For as long as automation has existed, there have been inventions that pushed the envelope just a bit too far, so far in certain cases that the envelope fell off the desk and got lost somewhere underneath. This trend has persisted as the industry has continued to grow, and while most have been modifications to used cars or ridiculous objects, some have even ended up making it into mass production. There is a special subset of car enthusiasts who are known for putting their wildest dreams on a set of wheels and taking it out for a spin. However, this cannot always be a reality due to the restrictions and special clearances vehicles have to pass before being declared road legal.
So how does a car get to become road-legal? Most street laws are the same around the world, they require that all vehicles have head and tail lights, turn signals, functional brakes, and license plates. While most regulations that deal with driver and pedestrian safety are the same everywhere, different countries, states, or even cities may have distinct laws which limit how far creators can push their customizations. Because limitations often give birth to innovation, these laws have spurred people to build outrageous vehicles which are technically legal to drive. Always remember though, just because a vehicle is legal to be driven doesn't necessarily mean it should be.
10 Peel P50
Weighing in at 230 lbs, the Peel P50 is officially the tiniest production car in the world. Luckily for drivers, this car is available in a variety of options, including coupe and convertible.
Before dismissing the P50 for its 2.27 hp and 50 lb-ft of torque, consider the impressive GT EV engine which packs a monstrous 7.89 hp, 57 lb-ft of torque, and 50 mph top speed. Obviously, the sight of a Peel P50 would make children in toy cars and on tricycles shiver in their seats. Just make sure not to eat too big of lunch as it could severely affect the vehicle's top speed.
9 Watercar Panther
This entry's name completely sums up all that needs to be said about it, it is a water car. Belonging to an extremely niche group of amphibious cars, this vehicle is perfect for consumers who want to go from driving to boating without the pesky middle step of getting out of the car.
Equipped with an impressive Honda V6 Engine, the Panther's power clocks in at 250 Hp. The next step is to figure out how much "shark power" it has when in its boat form.
8 The Fastfood, Perry Watkins Dinner Table Car
Hilariously dubbed the "world's fastest furniture", fans of automation may find this absurd creation to be a bit hard to swallow. Created by famous car modifier, Perry Watkins, the vehicle comes packed with an impressive Nitrous Oxide V8 Engine, flaming teapots, a fake dinner patron, and its own dedicated web page.
The positioning of the driver seat in the vehicle ensures that anyone can feel like a true snack while riding this extravagant piece of automation. In September 2010, Watkins drove "The Fast Food" at 113 mph, devouring the world record for the fastest furniture from the next entry in the list.
7 Edd China’s Couch Car
The original street-legal sofa car, Edd China can still be seen driving this comfy ride down the streets of England. The car is outfitted with a pizza steering wheel, beer can hand break, and even a knee-activated gas pedal. Technically a mid-mounted vehicle the car is quite sporty for being a literal couch potato vehicle.
6 The Phone Car
Built in 1983 by Howard Davis and David Huntress, this titanic traveling telephone was originally a 1975 Volkswagen Beetle. The creation is a part of Howard Davis' lifelong fascination with telephones, especially classic models.
The phone has reportedly been pushed to a respectable 50 mph and plays a telephone chime when the horn is pressed. Though the front of the phone Car is covered in extra-large number buttons it is still completely drivable thanks to its black one-way glass windshield.
5 The Twike
Equipped with two sets of pedals, this car brings a whole new meaning to term "muscle" car. Invented in 1986, this car/bicycle hybrid allows the driver to physically pedal to their destination. The Twike does not leave all the heavy work on the shoulders, or legs, of the driver though, there are optional passenger seat pedals for those friends that like to pull their own weight.
The newest model of the vehicle, the long-anticipated Twike 5 allows buyers to choose between four different battery packages, with the most powerful being capable of reaching an incredible 113 mph.
4 Road Legal Children’s Car
Though most children wish to grow up and drive big cars on the street, some adults like to turn the trope on its head. Built by car enthusiast James Skoder the 2020 pandemic, this seemingly simple but complicated build is the perfect metaphor for the toll the pandemic had on everybody. With a modest 22 mph top speed this acute automobile is yet another piece of evidence that the English have given the world its greatest ideas on innovation.
3 GM Sunraycer
Looking like a mix between a UFO and an underwater critter, the GM Sunraycer is quite an impressive feat of automation. In 1987, it took part in the first World Solar Challenge, in which manufacturers raced across all of Australia in solar-powered vehicles. Thanks to its extremely light, 350-pound, weight, and aerodynamic body, it managed to snag the first place prize in the race.
2 Upside Down Ford F-150
Created by an amateur enthusiast by the name of Rick Sullivan, this vehicle literally tuns the idea of cars on its head. The car was the product of Sullivan seeing a truck upended in snow and thinking "I bet I could recreate that". Made with 100% ford parts, this up-turned ride always turns heads wherever it goes.
1 Tom Wright’s Bumper Car
Wright created this fleet from a group of authentic vintage bumper cars, giving new life to abandoned pieces of machinery. Though originally conceptualized to be restored and stored in a showroom, Wright soon realized that making the bumper cars road legal and keeping them for himself and his family was the right decision. Tom, his family, and friends can still be seen driving this fleet down the PCH which spans the shoreline of the state of California.