Not Something You See Every Day

A Showcase of The Weird and Wild in Scottsdale, Arizona.

Jet Engined Mitsubishi Eclipse

Over the past couple years I’ve been attending local automotive events increasingly frequently and along the way I’ve seen and photographed quite a few cars and bikes that just make you scratch your head. Whether it’s “why?” or “how?” or just “huh?” one thing is certain, these things are unique.

Vans and buses are a very popular subject for the weird and wild and often great for a laugh. This “1932 Ford Anniversary bus” recently sold at Barrett-Jackson for $130,000 and features a 454 big block, 871 blower, 14″ front brakes, 20×16″ rear wheels amongst other over-the-top features… all while seating eleven. It also appeared at this year’s Goodguys Southwest Nationals and it wasn’t the only vehicle there that fit into this category of vehicles. This twin-supercharged oddity, the “Wild Turkey Express” was also present to turn heads. Despite being based on a 1915 Ford truck, virtually nothing remaining is Ford. It’s powerplant has been swapped for a Chevy 350 featuring an extravagant twin-supercharger induction system built in-house at Doug Weigel Steel Sculptures in Albuquerque, NM.

Then there’s the Super Van. Built by the legendary customizer George Barris, it started out as a Dodge Sportsman Van, was turned into the “Love Machine” in the late-sixties and was rebuilt into the Super Van for the 1976 movie of the same name in the early-seventies. The idea was to showcase the ultimate in future motoring and solar powered-automobiles. It also made a cameo appearance in Back to the Future II amongst other films. With an interior appointed in red shag carpet, a rotating bed, a reel-to-reel entertainment center and a mirror disco ball, it’s certainly a hit with the ladies… thirty years ago.

Other sightings include this pair of unusual vans out at Pavilions and this shockingly fast (11.4s 1/4mi) van out at Speedworld in Wittmann, Arizona.

It might seem ordinary enough at first, but this 2003 Mitsubishi Eclipse is far from your average grocery getter. Packing a GE T-58-3 Turbojet with afterburner, this Eclipse puts on quite the show and is a regular at Scottsdale Pavilions. More photos in the March 31st, 2007 and May 27th, 2007 Pavilions galleries.

Next up is a truly Frankenstein-esque creation, and the builder/owner is the first person to proudly admit this as is evident by his antenna ball. Unlike anything else I’ve ever seen on the road, this pickup and motorcycle mash-up is pretty bizarre. Not only does it have the front end of a motorcycle, it steers like one. Sitting in the middle of the bench seat, it’s steered by a set of motorcycle handlebars, which are hinged to allow entry, and complete with hand controls. For more photos of it, visit the February 9th, 2008 Scottsdale Pavilions gallery.

Motorcycles are another common canvas for the weird and wild and this Boss Hoss certainly fits into the latter. Pushed along by a nitrous injected Viper V10 making 580hp, it’s sure to make even the ballsiest of riders a little nervous with a twist of the right hand. The opposite end of the spectrum isn’t rare to come across either. See more of the Boss Hoss here and here.

And finally, everything else. From the infamous Chevrolet El Camonte to a million dollar Maserati driven right, it might not be something you see every day, but there’s plenty to go around.