The automotive world is full of unusual cars that have been created for strange reasons. The vehicles stand out for their appearance, such as the three-wheeled Davis and sleek Rolls Royce Phantom 1. Whether created for speed or comfort, the cars have a lasting legacy that has ensured they’ve been preserved in places like the Petersen Automotive Museum. Here are five of the rarest and most unusual cars in the world.
Credit: Automotive Zone
1. 1927 Pedroso
This car was built by the Marquis de Pedroso, a wealthy Spaniard living in France during the 1920s. He wanted a unique vehicle, so he designed a sports car with ignition timing that was adjustable from the dash. The Pedroso featured a smart chassis underslung in the rear portion to bring the passenger section closer to the ground. The story goes that Pedroso was so eager to drive the car that he took two wicker seats from his patio and installed in the car.
Only two Pedrosos were built and the surviving car can be found in the Petersen Museum.
2. 1948 Davis
The Davis was created during an era where manufacturers were conceptualizing a number of bizarre designs. The three-wheeled Davis became one of the most prominent. It had a single front wheel, mounted in a yoke with two coil springs. The car has a notorious history, as the founder of the company, Gary Davis, was charged with fraud.
3. 1925 Rolls Royce Phantom 1
The Rolls Royce Phantom 1 has an elegant appearance, with split-opening half-moon windows, twin sunroofs and a stabilising fin at the rear. However, it has a history of changing hands quickly, from a man named Max Obie, who covered it in six pounds of gold dust paint, to being bought by a Japanese collector in 1991. It was restored to its original glory in 2005.
Credit: Sports Car Market
4. 1998 Cadillac Popemobile
This holy car was built for Pope John Paul II, during his visit to the Estadio Azteca stadium in Mexico City. Although he blessed the car on his visit, he didn’t ride in it, probably because of the security concerns of the open design.
The car was constructed by GM Mexico and they fitted a hydraulic system that can raise or lower the papal seat by up to 20 inches. Another feature is the passenger doors opening and folding down to make it easier for the Pope to enter.
5. 1967 Boothill Express Hot Rod
Built by Ray Fahrner, the Boothill Hot Rod looks like a supercharged funeral coach from the 1800s. The car gets its name from the coach it was based on, which carried a James Gang member to the Boothill graveyard in Tombstone, Arizona. The car features a Chrysler 462 Hemi V-8 engine and pumps exhaust through eight pipes that are underneath the rear axle. Up front, there’s a simple steering system from a 1963 Volkswagen Beetle.
All of these cars have a reputation for being unique. The designs are distinctive and they have become a part of automotive history.