Brass Van – Probably the World’s Heaviest Art Car

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The Brass Van is a unique art car completely covered with various brass items. Also known as the “California Fantasy Van”, this artwork on four wheels took 22 years to complete.

Hunter Mann is the present owner of the Brass Van, but it was actually his late godfather, Ernie Steingold, who crated it. A vacuum-cleaner repairman, Steingold first started adding brass to his 1975 GMC van, in the early 1980s and continued doing so for the next 20 years or so. It all started one day, when he decided to attach three brass elephants to the hood, as ornaments. Then he got it into his head to cover the vehicle with brass coins, and he did just that – around $15,000 worth of coins, at the time he finished the job. From there on in, he just kept adding brass.

Mann, the current owner of the Brass van, says there are around 5,000 pieces of brass presently attached to his vehicle, weighing about 10,000 pounds. In fact, this car is so heavy, its tires have to be changed every 4,000 miles, and I don’t even want to think about the mileage…

As you would expect, Hunter Mann gets pulled over by police, about once every five days. Most of the officers just want to ask him about his Brass van and take photos with it. Even though he gets asked the same questions every time, Mann never gets tired of answering them.

When it’s not on tour, the Brass Van can be found at ArtCar World, a museum for art cars, in Douglas, Arizona. Just in case you were wondering about how much such a unique vehicle costs, the Brass van was appraised at $350,000.

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Parker Brothers Choppers Creates Real Life Functional Tron Lightcycle

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The designers of Parker Brothers Choppers have managed to turn the iconic CGI Tron Lightcycle into a real, rideable motorcycle.

While it may look impossible to ride in real life, Parker Brothers Choppers managed to create a real life replica able to reach speeds of up to 120 miles per hour. The 8-feet-long, 23-inches-wide and 215-kilograms-heavy masterpiece looks exactly like the space-age bike featured in Tron, it’s powered by a present day TL1000R motor that powers the chain driven friction drive system.

At first, the guys just wanted to see if they could build it, but as the videos of the build process they posted on YouTube went viral, it turned into a serious project. 800,000 people viewed the test drive of the Tron Lighcycle, and all the media coverage attracted the attention of Disney, who now wants to use the bike at promotional event for their new motion picture.

The real life Lightcycle is just a prototype, but Parker Brothers Choppers is currently working on another four lightcycles. Sadly, if you were thinking of buying one of these babies, you should know four of them are already spoken for, so that just leaves a single one for Tron fanboys to fight over. According to the Florida-based motorcycle manufacturer, a real life lightcycle sells for $55,000.

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Formula One Car Replica Made of Red Bull Bottles

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2010 was an exceptional year for Red Bull Racing, with Sebastian Vettel scoring the first Formula One World Championship title, in Abu Dhabi. To celebrate the event, Red Bull has created a life-size Formula One car replica, out of Red Bull bottles. The unique artwork is on display at a shopping mall in Bangkok, Thailand, and is made up of 2,615 bottles of Red Bull energy drink.

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Japan’s Amazing Dekotora Trucks

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Known as Dekotora, Decotora, or simply as Japanese art trucks, these incredible masterpieces on four wheels have become a symbol of Japan.

Dekotora is an abbreviation for “decoration truck”, and if you can say something about these trucks it’s that they are very decorated. That’s basically what defines the Dekotora art movement – adding as many decorations to your truck, as you possibly can, while keeping it operational. And making use of the ingenuity that defines the Japanese, they have been able to create some truly impressive rigs that blow your mind. Neon lights, flashy spoilers, manga and kabuki artworks are all part of a Dekotora artist’s arsenal, in his quest of creating the flashiest truck possible.

The Dekotora movement was born in 1975, when Toei released the first of its 10-movie series called “Trucker”, which featured a trucker who drove his overly-decorated truck all over Japan. The movie was a huge success, and people started tuning their own big rigs to resemble what they saw on screen. Dekotora truckers are very passionate about what they do, and money is no object when it comes to turning their vehicles into flashy masterpieces. They often form communities where they can show off their creations and interact with other art-truck enthusiasts. Most of them try to adorn the trucks with as many decorations as possible, while keeping them street legal, but there are those who go over the limit and create impressive Dekotora beasts that can only be admired in exhibitions.

There are three main Dekotora styles – Kansai, Kant and Retro, and starting with the late 1990s, the Gundam franchise has had a huge influence on the world of Dekotora. I guess the Japanese love robots and sci-fi,even when it comes to big flashy trucks.

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Sharpie-Painted Car Looks Sharp

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A Mazda Miata owner used a number of sharpies to give his favorite car some really cool-looking tattoos.

“Mighty” Mike Niemann of Team Miataka Racing spent 22 days and $100 in sharpies giving his 1992 Mazda Miata a radical new look. After carefully drawing the entire thing by hand, he added a clear coat so his impressive masterpiece doesn’t get ruined by the first falling rain drops.

Mike’s sharpie-painted Miata is definitely impressive, but it’s not the first sharpie-tattooed car. That probably goes to this gorgeous Lamborghini.

 

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Amateur Inventor Showcases DIY Solar-Powered Cars

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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

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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

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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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Russian WW2 Enthusiast Builds His Very Own Armored Division

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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

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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!

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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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