I have a friend who wants a really weird car. after not being able to find yugos or gee wizzes in the US I decided to ask you for help. what is the weirdest car you can think of that is road legal (ish) in the US
I don’t know very much about cars, but I do know that you’ve misinterpreted the purpose of Car Nack’s Corner. Car Nack is a prediction account, which, as far as I know, has no relation to cars of any sort. Unless he would like to predict what kind of car your friend will buy for some reason, I doubt he will be making an appearance for a little while. I would have this put in chit-chat.
Car Nack has (not) spoken
If you’re looking for honest-to-goodness street legal and really weird, then you can’t do better than the Tucker '48 (sometimes called the Tucker Torpedo.) It was a car way ahead of its time (or possibly any time) and one of the most fun things I’ve ever seen. Of course, your friend will need to have a rather large wallet to buy one, since only 58 were ever made (51 by the Tucker factory, plus 7 more built elsewhere) and they’re as expensive as they are rare. But what can you say about a car with three headlights, where the central one tracks with the steering to light the way around corners? Truly awesome.
The winner at the team 2502 car show in 2015 was a 1957 BMW Isetta 300 covered in wine corks.
This is the owners website:
I would suggest a Metropolitan (AMC, Nash, or Hudson). I have one and they are fun little cars.https://www.google.com/url?sa=i&source=images&cd=&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=2ahUKEwiIt4XO-fveAhVP2qwKHZHqBisQjRx6BAgBEAU&url=https%3A%2F%2Fjalopnik.com%2Fthe-1950s-version-of-an-economy-car-is-kind-of-terribl-1538440298&psig=AOvVaw33NYX6iq70qeznlgbPwmOJ&ust=1543661554567212
I will also suggest maybe a Peel Trident.https://www.google.com/url?sa=i&source=images&cd=&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=2ahUKEwiDt_ym-_veAhVFKa0KHVXWBRYQjRx6BAgBEAU&url=https%3A%2F%2Fen.wikipedia.org%2Fwiki%2FPeel_Trident&psig=AOvVaw2jCETAooUFraq_5Il-GIwl&ust=1543662014135325
Honda Insight 1st Generation hatch back
Completely road legal, I have one.
Walked away totally fine from totally destroying one when a deer fell on it from 35’ up.
Walked away with whip lash when a truck slammed into me at 40+mph while stopped at a light.
Frame is hexagon aluminum channel.
Any electric car before 1930.
Some of these electric car still have working batteries made by Thomas Edison. Yes 100+ year old working batteries. Both my Honda Insights never used up a battery and my current one has 200k+ miles on it.
The Plymouth Prowler was a pretty wacky car. They aren’t too badly priced, this one is around $25k. Good old American ingenuity :rolleyes:
It is not the Yugos weren’t sold in the US. It just that they were really bad cars… Much like the Vega and Pinto.
I have a Saab Sonnet (in pieces) That is pretty weird. A Mercedes 240 or 300D are both weird and available. Nothing like the clatter of an old Diesel. If you want to be really strange you can convert it to run old used cooking oil. AMC Gremlin or Pacer are also possibilities
If you can’t find a Yugo your looking in the wrong place and the reason you can’t find a gwiz is because they were never made for the us market.
My suggestion for a plentiful enough that you could actually get one wierd car would be any type of Japanese kei car. In Japan this is a class of very small City cars with 650cc engines or less made because Japanese law makes insurance much cheaper if a car was below that displacement. Probably the wierdest of the bunch of these that made their way to the us recently would either be one of the tiny daihatsu fire trucks or a Nissan Figaro. Both will be around 12k usd.
Kei cars are certainly going to do the trick. The challenge is to find ones over 25 years old, which exempts them from most of the import hurdles.
They are quite a common import to do given how cheap they make it to get your hands on a jdm car and because just how interesting they are. Best bet would to either find one that’s already been imported or to go through a broker that will get you exactly what you want from Japan. They actually aren’t that hard to find in the us and are probably more common then a Yugo. Just Google us jdm car import and do some searching around and you’ll find someone close to you selling what you want.
Edit: I should add that all of these Japanese import cars will be right hand drive and most kei cars that are legal to import per the 25 year rule will be stick shift. This may be quite hard to adjust to not to mention right hand drive makes it quite hard to see if you plan to take a left hand turn off of a road. Given the size of the car if you decide to go and it turns out that there is a car there it likely wont end that well for you.
These guys have got a tone of import cars. http://www.duncanimports.com/wholesale-used-inventory/index.htm
I also may recommend many of the rhd toyota automatics from the earl 90s that get imported. Can be bought already titled properly for less than 10k and often are imported as automatics which is great for those that can drive stick or just dont want to deal with learning how to drive stock with their left hand.
If you don’t want a jdm car which is understandable there are a few options for usdm cars that are also weird. One of my personal favorite examples are the 80s honda preludes with the 4 wheel steering option. For around 6-7k you can find a very nice example. Also from the same era are the toyota mr2 aw11. Affordable and reliable mid engined rwd car with nice examples going for about 10k.
Not a challenge at all. This is just one of the dozen or so local companies that import cars under the 25 year rule. http://sodo-moto.com/ The weirdest they have in stock right now is the Daihatsu Midget but the ones they still have are too new to be street legal yet. For something that is street legal the Autozam and Cappuccino are definitely unusual as are the fire trucks. Unfortunately they don’t have any of the Nissan Pike cars in stock but they do have a S-Cargo due soon that definitely qualifies as weird.
I had a German car that smelled like it ate Chinese.
Lucky for the oil source everyone behind it was hungry in roughly 1 hour.
REVA(i) and there are some here in NJ.
Very few and all required to stay off highways because of the speed limiting.
Also they are not crash rated for a collision beyond their top speed limit. So if a car hits you at 55MPH…
might be a bad day.
Elio only if it ever sees production. That’s an open question.
Why not a Saab? The final 2010-2011 9-5 sedans were really nice, though when charging about $10,000 than the Buick LaCrosse it shared DNA with at the time it darn well better. I was always a sucker for the 9-3’s crazy karate-move cupholder, too.
(Also, while I know this thread is all about fanciful options, do ask yourself if you’d be better off in a Prius or a Civic or something.)
1980-1988 AMC Eagle
You have to ask, are you going for weird because it was bad or weird but still good. The Eagle was both. The SX4 version was even more so of both.
Vacuum operated 4x4 Jeep drivetrain in a unibody station wagon, sedan, or coupe, commonly found with plaid seats and a multitude of parts from different major brands (AMC = All Makes Combined)
If I find another one and four out of the six cylinders still burn fuel occasionally I’d buy it in a heartbeat.
Do yourself a favor as this was my 2nd car (I have had 27 cars).
Never separate the rear axles doing a differential repair on an AMC Eagle. They splined the drum not the axle before pressing them together.
It’s not obvious when you do the work. Some day your tire will just roll by you after the axle breaks long after reassembly. Usually at low speed. Fun times!!!