6 weird-looking cars of the modern era
Modern cars have looked the same for quite some time. Bright, flashy body colors were left in the '70s, pop-up headlights were left in the '80s, and angular profiles were left in the 90s. Today’s modern cars are now subdued and kind of bland, usually painted in muted gray or beige, and feature a slightly curvy appearance. However, there remain the outliers — cars so quirky and eccentric that we just had to write about them.
The Chevy SSR (Super Sport Roadster) is a convertible pickup truck, and one of the weirdest pickup trucks ever made. Manufactured between 2003 to 2006, the SSR is a retro-style convertible that is sure to turn heads wherever it goes. The SSR gets its retro styling from trucks in the late 1940s, particularly the Advance Design trucks in the 1947 to 1955. The '03-'04 models used a 5.3-liter V8 that made 300hp, while the later variants used a 6.0-liter V8 that had around 390 horses.
Easily the weirdest looking car out of the bunch, this cheese wedge-shaped car may look like it’s a hot rod from the '30s, but you’ll be surprised to know that it was built from 1997 to 2002. Chrysler's design and international director Thomas C. Gale said his "love for 1930s-era hot rods inspired Chrysler's latest design triumph, the retro-styled Plymouth Prowler."
Every design element of the Prowler screams eccentric, especially from the outside. Keep in mind that the Prowler was released in the '90s, a time when many cars were particularly dull and vapid. When it was first released, it had a 3.5-liter V6 engine that made 214hp which would later be upgraded to 253hp.
Mercedes CLK GTR
Although it sort of resembles a clothes iron, the CLK GTR is iconic for many reasons. One, it’s wickedly fast, and two, it’s charmingly weird. Originally created in 1997 as a race car, Mercedes built the road-legal version of this roadster from preexisting CLK GTR chassis. Only six of them were made. It had a 6.9-liter V12 engine that kicked out a total of 604 horses and 775Nm of torque.
At first glance, you might think that the Z1 is completely normal. The first model in the German brand’s Z lineup, this roadster was produced in limited numbers from 1989 to 1991. What makes the Z1 so eccentric? Simple. The doors.
The doors of the Z1 don’t swing out like your 1990s Corolla. Instead, they sink underneath the door sills, retracting into the body to provide you a wider (albeit weird) opening to slide into. This gives the Z1 a weird silhouette when the doors are hidden, making it feel like you’re driving around a bumper car with the doors down. The Z1 is fitted with a 2.5-liter straight six that made 168 hp and 222Nm of torque.
It can’t get any more '90s than this. The VehiCROSS was a three-door SUV manufactured from 1997 to 2001, and it looks like a cross between a spaceship and an inflatable life preserver. The Isuzu VehiCross’ most distinct characteristic is the dark gray plastic cladding on the underside of the vehicle, a stylistic choice that greatly accentuated the curvy frame of the vehicle. Throughout its four-year run, the VehiCROSS spawned two iterations. The first VehiCROSS came with a 3.2-liter V6, and the second one came with a 3.5-liter V6, both of which made around 215hp and 312Nm of torque.
This rare, exotic Dutch roadster is weird for all the right reasons. The C8’s styling is heavily influenced by aircraft and aviation, with a lot of its parts designed to look like airplane propellers. From the outside, one of the C8’s most distinctive features is its frameless window situation, wrapping around the car like a nice, glass blanket. The C8’s design is absolutely timeless and it ages really well, as it doesn’t look like a car from the 2000s.
Other supercars of the era now look very outdated and have archaic interiors with car phones but Spyker decided to make this car stand the test of time, and it does. The interior of this vehicle is filled with beautiful brushed aluminum, incredible toggle switches, and my favorite feature: the iconic Spyker shifter. This car is fitted with a 4.2-liter V8 engine that made 400-620hp depending on the model, and is still being produced today.
Photos from Autoblog, Motor1, Pinterest, Piston Heads, Carscoops
8 Eccentric Cars from Common Brands