10 Weird but Really Interesting Vehicle Designs

Since the invention of automobiles, humans have come up with some unique vehicle designs that seem too strange to be true. Such vehicles, although unusual, have also proven useful in some instances. But more importantly, they have managed to capture the imagination of thousands of people with their futuristic and otherworldly appearance. So, if you’re curious to know more about them, here are ten weird but really interesting vehicle designs.

Table of Contents

1. Dobbertin Surface Orbiter 

Launched in 1993, the Dobbertin Surface Orbiter is an amphibious vehicle built from a 1959 milk tanker. It can hit about 70 mph on land and eight knots in the water. In 1995, it became the first such vehicle to travel through the Panama Canal. 

Dobbertin Surface Orbiter
Image Credit: WonkaTXRanger/reddit

In the early 1990s, a couple named Rick and Karen Dobbertin decided to do something no one else had done before. They then created an unusual amphibious vehicle from a 1959 Heil milk tanker and called it “Perseverance.”

The vehicle was launched on 26 July 1993, and since then, it has come to be popularly called the “Dobbertin Surface Orbiter.” It can hit up to 70 mph on the road and eight knots in water, making it an impressive creation.

According to Mr. Dobbertin, a garage mechanic at the time, the vehicle was built with over 10,608 hours of work and $169,972 of expenses. However, the couple also received some equipment as donations which they were able to use to build the machine.

Thankfully, in 1995, their efforts paid off when the Dobbertin Surface Orbiter became the first amphibious vehicle to travel through the Panama Canal. (1, 2)

2. Aptera Solar Electric Vehicle 

Aptera is a three-wheeled solar-powered vehicle that can seat two people at a time. It is the first of its kind to be mass-produced and is said to be one of the most efficient vehicles today. It also requires just 100 watt-hours of energy per mile to run, which is a lot less than most electric vehicles.

Aptera Solar Electric Vehicle
Image Credit: Alison Cassidy/wikimedia.org

Solar-powered cars may seem like an unattainable technology, but some automobile manufacturers disagree. As early as 2005, a company named Aptera Motors had planned to launch a highly efficient solar car. However, at the time, their idea did not receive much traction, and the company had to be liquidated.

But in 2019, the company was re-formed to launch a new futuristic and efficient car called the “Aptera.” This three-wheeled car can seat up to two people and is covered in 34 square feet of solar cells.

According to its creators, the car needs just 100 watt-hours of energy per mile to run, which is far less than its contemporaries can offer. However, despite its amazing efficiency, the car also has some disadvantages. For instance, it has limited space to carry cargo and no room for children in the back.

Nevertheless, as the first mass-produced solar car, The Aptera is a wonderful stepping stone into the future. (1, 2)

3. The Novus Bike

Revealed in 2019, the Novus is an unusual cross between an electric bike and a powerful performance motorcycle. It claims to have a top speed of about 120 kph (74.5 mph) and has a companion app that lets riders use their phones as the start key, speedometer, and navigation system. 

The Novus Bike
Image Credit: novusbike.com

The Novus bike was created by German designers René Renger and Marcus Weidig and unveiled in 2019.

Its design is an unusual cross between an electric bike and a powerful performance motorbike that allows it to be extremely lightweight. The bike’s strong carbon fiber body also gives it a modern and minimalistic appearance that is rather unique. But its most notable aspect is the gaping hole it sports, right where an ordinary bike would have its engine.

For the sake of convenience, the bike’s companion app allows riders to use their smartphones as the start key, speedometer, and navigation system. But more importantly, the Novus also has a top speed of 120 kph (74.5 mph) and accelerates from 0 kph to 50 kph (0 to 31 mph) in just three seconds.

Unfortunately, since the bike leans more to the expensive side, its crowd of admirers might be limited. (1, 2)

4. Tesla Cybertruck 

The Cybertruck is Tesla’s first-ever pickup truck and was unveiled in 2019. This vehicle has a towing capability of 14,000 pounds, much more than other trucks, but is still said to be quicker and faster. These cars also come equipped with Tesla’s autopilot and driver-assistance features.

Tesla Cybertruck
Image Credit: Mike Mareen/Shutterstock.com

In 2019, Tesla unveiled its first-ever pickup truck. This vehicle, called the Cybertruck, is unlike any other truck that has existed so far.

To begin with, the truck’s sharp-edged trapezoid shape makes for an extremely unusual feature. According to Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla, the car’s design was inspired by films such as The Blade Runner and The Spy Who Loved Me, with a touch of “cyberpunk” to go with it.

But despite its unusual appearance, the truck has also found some admirers for its 14,000 pounds towing capability. This is a lot more than most trucks and yet, does not seem to have slowed down the vehicle. Musk has stated that it can go from 0 to 60 mph in less than 6.5 seconds at the low end and 2.9 seconds at the high end.

Among other features, the Cybertruck also comes equipped with Tesla’s autopilot, other driver-assistance features, and a supposedly bullet-proof exterior. (1, 2)

5. Tank Hearse 

In 2015, a man named Nick Mead was reported to have modified a tank to be used as a hearse. He spent about £3,000 ($4,000) to convert an FV432 armored personnel carrier into a funeral car. According to Mead, this car is intended to give war veterans and military enthusiasts the perfect final send-off. 

Tank Hearse
Image Credit: Henry Nicholls/Newstream via dailymail.co.uk, Newstream/dailymail.co.uk

If you’re a military enthusiast or a war veteran, the tank hearse was certainly designed for you.

In 2015, a man named Nick Mead was reported to have created an unusual hearse out of an FV432 armored personnel carrier. The tank was refurbished to contain armored glass and the interior of a Ford Granada Cardinal hearse.

The project took him about £3,000 ($4,000) and six months to complete. But in the end, Mead was left with a vehicle that was unlike any other.

The hearse was completed just in time to give Mead’s tank-driving instructor his final send-off. From there, it went on to be used in five more funerals, at the cost of about £1,500 (about $2,000) each time. Later, Mead and his company, Tanks-A-Lot, teamed up with Midcounties Co-operative Funeralcare to provide its services to those in need.

According to Mead’s wishes, his own final send-off is likely to be in the tank hearse. (1, 2)

Also read: 12 of the Strangest Vehicles Ever Designed

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.