The Weird And The Wonderful - 6 Standout Motors To Get Today!
You're a maverick, you don't run with the crowd, you like to stand out and make a statement. Same goes for your car. Or it should do. If you're driving just another silver/grey Golf, Corsa, or (insert typical ordinary car name here), pay close attention to our list of the Weird Ones below. These are the cars that make people shout out: "What IS that?!" Here's our outside-the-box motoring choices that you could actually buy today.
How about a relatively compact American retro-futuristic pick-up truck, fitted with a V8 engine and manual gearbox with, believe it or not, a retractable roof! Yes, it's actually a convertible too. It's a classic-style modern roadster than you can move stuff in - well small boxes only to be honest. It simply defies categorisation. Built in the early 2000s, a number of Chevrolet SSR trucks were imported into the UK. An online search revealed several for sale at prices between £20k-30k.
No, not the current one used by Uber drivers who couldn't afford a Prius, we mean the original Honda Insight from 1999, right at the genesis of petrol-electric hybrid cars. In fact the Insight was the first hybrid car to go on sale in North America beating the Prius by seven months. Whereas that first Prius just looked odd, the Insight was odd but cool, featuring a bug-like shell, hidden rear wheels and sporty pretentions. It's still one of the most fuel-efficient cars you can buy, and astonishingly for a hybrid, was available with a manual gearbox. These are rare, but around £8000 will buy you one. Use it, but keep it safe, because one day they will be worth a lot.
Mazda Autozam AZ-1
This tiny little sports car from Japan was produced by Mazda in the early 90s, in collaboration with Suzuki which supplied the engine. It can be had for around £15,000 and there's several currently available in the classic classifieds. This extraordinary mid-engined car has actual gullwing doors. Describing it as a 'pocket rocket' is pushing it though as it only produces 64bhp from a 660cc three-cylinder engine. And beware, if you're on the large side, you just won't fit!
When you get asked: "what is it?" Your answer might be: "well, you know, it's a two-door, four-seat luxury coupe, that looks a bit like an MPV, but could be an estate, and which Renault reckoned felt like a convertible because of all the glass..." The reaction: "Right, so you don't know what it is either?" Perhaps neither did Renault when they decided to build it in the early 2000s, and nor did buyers, as not many were sold. "Avantime" was meant to imply "ahead of time", and maybe it was. Hard to find now, but they are out there (in every sense), and for less than £10,000. Perfect for artists and architects!
Okay, let's have another Renault because after all, the French do Avant-garde so well. The extraordinary Renault Twizy is available new for about £11,000 but having been around for eight years now, you'll find them in the classifieds from as low at £6000. It's fully electric of course and does actually seat two people in a tandem arrangement. You can remove the doors to really put on the pose. With just over 30,000 sold globally, these are still rare to see.
The regular Smart is a relatively common sight. But its sportier sibling far less so. Under £5000 will pick you up a brilliant little Smart Roadster. It's a compact sports car with eye-catching style thanks to contrasting body panels. The Roadster is genuinely fun to drive due to its low-slung chassis and rear-wheel-drive set-up. Made in the mid-2000s, these are affordable now, but won't be for long as they move into deserved classic status. Cheap to run, easy to park, fun to be seen in. Downside? It only comes as an automatic.
So which car takes your pick? If you're looking for a weird car, you'll certainly find one here!