The Weird Car Hall of Fame

Get a long-overdue look at some of history’s weirdest cars — and how they’d fare as insured rides in today’s world.

Weirdest cars of all time

We all know that size doesn’t matter (or so they say), but what about shape?

After all, it’s what makes Wyoming (in its rectangular splendor) America’s de facto “Welcome” mat. It’s what made you buy your wiener dog that canine bed modeled after a bun. And it’s why Silly Putty — not soup — was probably Andy Warhol’s greatest muse.

But perhaps no aspect of life is impacted by shape more than our relationship with cars. The form of our beloved rides affects how we feel about them, how we drive them, and, most important, how we insure them.

With that in mind, here’s a long-overdue look at some of history’s most outrageously weird cars — and how their odd contours might affect their car insurance coverage today.*

The Reliant Robin

Weird car factor

Reliant, operating on the misguided “tricycle principle,” decided that 3 wheels were invariably better than 4. So they kept 2 tires in back, moved one front and center, nervously tugged at their collars, and voilà: the 1974 Robin.

Car insurance considerations

Admittedly, as a wheelbarrow, the Robin could more than hold its own. Unfortunately, as a car it would fall somewhere between “a rollover risk” and “Evel-Knievel-still-has-nightmares-about-it” on the insurance safety scale.

The BMW Isetta

Weird car factor

With no hood, bumper, or self-esteem to speak of, this 1955 Italian-inspired creation resembled (at best) a turtle that hadn’t hit puberty. And to make matters more confusing, it came with only a single door — that happened to be right smack in the front.

Car insurance considerations

Surprisingly, this car would be an insurer’s dream. As it was nearly impossible to get into, it’s likely that it was almost never used. Thus its chances for a car accident were slim. In fact, we have a feeling most owners never used the Isetta for driving, but strictly as a garage organizer to help keep their rakes from tipping over in high winds.

The DeLorean

Weird car factor

The roof was very angular, sloping onto a low, long, and downright mischievous hood. But before any of that you’ll notice, of course, the futuristic gull-wing doors (that laugh in gravity’s face by opening vertically).

Car insurance considerations

Maybe it’s the sporty body. Maybe it’s the devil-may-care doors. Maybe it’s the standard-model flux capacitor. Maybe it’s the fact that it could travel to the future. All we know is something about this car creates high-risk.

The Flintstone’s Car

Weird car factor

Where to begin? The wheels were uneven boulders. The front grill was fashioned from bones. The roof appeared to be a discarded painter’s easel. And there was an unmistakable lack of floor.

Car insurance considerations

This is sort of a coin flip. On the downside, with no air bags or seat belts (well, except for Dino’s tail) this ride would be wildly unsafe by today’s standards. But on the upside, with gas prices constantly reaching new highs, there’s a lot to be said for running a car on foot power. If nothing else, it would surely pass emissions testing. Though convincing people to carpool with you would be a hard sell.

The Kang Shoe Mobile

Weird car factor

It was a giant brown leather wingtip with wheels under it. Oh, and no cup holders!

Car insurance considerations

Was it a PR stunt? Was it to help Paul Bunyan with his transition into the corporate sector? Was it the much-anticipated answer to Boeing’s Cufflink Helicopter? Truth is we don’t know why China’s Kang Shoe Company released the Shoe Mobile.

And, frankly, it doesn’t matter. Because when it comes to insuring a shoe, as always, only 2 things matter: smell and arch support.

Whatever you drive (weird car or not)…

You can (probably) insure it through Esurance. Start your free car insurance quote to see what you could save.

What’s the weirdest car you’ve ever seen? Leave a comment.

*Note: We don’t really insure these cars … hopefully the Flintstone’s thing was a giveaway.

Related links

From the Batmobile to Mary Poppins’s umbrella, find out what it would cost to insure other famous rides.

Can’t get enough of odd-shaped cars? Check out some of the new rides automakers have in the pipeline.

No, we didn’t forget the most famous odd-shaped vehicle of all. We have a whole post devoted to insuring the Wienermobile.

One Response to “The Weird Car Hall of Fame”

  1. Mistie
    March 7, 2013 #

    I enjoyed your blog. I would like to say that if someone has a "weird" or limited edition or rare vehicle that they get it appraised. About 10 years ago I had a 1928 Ford Roadster PU. When I went to insure it I was told that merely by its age etc that it would only be worth its weight in scrap metal….That meant that I needed an appraisal to show what it was worth that was if I was ever in an accident my car was covered for its value.

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