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Amateur Inventor Showcases DIY Solar-Powered Cars

Chen Shungui, a Chinese amateur inventor, has spent eight years of his life working on two homemade solar-powered cars .

Chen Shungui, from Jingjiang, China’s Jiangsu province, started working on his solar panel cars in 2002, hoping to create a vehicle with no CO2 footprint. The first vehicle was completed in 2008, and despite its unpolished looks, it managed to run at a max speed of 45 km/h on solar power alone. The roof and hood of the car were completely covered with solar panels, but without a battery, it could only be used on sunny days.

Chen went back to the drawing board, hoping to improve its creation in such a way that it could be used on cloudy days and for longer drives. Just a few days ago, he unveiled his second homemade car, with a whole new look, as well as a solar battery that guarantees enough power for a 150 km trip. The new version has a max speed of 60 km/h.

The two innovative solar-powered cars cost Chen Shungui a total of $74,943 and took eight years to complete.

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Formula One Fan Spends Three Years Building His Own Race Course

James Michael Harlan, an American designer and car enthusiast has spent three years building the White Lake Formula One Ring, a 1/32 scale Scalextric Formula One race course.

Complete with miniature race cars, pit crews, a podium, all set in a beautiful handcrafted landscape, the White Lake Formula One Ring is definitely this year’s ultimate boy’s toy. The four lane wide, 145-foot-long racetrack looks absolutely stunning, but what’s most astonishing is the fact that 39-year-old James Michael Harlan used common materials like copper tape, MDF, electrical wire and some paint to complete his masterpiece.

And it would be a shame to build such an amazing Formula 1 circuit and not use it for racing, right? As a true car racing fan, James Michael Harlan organizes race nights with around 30 people, with qualifying rounds, pit stops and everything else you can expect in a real Formula One race. He’s even been known to run 24-hour races, when the track is lit by sunlight during the day, and by track-level lighting, at night.

While he realizes this is not the kind of thing an exhibition designer usually builds, he admits he sometimes looks at it and realizes he’s created something truly amazing. So far he spent around $6,000 and 7,000 hours on his White Lake Formula One Ring, but he says he’s just getting started, as there are so many other things he want to add.

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Rev Angel – A Camaro with the Face of a Lamborghini

Let’s face it, we’d all love to drive a Lamborghini, but few of us can actually afford to buy one. The 1994 Chevrolet Camaro, on the other hand, is a lot cheaper and looks almost the same as a Lamborghini Gallardo. Well, at least this one does.

Looking at the Rev Angel for the first time, you could probably swear it’s the beautiful Lamborghini Gallardo you’ve always dreamed of. It certainly looks the part, but under that gorgeous exterior, you’ll discover the framework of a humble old 1994 Chevrolet Camaro. Aww, come on, no need to be disappointed now, it’s a perfectly good Lambo replica, and the owner just changed the original engine with a 300 HP LT1 engine that he guarantees will help you beat any tuner cars, old Corvettes and muscle cars.

And you know the best thing about Rev Angel? It cost only $3,000. That’s a worthy price to pay for such a nice looking replica of the Lamborghini Gallardo.

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Excessories Odd-Yssey – The Ultimate Shoe and Hand-Bag Art Car

To show off her love for style and fashion, artist Kelly Lyles turned her old Honda Odyssey into the ultimate fashion-themed art car.

Appropriately named Excessories Odd-Yssey, this lavish art car is covered with dozens of fashion accessories, from hand bags, to shoes, glasses and jewelry. The hood of of the car is decorated with a magnetic Paperdoll version of the owner, together with a series of magnetic outfits. The inside of Excessories Odd-Yssey, including the dashboard, is covered with colorful clothes.

Driving around in the Excessories Odd-Yssey, on the streets of the mostly gray Seattle, Kelly Lyles manages to bring some color to the rainy city. She has done so for the last 20 years, since she created her first art car.

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Russian WW2 Enthusiast Builds His Very Own Armored Division

Vyacheslav Veryovochkin, a village craftsman from Russia’s Novosibirsk area, has become famous for building exact replicas of various World War 2 armored vehicles, in his own garage.

Vyacheslav Veryovochkin began constructing WW2 vehicles a few years ago, when he got his hands on the plans of a Lend-Lease Studebaker truck. With only some basic tools he had in his garage, he managed to create a perfect replica, and continued to build other models, as a pastime. Because he is trying to recreate historical pieces, the passionate craftsman only works according to the original plans of the vehicles, which he now looks for on the internet and in magazines.

Right now there are just six vehicles in front of Vyacheslav Veryovochkin’s home, but he says he has so far created around 30 different WW2 tanks and armored trucks. He is the only man in Russia to create such exact replicas, so some of his works have been acquired by museums, while others rented by Mosfilm, the main film studio in Moscow, to be used in an upcoming movie inspired by the events of Stalingrad.

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World’s First Smart ForTwo Wrapped in Cardboard

In an attempt to prove their products are by no means disposable, German car maker Smart has teamed up with a cardboard manufacturer and designer Sarah Illenberger to created the world’s first cardboard-wrapped Smart.

It might sound and look stupid, but this cardboard Smart aims to somehow disprove the rumors that Smart cars are disposable. They want to show the world that even covered by heaps of  high-quality reusable cardboard blocks, their Smart ForTwo model makes a lasting impression. I don’t know about the “lasting” part, but it’s definitely caught my attention.

Renowned designer Sarah Illenberger applied all the cardboard blocks by hand, in a pixel-like fashion that she feels emphasizes the sustainability of both the car and material.

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Toy Car – Pretty Much the Most Amazing Car EVER!

That’s how the owner of this unique car describes his creation on his Flickr stream, and the geek in me agrees with him 100%.

The Toy Car is a one-of-a-kind vehicle covered with thousands of toys that the owner most likely collected as a child. Probably eager to show off his massive collection, or just wanting to give his Saab a second life as a cool art-car, the man behind this crazy creation glued all these toys all over the body of  his old ride.

I’m sure he can’t go too fast in that car anymore, for fear of his toys flying off the hood, but who needs speed when you can just cruise around town flaunting your geek spirit for everyone to see.

Check out more photos of the awesome Toy Car on AzyxA’s Flickr stream.

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1985 Porsche 944 Is Not a Cool Batmobile

As Robin would  say: “Jeepers Batman, look, a 1985 Porsche 944 Batmobile!”

I’ll be the first to admit Porsche makes some really good sport cars, although they aren’t the most affordable. But as cool as they are, Porsche roadsters will never be as awesome as any Batmobile, and this old Porsche 94s is a prime example.

In an attempt to copy the Batmobile from Tim Burton’s Batman, the owner of this 1985 Porsche 944 fitted it with two .223 machine-gun replicas that light up, for effect, some batwings for the rear wheels, pipes that come out of the car’s doors, as well as a big Batman logo on the hood, and some smaller ones on the rims.

On the inside, he opted for a yellow-black color theme, the Batman logo on the steering-wheel, and Batman rubber mats. Since he didn’t manage to change the original 2.5 liter engine of the Porsche, he added a NOS Sniper pack, to at least give you a chance at catching fleeing baddies.

It’s definitely not the most impressive Batmobile I’ve featured on Oddity Central, and that’s probably why he practically gave it away for only $6.500.

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World’s Tastiest Looking Truck

Spotted on a road-trip across the United States, this Cheeseburger Truck has to be one of the coolest looking trucks in the world. I don’t know how they did it, but the guys at the Westwood Flea Market made their truck look so real I wouldn’t be surprised if people started chasing after it trying to get a bite.

Credit goes to nycscout for taking the photos and sharing them with the rest f us.

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V8 Hotel – A Car Enthusiast’s Ultimate Accommodation

Featuring automotive-themed rooms and beds made from famous cars, the V8 Hotel, in Stuttgart, is the ultimate retreat for any car fan.

Located in the center of Stuttgart’s Meillenwerk – one of Germany’s hot-spot for car dealers – the V8 Hotel is a regular tourist magnet. Practically everyone who comes to Meillenwerk wants to spend the night at this classy auto-themed hotel. At $490 per night, the rooms at the V8 are not the cheapest, but that doesn’t stop guests from booking them. Even Stuttgart locals come here to spend at least one night in the uniquely styled rooms of the hotel.

Built inside the old Boblingen Airport, the V8 Hotel has 34 rooms, each with its own unique interior, including one three level suite, set up in the old airport tower. The four star establishment uses antique accessories and original car parts as decorations for its rooms, and the car beds are made from classic cars like old Cadillacs, Mercedes or Moris Minor.

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Football Hyunday – A Football Fan’s Dream Car

Created for the Football World Cup 2010, the wacky football car owned by James Baggott is one of only two created by Hyundai.

Designed by car artist Andy Saunders, the Hyunday i10 football car is covered in astro turf and comes complete with its own goal, boot shaped side mirrors, football wheel rims, and a giant football on top. On the inside, this unique i10 has grass effect upholstery, football shaped headrests and little boot-shaped air freshners.

The history of these crazy football cars adds to their charm, Apparently both cars were sent for testing on BBC’s hit show Top Gear, and when they were returned a little damaged, Hyundai decided to give them a unique look, instead of fixing the dents. The company kept one of its astro-turf-covered creations and sold the other.

26-year-old James Baggott bought the Football Hyundai i10 for the specific purpose of selling it on eBay and raising some serious funds for a charity foundation. He figured many football fans would love to drive to away games in such a vehicle, and now invites all of them to place a bid for it. The opening bid for the Hyunday football car is at 1,995 British pounds.

 

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6 Unique Vehicles Based on the Smart

Definitely not my dream car, the Smart is a useful vehicle that will get you from point A to point B, with decent fuel consumption and no worries about finding a parking space. But other than this, the Smart isn’t the most impressive car on the market. But with a little imagination and a lot of work, even the Smart can become a unique neck-twister. Here are six examples:

Smart tank

Now this is one Smart I’d love to take for a ride! A tank is probably the last thing anyone would think about when looking at a Smart, but it’s surprising how well those tracks fit on the little bug. Unfortunately not much is known about this unique tuning masterpiece, other than it belongs to someone in Germany.

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Designer Creates Wooden Porsche 911

Designer Alexander Gedda has spent several months making a replica of the famous Porsche 911 supercar, out of thousands of toy building blocks.

The 14-foot-long wooden replica was commissioned for the historic archive of a Porsche dealer in Milan and is made out of toy building blocks and a giant zipper, down the middle. The designer used over 6,500 wooden blocks, which, if placed end-to-end, make 1,500 meters of wood.

If you’re wondering what the role of the zipper is in all this, well it’s actually the only way to enter the “vehicle”. Inside you’ll find pretty much nothing, but if you’ve ever dreamed of being inside a wooden Porsche 911, you’ll have to use the zipper.

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The Conquest Wheelchair Motorcycle

Just because someone can’t ride a standard motorcycle anymore doesn’t mean they have to stop exploring the open road. With the Conquest wheelchair motorcycle you can keep the dream alive.

We live in an era where being disabled below the waist doesn’t mean you have to give up driving, thanks to custom made cars, but for motorcycle enthusiasts things didn’t look so good. Until the invention of the Conquest, that is. Thanks to this innovative three-wheel motorcycle disabled bikers don’t have to give up what they love most.

Sure, it doesn’t look as good as a Harley, but it does come with a 1170 cc engine, that pushes the Conquest to speeds up to 105 mph, and gets it for 0 to 60 in 7.6 seconds. Thanks to its rearward ramp, riders can get on board in their wheelchairs, and fasten it with a locking mechanism.

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Ridiculous Scrap Part Limousine on Sale for Nearly $1,000,000

It may not look like it, but this weird-looking limousine is actually a Mercedes. Well, make that two Mercedes-Benze 300TD, and it can be yours for the modest price of $950,000.

That’s right folks, this ‘beautiful’ art-car, made of two welded Mercedez-Benz,containing parts from over 40 different cars is on sale for under $1 million. It’s even more unbelievable considering this limo has won the title of best art-car, at the Houston Art Car event, twice (2007 and 2009).

This alien-looking vehicle is the work of Antti Rahko, an art-car enthusiast who spent 10 years of his life welding two Cars into a 10-seater limousine, and decorated it with 86 lights and 36 mirrors. With that much visibility, you practically can’t crash this car.

I can understand Mr. Rahko worked hard on this art-car, but placing a $950,000 price tag on it seems just a bit ridiculous. Right now the bid on eBay is at $10,000, and he’ll probably need inflation to move a bit faster, if he wants to get the asking price in his lifetime.

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