Detroit's summer car shows are riddled with beautiful, extraordinary automotive gems. But among the pristine classics, there lurks a different kind of show car. Not fully restored prototypes, one-off Italian coupes, or serial number 001 cars. No, I'm talking about the oddballs. The misfits. The cars with quirk.
The vehicle in the topshot is a third generation Pontiac Firebird covered in toys. If you look closely, you can see much of the Toy Story crew adorning the sheet metal. Rebellious cars like this stick out from the crowd of shiny 1957 Bel Airs and 1966 Mustang Coupes cruising down Woodward, and they really don't get the attention they deserve. To combat this egregious oversight, I've compiled a list of weird cars I saw this summer at car shows near Detroit.
Just pray that it doesn't rain, or it'll be a *short* drive.
Wrought Iron Volkswagen Beetle
Air cooled engine. Air cooled everything.
Volkswagen Beetle Hot Rod With A Rag Top
I think the rag top is there to accommodate human heads. Still, call me NASA, because I would rock it.
Jeep Wrangler Zombie Apocalypse Vehicle
Click on the image below to enlarge it. Now have a look at the zombie hangin' on the back of the Jeep. Yeah...
Dodge Shadow Monster Car
I'm not sure what this paint scheme is meant to represent. We've got planets on the rear decklid, looks like a blue monster on the rear door, and some peculiar lookin' cyclops on the hood.
The Interior of the Kitt Car
David Hasselhoff: "Kitt, your interior is badass."
Kitt: "Thank you, Michael."
It's a giant skull bolted to a V8-powered chassis. I dig the exhaust stacks and the path lights out front that clearly belong in someone's lawn.
These Sweet Ratrods
Rat rods are supposed to look strange. They are rusty, grimey, mechanically bone-simple, unfinished hot rods. While most rat rods look like they've just been thrown together in haste, these two below definitely took some time to be put together. They look awesome.
Widebody Dodge Charger Coupe
When the current generation Dodge Charger came out, diehards were furious about its four-door layout. "That's no Charger," they lamented, "Chargers only have two doors!" Well, the driver of this heavily customized Charger agrees, as he's turned his into a widebody coupe. This car is like Santa: it has lots of presence.
Monkeemobile- 1966 Pontiac GTO
This modified GTO was used in the television show The Monkees in the late 1960s. I dig the canvas top.
Dumb and Dumber Mutt Cuts Dog Grooming Van
It's a car with a tale. And flappy ears. And awkward rear legs. And a tongue.
This Gigantic Jacked-Up 1964 Ford Truck
Check out that pinion brake. And those ginormous coilovers.
Stanced Early 60s Dodge D Series Truck
On the completely opposite spectrum of the previous truck, here's a "hellaflushed" Dodge D series.
The Leaning First Generation Cadillac DeVille
I'm not sure if I'd consider this car "weird," but there's definitely something creepy about it. Those blue headlights. The faded paint. The tattered chrome trim pieces. And, most notably, that eerie left lean.
US Airforce Challenger Vapor
Remember "Mad Mike" from Pimp My Ride? Well, he now works at Galpin Auto Sports and helped build this insane stealthed-out Challenger Vapor for the Air force.
Chopped Orange Cargo Van
Someone pimped his ride.
Back to the Future Delorean DMC-12
The flux capacitor exposed for the whole world to see.
Chitty Chitty Bang Bang
Everyone loves Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. It's a corny story, sure, but a total classic.
Miniature Volkswagen Bus Towing a Miniature Miniature Volkswagen Bus
Die kleinen Kombis. Sehr Suess.
Giant Ford Model B Limousine
It's the China-only edition Ford Model B-L.
Chevy 502 Powered Beetlemobile
There's probably not much Beetle beneath the sheet metal, but there are plenty of good ol' American cubic inches under there.
These Engines Don't Fit. Not Even Close.
Check out the blowers on the American iron below. To accommodate all the supercharged goodness, the Mustang has a gigantic hole in its hood, while the Impala forgoes a hood altogether. Gotta love old-school American muscle.
1940s Dodge Truck Rat Rod
There's something about a truck-turned-rat rod that I just dig.
Spongebob'ed Dodge Charger
I'll admit that I didn't spot this Charger this year. I saw this flamboyant machine a couple of summers ago at the Woodward Dream Cruise. Hilarious.
Yes. A turtle. Just when I thought I'd seen all the weirdness that Detroit-area car shows had to offer, there appeared a large turtle in the middle of the Frankenmuth Auto Fest. It was just roaming around the car show grounds with a can strapped to its roof. Turtles at car shows ladies and gentlemen. Welcome to Michigan.