Crack open a kid’s textbook from school, and chances are there’s something about Henry Ford’s assembly line. This major point in automobile history had a major impact on US industries for years to come. This is what laid the foundation for mass-produced cars. Without it, the car industry would be a lot different today.
According to ThoughtCo., the first mass-produced car was the Curved Dash Oldsmobile back in 1901. That was over a 100 years ago and still, automakers continue to mass produce cars today. Today the industry is so big that it appeals to a wide variety of tastes and backgrounds, thus opening the door for more unique automobiles to arise.
Not every car is mass produced. Some cars take a super long time to make, either because an automaker wants to put more into it or else it’s a custom job commissioned for personal reasons. What makes these cars special, regardless of their quality, is that they’re a one-off. These are one-of-a-kind cars existing in the world, and that makes them special.
Just as there are supposedly no two snowflakes that are the same, these automobiles have no double. They are lone rangers set apart from the rest of the world’s auto creations.
What’s instantly clear upon an initial look at these cars though is why they’re one-off jobs. Some are so strange and out-there, the general public isn’t interested in owning one. That makes them appealing to a small niche of car collectors around the world. Enjoy this list of oddball cars of which there exists only one in existence, as is unsurprising just by looking at them!
25 The Orbitron
Blue, loud and renowned—the Orbitron is a special, one-of-a-kind vehicle. Upon first glance, the car—if it’s safe to call it one—is unlike anything else. According to Kustomrama, the space age influenced this vehicle that sports a bubble-like cockpit.
The bubble-shaped window measures about 64 inches long. The most notable part of it, as this photo shows, is its front nose. One side looks familiar with a conventional headlight, while the other is a rounded shape with red, green and blue lights.
24 Blastocene Special
If a car catches Jay Leno’s interest, it must be a good one. According to Amcar Guide, Leno currently owns it at the time of this writing. It’s a unique car that certainly dominates the scenery with its immense size and menacing design.
It doesn’t just look the part though, but also backs it up with the internal parts to perform. The same source notes it can do an astounding 810 hp. That’s all thanks to its massive tank engine.
23 Blastolene B-702
Here’s a car that takes classic design features and amplifies them to new heights. Like the Jonckheere created Rolls-Royce Phantom I from earlier, its wheels have unique enclosures that protrude far and out. According to the site Randy Grubb Garage, it comes packed with a massive V12 engine befitting the loud design of its exterior.
It has an automatic transmission though, which may stand in contrast to critics who expect it to come with classic components. Unsuited for mass production, it stands as a wonder of the world.
22 Delage D8-120 S Pourtout
Like the Cadillac Sixteen—seen earlier on the list—this Delage D8-120 S Pourtout Aero is a stretched-out automobile. It looks like it has more in common with a monopoly piece than any real car on the road today.
Complex reports that in 2005, this car managed to take home “Best in Show” at the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance. Despite the car managing to take home such an acclaimed prize, a car like this probably wouldn’t succeed as a mass-produced car.
21 Delahaye 175S Saoutchik Roadster
It may look strange, but it’s a beautiful car nonetheless. What makes it look a little off is that it is unlike anything else out there. The man behind the car’s style is Jacques Saoutchik, as per BabaMail, who designed it with a protruding nose and grille.
The car almost looks as if it’s stretching. The color is also a striking choice, bright enough to stand out even from the blue sky above. The same source notes that it sold for $3 million almost ten years ago.
20 Renault Espace F1
Part minivan, part race car—the Espace F1 is out of this world. This is a car that gets results on the race track. Autocar notes it can reach 62 mph in a mere 2.8 seconds. It even has a top speed of 194 mph. This car was really a celebration of a partnership between Renault and Matra.
Their ten year anniversary of working together arrived in 1994, according to Supercars.net. There was no better way to celebrate that milestone than with a V10 engine in the Espace F1.
19 Norman Timbs Special
Behold the Norman Timbs Special. It may not have the flashiest name, but it has a look that will turn heads. Somehow the car manages to strike the perfect balance between performance and style.
According to Baba Mail, it only cost the engineer behind it $10,000 to make. Allegedly, the car became abandoned until someone scooped it up in 2002. They had to restore it back to its former glory. Underneath the car is a V8 from a 1948 Buick.
As cliché as it might sound, these one-of-a-kind cars manage to push artistry to a whole new level. Any of these are worthy of putting on display at a prestigious art museum. For one, to pull off the entire back of this car requires an advanced level of artistry. Second, beyond the capability of carrying out a project like this, there needs to exist an original vision.
Imagining a car like this forces the designer to look beyond what the norm of automobiles are. According to Reddit user Spacetweed, guitarist ZZ Top owns this “Cadzilla.”
17 Beatnik Bandit
Beatnik Bandit may not sound like an appealing car on paper, but a look at the car itself tells a different story. The car’s style may be in contrast to automobiles today, but there’s something enduring about its classic look.
According to BrainJet, Ed Roth is behind this car, who’s the same one that worked on The Orbitron. It’s easy to see the shared authorship considering it also boasts a bubble top—only this one fits a driver and a passenger.
16 Thrust SSC
It’s a point of contention about whether one can safely call this a car or not. The Thrust SCC looks like an enormous rocket. Despite how simple its aesthetic, it’s one fast machine.
According to the blog Diversity The Spice Of Life, it’s capable of going 750 mph. A “car” like this is so unique, it’s no surprise there’s only one like it. The car belongs in the desert where it can go at great speeds without any potential interference.
15 Rolls-Royce Phantom I By Jonckheere
This car looks like it should belong to a dastardly villain in a James Bond film. Its standout design makes it a unique and one-of-a-kind automobile. The story behind it is interesting.
According to Coach Build, it was a Phantom I back in the 1930s that Jonckheere—based in Belgium—turned into something never seen before. It’s up to viewers to decide if they went too far. What’s hard to believe is that a custom car as old as this one is still in such great condition after all these years.
14 Moller M400 Skycar
Something tells us the Wright Brothers never could’ve imagined a flying automobile. That’s exactly what the Moller M400 Skycar has to offer though. According to The Drive, it once listed on eBay for the mere price of $5 million.
While that may sound insane, imagine owning a car that can actually lift off the ground thanks to what appears to be four miniature intake valves. If that isn’t enough to convince would-be owners, it’s also painted.
13 Bugatti Grand Sport L'Or Blanc Veyron
Everyone knows—or at least has heard of—Bugatti cars, but few know the Veyron Grand Sport L’Or Blanc. The automaker sent out a video back in 2013, as Motor1 reports, that showed off the car’s celebrated origins.
According to Motor1, it has the privilege of bearing the title as the first porcelain production vehicle—both on its inside and out—in history. Even if this Veyron is the equivalent of a trust fund baby, we still can’t help but want it.
12 Lamborghini Egoista
Looking like a car of the future, this is the Lamborghini Egoista. Part of what makes this car so unique is that it only seats one person: the driver. It may not have been clear behind that red-shaded window, but one can see there's limited room.
That’s a bonus though more than it is a detriment, considering this car is all about performance. According to Top Gear, this car has a 5.2-liter V10 that’s capable of doing around 600 hp.
11 Lancia Stratos Zero
Pictures almost don’t do a car like this justice. One has to see it in action to believe it. For one, the car is a lot lower to the ground than it looks. YouTube user 19Bozzy92 notes that Marcello Gandini was behind the Stratos.
It’s a concept car that doesn’t adhere to the limitations of mass production cars back in the 1970s, nor even today for that matter. In that YouTube video, the V4 engine is capable of making a raucous gurgle.
10 Ferrari F50 Bolide
Take a good look at the Ferrari F50 Bolide, and chances are, you've never seen anything like this before. It may have the familiar physical traits of a Ferrari, but this is not your Father’s Ferrari.
According to H Fusion Media Group, the Bolide edition is a custom version that arrived in 1998. The same site notes that the Sultan of Brunei personally requested this custom car. It came with a V12 engine and offered performance that delivered on its eye-catching red exterior.
9 Wind Up Mini Car
There may not be a smaller car in the world than this Wind Up Mini Car, except for maybe a Hot Wheels toy. According to The Globe and Mail, it’s the world’s smallest street legal car. When one lifts the front of the car, the entire frame pulls open to reveal everything—the engine, steering wheel, and a small seat.
When the driver sits inside, he or she has to duck down at all times, making for an uncomfortable—and unique—cruising experience.
8 Cadillac Sixteen
The car looks like a typical Cadillac, except stretched out. It’s as if Cadillac found a new elastic material, grabbed both ends and pulled the car in two directions as far as it would go. What’s more surprising than its exterior though is what’s underneath the hood.
According to Supercars.net, it came with a prototype V16 engine. For those who thought that was a typo, the car’s name only confirms the impossible: “Sixteen Concept” assuredly refers to its mind-boggling engine.
7 Bertone Mantide
What makes the Bertone Mantide a one-off—along with several cars on this list—is that it’s a concept. According to Supercar World, Mantide unveiled this rad car to a popular platform today: YouTube.
Parts of the car look like a familiar supercar except for the front grille and its back, which almost looks distracting. Aside from its unique features, the same source notes it can reach 60 mph in just 3 seconds. Even more, it has a top speed of 218 mph.
6 Jaguar XJ13
The Jaguar XJ13 is a feat of performance and design while managing to maintain a sense of oddity as well. It’s fair to say there’s nothing like it on the road today (except for maybe others on this list).
It may not look the part, but this is in fact a car intended for racing. Motor1 reports that it has a 5.0-liter V12 engine that’s able to do 502 hp. It’s a one-off prototype that’s worth millions of dollars today.
5 Maybach Exelero
The Maybach Exelero is a polarizing car. It’s either going to gain fans or detract people. No matter how many fans it garners, a car that splits audiences could never go through mass production.
According to the site MadWhips, someone spotted this car getting shipped to New York as part of a Jay-Z music video. It’s a car so unique and yet appealing at the same time, one could imagine it parked in Europe or just as much featured in a hip hop video.
4 Porsche 914-8
An initial glance at the Porsche 914-8 shows a car that doesn’t look out the ordinary. Take an extra-long second look though, and onlookers soon find themselves tilting their heads to try and figure it out.
The site Daily Turismo shows multiple photos of the car, including one that has an actual plaque on the trunk with details about its specs. According to Baba Mail, two of these vehicles technically exist, but they’re different enough from each other to classify them as separate.
3 Abarth 1500 Biposto Bertone
The Abarth 1500 Biposto Bertone isn’t just a mouthful of a name, but there’s also a story behind this special car. According to Complex, despite how valuable the car might be, it was left in a barn for years.
As cliche as it is to find a valuable car in a barn after several years, it’s hard to believe a rare vehicle like this one could suffer the same fate. Luckily, the car found its way out of the barn and later found a new owner.
2 GM EcoJet Bio
Jay Leno has a massive collection of cars. According to a Pinterest user, this GM EcoJet is just another one of these prized possessions. A major part of what makes this vehicle special is what it runs on. Road and Track report that it’s bio-fueled.
For those who think it limits the car’s performance, think again. That same Pinterest user claims it can get up to 650 hp. That’s all thanks to its turbine-powered engine that belongs more in an aerial vehicle than it does an automobile.
1 The Monkeemobile
The Monkeemobile is an odd-looking car with an even odder name. It’s a Kustom car in that its original form was a 1966 Pontiac GTO. According to world renown car auction Barrett-Jackson, Dean Jeffries first designed it before George Barris put it through another round of customization.
There isn’t a space on here that isn’t distinct, from its jagged nose to its unique roof to The Monkees inspired paint job. It also doesn’t shy away from showing off its huge engine out the hood.
Sources: Motor1, Top Gear, YouTube, Kustomrama, Daily Turismo, Barrett-Jackson & Road and Track