There was a time when automakers would do anything to boost sales of their models. The world has seen some unusual, distinctive, and downright bizarre vehicles in the past 135 years that cars have been on the road. Some were advanced, while others fulfilled certain demands, and some, well, should have never left the drawing board in the first place.
Automobiles are available in a wide range of sizes and designs. Some automobiles appear to be built intending to win awards. Other vehicles appear to have been designed by inexperienced individuals. Then there are a few vehicles that are parked in the middle. They are neither apples nor sore eyes. They’re one-of-a-kind in the strangest ways possible, thanks to the V8 engine.
While supercars and odd Frankensteins from the previous century are to blame for many of the motors you’ll see today, keep in mind that regular cars can still benefit from a V8 drivetrain. One reason we love vehicles is what occurs when creators blend beauty, utility, and their particular vision of the future. This is especially true when the outcomes make us wonder, “How could anyone believe this was a wise idea?”
2020 Hennessey Mammoth 6×6
Hennessey Performance, founded in Texas, is known for taking automobiles that are already strong and capable and making them even more so. Hennessey thought it would be fun to put in a twist. The “Quickest, Fastest, and Most Potent Mass-Produced Truck in the World” will be converted to a 6×6 by the aftermarket sector.
Hennessey Mammoth 6×6 is the truck’s name, and it’s six-wheel drive thanks to the addition of a second axle and wheels to the back end. The front and rear bumpers have been overhauled, as well as the suspension. The manufacturer will build only three Hennessey Mammoth 6×6 models. They’re going for $500,000 each.
1959 Cadillac Cyclone XP-74
Another of Harley Earl’s famous designs was the 1959 Cadillac Cyclone model. A glass bubble sat above the car’s cockpit between a pair of rocket ship-like pods. The motorist had an almost 360-degree vision thanks to a thin strip of chrome on the top of the windshield.
A customized V8 engine powered the Cyclone with a displacement of around 6380cc that produces 325 horsepower and 588 Nm of torque. The Cyclone had a radar system that scanned the road ahead of the automobile and alerted the driver to potential hazards. Drivers today benefit from forward-collision warning and automatic emergency braking systems.
2003 Chevrolet SSR
The Chevy SSR, a mash-up of a sports car, a throwback pickup truck, and a convertible, was commissioned by GM when it decided to stir up some custom retro mojo. With 25,000 trucks constructed, the truck only survived until 2006. The SSR’s performance and abilities suffered, as they did with many cars that try to do too much.
Because of the vehicle’s weight, the 300-horsepower V8 wasn’t powerful enough to provide much enjoyment. Chevy’s credibility had been shattered by the time it delivered a bigger V8.
The Gremlin was AMC’s attempt to rival Ford and GM in the subcompact car market. With a long low nose, long front overhang, and a truncated tail that appeared like a salamander’s tail had been torn off, the result was one of the oddest-proportioned vehicles ever created.
They equipped the top trim with a V8, hoping to make it a highly successful subcompact automobile. However, many people were put off by the way it appeared. There are reasons to both like the car and hate it, but one thing’s for sure: It is an absurd little car.
Publicity and press coverage for the red factory Dart, XHP 438, is not so much the first production SP250 as it is the last prototype of this unusual species of strangely loving Daimler sports cars, and is currently considered as the oldest in existence.
In a car like this, a V8 isn’t something you’d expect. Its 2.5-liter Hemi-head V8 engine, created by the acclaimed Edward Turner, who also contributed to the styling, is throaty yet silky-smooth and incredibly flexible, and it’s one of the greatest of its kind anywhere in the world.
The designers of the original Lamborghini Countach are working on its spiritual successor, a car with a brand-new V-16 engine and a max speed of over 200 mph. The massive V16 engine is arguably the most distinguishing aspect of the Italian supercar.
This Italian sports car, first teased in 1988, featured a 560 horsepower, 6.0-liter engine that was actually two V8 engines sharing a single block and linked at the hip by a synchronization mechanism. It all sounded promising until the day it launched. After that, the hopes for the V16T to take the US by storm sunk deeper than Jack from Titanic.
Bricklin SV1 (1975)
The Bricklin was filled with unnecessary design choices and it got all the wrong stuff that it didn’t need. Some people consider this to be one of the worst cars of all time. The car’s architect, the smooth-talking Malcolm Bricklin, didn’t include an ashtray or lighter in the car to prevent smoking. As a result, catching fire was only a matter of time, rather than a possibility.
The plastic panels and compressible bumpers added hundreds of pounds that the V8s couldn’t handle. This monstrosity couldn’t outrun the Rose Bowl Parade. Only 3,000 of the edgy coupes were produced.
Mercury was a Ford subsidiary, and the Capri was basically a Mustang with a fresh paint job. They offered the 1986 Mercury Capri with a variety of engines ranging from a turbocharged 2.3-liter four-cylinder to a carbureted 5.0-liter V-8.
It sold over 20,869 units, so you’d think it was quick, but it wasn’t. With only 200 hp and 285 lb/ft of torque, the 5.0-liter was severely underperforming.
The TR8 is the last of the inexpensive British sports cars, and it’s a shame they didn’t just skip the TR7 and go straight to the TR8. Triumph might still be with us now if they had done so.
Harris Mann devised the “wedge shape” design. During its development, they gave it the codename ‘Bullet,’ which was a fitting term considering its shape and features.
The Triumph V8 was unreliable, therefore the Rover engine was a suitable substitute. The TR8 fared well in sporting competitions, where it was frequently seen competing in SCCA and rally competitions.
Aston Martin Lagonda (1976)
When you think of Aston Martin, you likely think of the elegant supercars that bear the white wings today or the sports cars from early James Bond films. The 1976 Aston Martin Lagonda Series 2 was another attention-getting Aston, a beautiful wedge-shaped four-door stuffed with high-tech features that would have been very spectacular if any of them had ever functioned.
The V-8 engine in the Aston Martin Lagonda produced 280 horsepower at 5,000 rpm, allowing the car to go from 0 to 60 mph in 7.9 seconds and reach a top speed of 148 mph.
When V8 engines are mentioned, we usually think of the huge brutes that power muscle cars, but there are some smaller and cuter versions as well.
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