Most of us have very usual cars – maybe an old VW, or a red fancy Ferrari. Our roads are full of those, but they rarely catch our attention. While VW can mean, that you have some financial problems, Ferrari shows that you are a rich lucky bastard. But in the end, you still get lost in the ocean of similar vehicles.
While we may not see these quizzical and often comical contraptions every day, we do generally benefit from their legacy.
By pushing the boundaries of what’s imaginable, they’ve allowed us to keep expanding the limits of what’s possible, in making vehicles that are more aesthetically adventurous, more versatile, more efficient and, of course, more fun.
The history of automotive design is littered with bold attempts to create vehicles so different in how they look and how they work that they render obsolete everything that’s come before. The most daring of these are usually concept cars, which aren’t limited by practicality or government regulations and can therefore allow automakers to really push the limits.
#5. Lancia Stratos Zero
The 1970 Stratos HF Zero is from the Collection of Bertone S.p.A. The wedge-shaped machine is expected to sell for anywhere from $1.4 million to $2.5 million on May 21.
But it’s the story behind the Zero that stirred our interest.
Around 1970, a rivalry was brewing between the famous design houses of Pininfarina and Bertone. The coachbuilders were trying to outdo each other with flamboyant and beautiful automobiles.
Bertone shot first, with the Alfa Romeo Carabo. Pininfarina returned the volley with the Ferrari P5, the 512S Berlinetta and the Modulo, which debuted to great fanfare at the 1970 Geneva motor show.
Not to be outdone, Bertone came to the 1970 Turin motor show fully loaded with a wedge-shaped creation originally called the Stratoslimite, or “limit of the stratosphere,” later Stratos HF Zero.
The initial concept behind the Zero was for Bertone’s people to see how low they could build a car. It may have been a response to Pininfarina’s Modulo, which stood at only 93.5 centimeters tall.
The final version of the Stratos Zero peaked at just 84 centimeters.Nor was the Zero was just a design concept; it was a fully functioning prototype. The futuristic design featured a row of headlights across the front with 55-watt bulbs.
The turn signals were sequential, going from the center to the edges. The rear ribbon of lights consisted of a strip of 84 mini bulbs.
The Zero was sourced from existing Lancia parts, according to former interior chief designer Eugenio Pagliano, and the 1.6-liter V4 engine was scooped from the Lancia Fulvia HF. It made 115 hp with two twin-choke Solex carburetors.
The Tomahawk is a Viper V-10 based motorcycle, a 500 horsepower engine with four wheels beneath it. The engine breathes through twin throttle bodies mounted right up front (the two round things above the front tires are).
While the Tomahawk has the same number of tires as a car, it keeps the motorcycle form factor otherwise.
The rear wheel drive machine uses monocoque construction; the engine is a stressed member. The body is made of billet aluminum.
The Tomahawk concept is an awesome-sounding machine; we saw it started and revved. Clouds of blue smoke vied for attention with the throaty rumble of the mighty V-10, and hitting the gas visibly opened the twin throttle body blades up front where the headlight would normally be.
Though deeper and more rumbling than most motorcycles, it did not seem to be louder overall – just deeper, with no shrill overtones.
Chrysler COO Wolfgang Bernhard was said to be enthusiastic about that project, and hundreds were projected to be built at under $200,000 each (probably below breakeven).
They reportedly cost Chrysler over $100,000 to build, not including engineering costs.No reviews or buyer advice is feasible since only ten were made; aside from the original, nine replicas were sold through Neiman Marcus, for $555,000 each.
A spokesman told Reuters they were meant as rolling sculptures, presumably to avoid legal liability; they are driveable, but not (legally) on public roads.
One reason is because the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration proclaims that a motorcycle can have no more that 3 wheels on the ground during normal operation. Donald Poindexter, Jr., wrote, “For the Tomahawk to have been sold in the U.S. for road use, it would have had to pass all of the automobile safety standards.” Even as a motorcycle, the lights may not have been legal.
#3. Harley Davidson Knucklehead Chopper
In the 60s, this Knucklehead was chopped up to become the “40 Knuckle.” The seller has owned it for the last 30 years, and he knows who owned it going back a previous 20 – he loves knowing the provenance of this bike and I’m sure the next owner will appreciate that as well.
This chopper features a suicide clutch and jockey shift, and the seller has ridden it all over the country while winning multiple trophies. The seller designed (and copyrighted) the “40 Knuckle” logo in 1986, and he’ll assign the copyright to you.
This isn’t really my kind of bike but I’m genuinely impressed with the seller’s dedication to it. I highly recommend you head on over to the listing to learn more about the seller’s story and see more of his pictures.
In the seller’s words, “There’s most likely not a single part on this bike that at one point or another didn’t have some kind of repair to it.” I dig it and i hope the next owner also keeps it for several decades.Find the ’40 Knuckle for sale in Port Jefferson, New York, with bidding up to $11,100
#2. Feline One
Let’s be honest about few things. There are endless exotic bikes that made around the world by people who have been wanting to create something of their own after riding thousands of other motorcycles.
Usually every one gets a custom motorcycle done to their taste and is quite happy with it. Now there are some who go beyond everything and make a motorcycle for the rest of the world to drool over. Feline is just that motorcycle. The design and even the mechanical’s that are used, make you go WOW!
Feline is just the motorcycle. The maker of the motorcycle is a french guy and a designer who has a strong passion for Motorsports. After doing countless things for others, he finally decided something completely by his own. The things he has done over the past two decades is amazing. Have a look at the list.
As you can see the guy who made the Feline One is no ordinary person and it shows. The components used to make this motorcycle are carbon fibre and aerospace grade aluminum in every single thing.
The frame is made of Titanium, carbon fiber and aerospace aluminum combined and the fork is made of dual carbon swingarms with 2-dampers with fiber made springs. The swingarm to be made of carbon fiber with mono tamper with fiber spring system implemented. Even the rims which have tyre slapped on them are made of carbon fibre.
#1.Thrust Super Sonic car
Black Rock Desert It has been said that the first car race probably took place the first time two cars pulled up beside each other. And ever since then, there has been competition to see who could go the fastest.
In the fall of 1997, two teams, one from Great Britain and the other from southern California, traveled to Nevada and gathered at the Black Rock Desert. Surrounded by the media and hundreds of devoted race fans, they took turns doing the best they could.
One team came fully prepared. After thousands of hours of hard work, they met their goals.
The other team tried but had problems, and has since sold the car to another American team that hopes to bring the record back to the United States.
But for now, and for the foreseeable future, there is no doubt whatsoever as to who has the fastest car in the world, and the fastest car in history.
Before we were able to fully appreciate the degrees of dedication, preparation and professionalism that the ThrustSSC team had put into their campaign, many of us had been betting on Craig Breedlove to be the first to go supersonic on land, with his Spirit of America jet car.
Relatively lightweight and looking very aerodynamic, the Spirit of America seemed like an intelligent approach to the challenge at hand.
Spirit of America On September 4th, 1997, Breedlove and the Spirit of America crew began testing the car at Black Rock. Breedlove and his team struggled with everything from a damaged engine (and a spare engine back in California that they hadn’t even brought with them) to getting their truck and trailer stuck in the mud (and then being pulled out by the members of the ThrustSSC team).
And before long, Breedlove’s team was forced to aim for Andy Green’s World Land Speed Record of 714 miles per hour.
Craig Breedlove stated that he still intended to beat the current record set by the ThrustSSC team. Having driven the Spirit of America to a best speed of 636 miles per hour in 1997, Breedlove claimed to be optimistic about regaining the Land Speed Record, with runs of at least 771 miles per hour.
For several years, Breedlove had a Web site at http://www.spiritofamerica.com/ but after being very rarely updated, the site disappeared in 2003.
In 2006, Breedlove’s race car was sold to the late Steve Fossett, who had planned to run at Bonneville in 2007, possibly after Speed Week. Steve’s target was 800 mph. That would have been quite a ride.
This page was originally created back in March of 1997, and has been revised several times thereafter, in light of the ThrustSSC team’s incredible accomplishments on Monday, October 13th, and Wednesday, October 15th, 1997.