree with someone else's choice, but again: THIS IS SUBJECTIVE. Let's keep it civil.


OK, kicking off, here're my by-no-means-complete selections in no particular order of preference:


American:

- Chevrolet Corvair Monza Turbo. This model specifically for being the first full-production American turbo. The fact that it's a Corvair doesn't hurt either.

- Pontiac Fiero. Great idea, poorly-marketed (is it a commuter or a sports car?), killed before it could've been properly developed into a real pocket rocket.

- Cord 812. Incredibly elegant, front-wheel-drive in the 1930s, and a supercharger. Proof of what American automotive engineering could have been.


European:

- NSU Ro80. World's first rotary-engined production vehicle; also used a semi-automatic transmission.

- Citroen Traction Avant (unit-body, IFS, FWD - in 1935), 2CV (novel suspension, mechanically indestructible, incredibly adaptable, twin engine / dual-transmission 4x4 Sahara model barking mad but highly-effective), and DS (hydropneumatic suspension, 4-wheel-disc brakes, incredible aerodynamics, better on the road 50 years after its launch than a good many modern cars).

- Peugeot: 402 Eclipse (hemi-head combustion chambers, world's first production electrically-operated steel-roof convertible), 205 GTi 1.9 (insane, brilliant), 405 Mi16 (fast for its time, unbelievable handling even 16 years on).

- Renault: R5 Turbo. Mid-engined, rear-drive monster derived from a competent but otherwise mundane FWD hatchback. Where the Peugeot 205 GTi was insane, the original R5 Turbo was criminally so. Later transverse-engined turbo models technically superior but not as fun.

- Rover P6. Originally conceived with a gas-turbine engine, had crisp transatlantic styling for 1963, four-wheel-disc brakes, and superb handling through its unconventional but very effective front and rear suspension design.

- Tatra 603. Rear-engined, air-cooled V8 landgoing torpedo. Earlier models were referred to as 'Czechoslovakia's secret weapon' during the war because of their propensity for killing German officers who didn't know how to handle them.

- Skoda S110R. Communist-built poor man's Porsche 911.

Japanese:

- Mazda Cosmo / 110S. Seven-tenths-scale Thunderbird looks with rotary power.

- Toyota 2000GT. Why did the Japanese stop making cars like this and turn them all into appliances?

- Suzuki Jimny LJ series. It's a 4x4, and it's tiny. What's not to love?

- Mitsubishi CJ-3A. On the most-wanted list; vital for WTF? value at Jeep meets.


Time to see what other folks have to say...
 
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http://www.2cvfliegerclub.de/unsere_treffen/2002_din/gallery/_volvo_radiocar.html
Here is a view from the side and back http://sucheaol.aol.de/suche/bilder...en-Offroad%2Fsweden2.html&h=215&w=387&size=36

Just wierd and ugly enough, to actually have a little class and personality.
Volvo radio car, has rather a large radio rack behind the drivers seat. Think it was built so an officer and radio operator, could go to war in style. Kind of a late 30's or 40´s (or even early fifities) body style with a WW II Power wagon style (3/4 ton military) front clip, most of the running gear was 1 ton Chev. 4X, flatbead stuff (WW II era).
Was seriously thinking of buying one, but it seemd a bit exotic.
 
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Always been kind of fond of the old Cudas...The first model years with the ugly fishbowl back window.
Like this one
My uncle gave me one...complete with bullet holes in the drivers door.
I never had the chance to get it running though and he hauled it off to the junk yard.
 
VW Golf Country.

'cause I liked them. Lifted, 4wd, rails/tubing underneath for protection.
 
1) <yall knew this was coming> jeep XJ. :D first unibody(car like) suv with solid truck axles/ suspension. invented 21 years ago, first "crossover" suv. popular the world over.

2) suburu forrester with the wrx package. oddball because it has the same motor (but different turbo) and front suspension as a wrx, but is a suv. REAL quick, costs much less than the sti, what every car-like suv should be.

3)EV1- first production electric car. because GM knew it wouldn't work, but had the balls to build it anyway. opened the doors to alternative fueled vehicles.

4)chrysler minivan. might sound gay, BUT first of it's kind. good example of useful FWD application. compact people-hauler that's comfortable, handles well, etc. perfect econimical hybrid betreen full sized van and a car. created a new market.

5) dodge viper. the v-10 ferrarri of the USA. because every serous sportscar needs a jeep-like torque powerband. :D

6)FORD MUSTANG. oddball now because ford absolutely refuses to lose the solid rear axle.:) really good for it's intended purpose. low budget "tuner" car of the US; go stoopid-fast for dirt cheap. many years parts are interchangable, too.
 
Glenn said:
VW Golf Country.

Good choice. Only ever seen them twice, never driven one, look like fun.

In a similar vein, I'll add the Fiat Panda 4x4 - similar concept to the Golf Country; the connection between the two is that Steyr-Puch engineered the 4WD and suspension systems on both. Interesting trivia note about the Panda 4x4: Ferrari used them as their chase vehicles when testing in the mountains.
 
DrMoab said:
Always been kind of fond of the old Cudas...The first model years with the ugly fishbowl back window.
Like this one
My uncle gave me one...complete with bullet holes in the drivers door.
I never had the chance to get it running though and he hauled it off to the junk yard.

One of my buddies I rode Harleys with had three gen-1 Barracudas: A 273-6 convertible (a 'real' olde lady schoolteacher 1-owner car.) A 68(?) 383/4spd Formula S, and another 67(?) with a swapped in 426/4spd :eek:

Never rode in the Hemi car, he had it apart restoring it... but the 383 had it's way with Columbus/Ft Benning traffic. Later on he scored a nice 68 340 Dart GT.I dunno if I'd call any of them oddball though.

This one's odd: Messerschmitt tg 500 tiger
http://www.eurasia85.be/test/nieuweversiefotoalbum/messerschmitt tg 500 tiger kabinenroller 1958.jpg
Nice MB 300 roadster in the background... Not as odd as the gullwing.

Or the "Erkel" car: BMW Isetta
http://i7.ebayimg.com/03/i/03/09/aa/b4_1_b.JPG
http://www.porthalcyon.com/features/200501/images/bmw_isetta.jpg
http://www.gentrylane.com/gen_site/58_bmw_isetta/58iso_rghtfrt.jpg
I like the bumper on the red one :D

59 Caddy's I've always thought of as odd... in a "Pimp Daddy" way:
http://www.edmunds.com/media/reviews/generations/cadillac.eldorado/59.cadillac.eldorado.500.jpg
http://www.hotrodjam.com/images/Cadillac Eldarado 59.jpg
http://www.hot-rod.com.au/caddy/van59.jpg
 
1992 Pontiac (Firebird) Firehawk. Only about 2 dozen made....
http://www.firebirdgallery.com/hawklot1.htm

93-95 Ford Lightning, less than 12,000 made over 3 years....Sadly these trucks have not held their value. They usually cost about 5-10% more than a similiarly equipped f-150.
http://www.nloc.net/home.php

1993 Ford Mustang Cobra, about 5000 made.
http://www.dealsonwheels.com/search/detailbig.cfm/Autos__ID/80048

Early 90's Vette ZR1. LT5 engine. 11" wide rear wheels.
http://forums.corvetteforum.com/forumdisplay.php?f=50

DeLorean
self explanatory
http://www.delorean-owners.org/
 
My favorite of all time......
















VW Type III Karmann Ghia.....

also known as a Type 34, never imported into the US by VW, all were sent over by private owners. Very rare, only produced for 4 years in limited production from the Karmann Coachwerks factory. Heres a linky;

http://www.type34.info/

5ecqww


5ecr3d


5ecr3d
 
91gcs1.jpg

casm said:
Good choice. Only ever seen them twice, never driven one, look like fun.

In a similar vein, I'll add the Fiat Panda 4x4 - similar concept to the Golf Country; the connection between the two is that Steyr-Puch engineered the 4WD and suspension systems on both. Interesting trivia note about the Panda 4x4: Ferrari used them as their chase vehicles when testing in the mountains.
 
Okay, haven't read everything here so these may have been covered...

Fiat Spyder: Cool just because they are cool, fun to drive, battery in trunk.
MGB: Three wiper blades! Single lug nuts. Very avaitor looking guages.
RX-7: Rotory Engine. Can be tweaked to kick some serious ass. (Ever done 360 degree turns in a vehicles own wheelbase on dry concrete?)
VW Thing: Sheer WTF!! factor.
 
ANYTHING from Citroen.....THANKS FRANCE...oh god...


citroen.bmp



heres another RARE VW 1970 Water Pumper. The K70...


vw.bmp
 
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1961-62 oldsmobile cutlass. All aluminum block v-8, avaluable in a very rare turbo model. Buick also used the aluminum block, but i dont like the styling as much....sold the engine to rover, the newer land rovers are still based of that engine....Plus my dads have a jag IRS, 4 wheel discs, And a 5- speed.

How about the overhead cam inline six pontiac firebird. Yeah, its not a v-8, but i think it was somewhere along the lines of 225HP, and fairley decent gas milage.
 
Glenn said:

Those are some very American-looking licence plates on that one ;)

For comparison, the Panda 4x4 (from the Desert Prats rather entertaining site):

corner_low.jpg


Mine was also a Sisley edition, but blue rather than red. Only had it briefly, though.
 
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Beej said:
Three wheelers of all types, although I show a bit of preference to the single-rear-wheel configuration. I just love 'em. Especially the really old Morgans:

I'd give my right arm and various other bits of my anatomy for a Super Sports. Or a 4/4, +4, or +8, for that matter :D

Seen the Grinnall Scorpion? That one's right up there with the Morgan trikes as well, and fast as hell to boot.
 
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