Odd And Rare Older Cars You Don’t See Everyday

Odd And Rare Older Cars You Don’t See Everyday

Sometimes there are cars on the street or parking lots that catch us off guard to the point where we can’t help but stare. Throughout automotive history, companies and individuals have made strange driving machines. Other times many great vehicles have gotten overlooked throughout the years. We wanted to highlight these scarce and extraordinary cars. The collection of rare and unusual vintage cars below is quite striking. We guarantee that most people will never get see these on the road, but if they do, they will be in awe like us. It is hard to believe that manufacturers such as GM, Ford, Chevrolet, and Ferrari funded these types of concept projects or that engineers/designers had the opportunity to really think outside the box. In any case, we are thankful these vehicles exist. So, without further ado, here are the odd and rare older cars you don’t see every day; enjoy.

#61 – Mercury Cyclone

Mercury Cyclone


The Mercury Cyclone was produced by Mercury from 1964 to 1971. It started as a performance version of the 1964 Mercury Comet, and was named the Mercury Comet Cyclone through 1967. For the 1968 model, the “Comet” part of the name was dropped and options such as GT, Spoiler and Cobra Jet were added and removed. In 1971, it was integrated into the Montego line as their performance model.

#60 – 1948 Norman Timbs Special


He’s a storied engineer and designer, and you can see his style perfectly with the 1948 Normam Timbs Special. Streamline, and elegance, this was during the era of custom, swooping cars. But the Norman Timbs Special was a legendary vehicle that took over three years to finish. Norman Timbs, an automotive engineer, worked with Preston Tucker on the Tucker Automobiles.


#59 – 1962 Covington Tiburon


Oooh, Barracuda! Did you know that Tiburon is the Spanish word for ‘shark’. Yeah, neither did we. Well – if you look close enough at the hood you can see the word “shark” written there. so that’s a dead giveaway. Fun fact: The Covington Tiburon is roadster with a fiberglass body which is structured around the powertrain from a 1971 Renault R10. It’s been coined “the most streamlined car in the world.”

#58 – 1967 OSI Silver Fox Prototype


Just so you know, OSI is an Italian organization that stood for: Officine Stampaggi Industriali. Their legendary “Silver Fox” was a Catamaran sportcar  with the wildest double trunk we’ve ever seen. It was conceived with speed in mind – possible even becoming a race car. With this idea in mind, it came equipped with an Alpine engine to four cylinders of 1000 cc., positioned behind the seats on the left side. What wild ride!

#57 – ThunderCat Hellcat


Need we say more? This No. 5 car from the cartoon show “Speed Racer” with the tri-point front end is a speed demon by design, and a truly odd muscle car converted from a Corvette for the real life version. Would you drive this car in public? You would probably get a lot of challengers to race with this severe look going on.

#56 – 1955 Chrysler GHIA Streamline


The legendary Turin Auto Show was not expecting this to cruise through the doors in 1955. This model has been conserved within the Ford Museum as well as through private owners, and is fully operational as of today. An influential design that has gripped the automotive history since it’s debut, the Chrysler GHIA remains a feature car at many of the World’s Leading Automotive Exhibits. You can see how wild it looks today – imagine seeing this thing in the 50s!

#55 – Super Custom 1963 Ford Thunderbird


Here’s what we know: this is a custom build that was photographed on a highway near Las Vegas, and is clearly built for power and speed. It definitely looks futuristic for its time. Everything beyond that is a mystery to us. If anyone can help us identify this ride – we would be supremely grateful. It’s too sweet to pass up!

#54 – 1968 C3 Corvette Station Wagon


An oldie, but a goodie. This Corvette station wagon is something else. It was a short-lived phenomenon but we loved it while it lasted. Definitely an odd muscle car to say the least. This is the perfect car for anyone that has ever wanted to go camping, but didn’t think they could because of having a two door muscle car.

#53 – 1963 Czech Republic Fire Truck


This is what they used to look like, folks. The men who ran toward the fire instead of away from it went there in this awesome, antique, glass roof, station wagon style fire truck. Overall, the Czech Republic had different standards than most of the world, but this firetruck really brings home that truth. It does offer a cool window (literally) to see into the workings of the firemen. The old school hoses, the ladders on top – it’s perfect.

#52 – We Wish We Knew More About This One…


But honestly, the mystery is half the fun. It’s a custom job there is no doubt about that, and the paint job is pristine. The gold trim accentuates the burgundy color perfectly, and although this thing is massive – it looks like it has some giddy up to it! Maybe this is Robin’s car, since Batman has the Batmobile. Anyways, moving on…

#51 – The Flatmobile


19 inches tall! That’s it! The Flatmobile is a wonder of modern production seeing as ground clearance is only two inches. I mean…a large pebble could undo everything with this ride. Much less, a driveway or speed bump. It’s powered by a jet engine that propels a 20-foot flame out of the back, and is something of a landmark around London. Factually speaking, the Flatmobile is based around a 1963 Hillman Imp and retains the stock 875cc engine, giving it a top speed of 70mph.

#50 – Mayan Magnum


The designer of this vehicle was Dean Charles Ing. He was an Air Force Veteran, aero engineer, and sci-fi author. He wanted to create a highly aerodynamic car that also was street legal. The result was the Mayan Magnum. He began development as a design exercise in the 1950s. He built it using a Porsche engine, suspension, brakes, and transmission. He replaced the Porsche engine with a Chevrolet Corvair-sourced 2.4-liter flat-six in a second iteration. He used a Volkswagen-sourced metal subframe and fiberglass body. Ing’s family put the car up for auction in 2021.

#49 – 1980 BMW M1 Mod


How are we feeling about this modification of the classic 1980 BMW M1? The owner, who lives in Massachusetts, added a body plate that extended beyond the car’s original frame in order to make it look like there is invisible tires. It’s a pretty unique look! It looks like something you would find out of the 1980’s TV show “The Jetsons”.

#48 – 1958 Ford Edsel Pacer Snowplow


The Ford Edsel Pacer 2-door sedan was a classic car for all of one year. But even though it didn’t last in Americana – this snow plow version most certainly is going to be ingrained in our memory forever and ever. This version is running the streets of northern New Mexico and we absolutely love it! This would definitely be a handy car to have anywhere up north during the winter.

#47 – 1951 Studebaker Manta Ray


Inspired by Harley Earl’s 1951 XP-8 Le Sabre, the Manta Ray was a on-of-a-kind custom build from the imagination of Glen Hire and Vernon Antoine. These two were employed at North American Aviation Company, and the jet intake of the classic F-86 Sabre is what inspired the front of the vehicle. The back, well, we can only assume was inspired from its namesake – the Manta Ray.

#46 – 1951 Studebaker Manta Ray


Originally finished in gold lacquer and powered by a 232 CI Studebaker V-8, the car currently wears a light shade of pink and packs a dual-quad Cadillac V-8 and 3-speed manual transmission propulsion team. Stewart Warner instruments and a Plymouth speedometer sit in the dash, and the cone-shaped steering column is topped with a sectioned 1953 Lincoln steering wheel that waits for its next owner to engage in an authentic Jet Age custom experience.

#45 – Donald Ducks 313 Real Life Version


AKA The 1934 Belchfire Runabout. It’s been said Donald built the fictional 313 by himself by putting a 1920 Mixwell engine into a 1922 Dudge body on 1923 Paclac axles, and adding lawnmower wheels. Even if this is a fictional car out of a comic, the real life version looks like it would be loads of fun to drive around town in.

#44 – 1966 Custom Crafted Pontiac GTO


This one-of-a-kind Pontiac GTO features custom everything. From the doors on back is factory, but everything about the front end is a homemade project. An extended hood slides out over two axles and there is ample trunk space in the front where the engine also lives. This one might be a little tricky to steer, but still a wild ride.

#43 – 1952 SOCEMA‑Gregoire


French automobile engineer Jean-Albert Gregoire created the 1952 SOCEMA‑Gregoire. It contains a single rotor kerosene-fuelled ‘cematurbo’ turbo engine that could pump out 100 bhp at 25,000 rpm. He built the vehicle around a Hotchkiss Grégoire with an aluminum platform. The car was an experimental prototype that people recognized for its inspired aerodynamic shape with two doors. The body helped the vehicle reach an estimated 124.27 mph. However, anyone looking to purchase the vehicle will be out of luck since Gregoire only made one. We’d be curious how it handles.

#42 – 1980 4-Door Corvette Sedan


This is not a photoshop, and it’s not a fake either. This is a car that actually existed for a time in the 1980s that you or I could really purchase. However, there were only six four-door Corvettes ever made. One of which was a prototype and the other five were tailor-made. Each car was built by cutting two cars in half, extending the wheelbase of the vehicle by 30 inches when joined together.

#41 – 1947 Alamagny Rhomboid


French engineer Marcel Alamagny designed this vehicle in 1947. It is called the Alamagny Rhomboid. It is noteworthy for the diamond pattern placement of the four wheels. A single front wheel steers, and a single rear trails it on a pivot. The purpose of the design was to create a tight turning radius for parking and driving in cities. The car also has a small Simca four-cylinder 569 cc engine and transmission in the center, plus an aluminum body. Oh, and one more fun thing, individuals riding in the rear passenger seat face backward.

#40 – El Corvette Camino Charger


See if you can find all three parts of this rare (gotta be one-of-a-kind) muscle car right here! We can’t decide if we love it or hate it. Final decision: we love it!

#39 – 1957 Aurora Safety Car


Many call is the ugliest car ever built. Well, many are right. The Aurora was the brainchild of Father Alfred Juliano, a Catholic priest. How it made it to actual production – we will never know.

#38 – 1956 Buick Centurion


The Buick Centurion was a concept car showcasing features predicting the future. It had V8 engine that could produce 325 horsepower.

#37 – 1969 Dodge Charger Daytona + Camino


The Daytona was intended to be a high-performance, limited-edition version of the Dodge Charger produced in the summer of 1969 for the sole purpose of winning high-profile NASCAR races. It won two races in 1969 and another four in 1970 for a total of 6. The Daytona was built on the 1969 Charger’s R/T trim specifications. The Daytona was equipped with a 440 cu in Magnum engine as standard and it also carried a heavy-duty suspension and brake setup. Now, being very rare and highly collectible, 440-powered Daytonas reach into six-figure territory while 426 hemi-engined cars are passing the $300,000.00 mark.

#36 – 1966 Rolls Royce FAB 1


Who remembers the Rolls Royce ‘FAB1’? For a long time it was just a model. Then in 1966 a full-sized replica of FAB 1 based on a “chinese six” (four front, two back – similar to the one in the original Italian Job film) was created. And it made history. This car is a replica. And while functional, is not actually a production car from Rolls Royce. One thing to note: it’s wide. Much wider than the coach it was based on. The axles were widened to fit the width of the body. The body was a steel-covered framework moulded with filler to simulate the angles of the vehicle as seen in the TV series and films.

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