The 9 Most Insane Vehicles That Are Street Legal
Even if you're not really into cars, everyone has a dream vehicle. If it's not the standard answer like "classic Mustang" or "Bugatti Veyron," then maybe it's, say, the Batmobile, or a car that flies.
Of course, the problem with getting too fanciful with your automotive dreams is that the really crazy stuff would never be street legal. Or would it? After all, at this moment you can buy ...
A Goddamn Batmobile With Working Turbine Engine
Oh, hell yes.
As roughly 120 percent of Cracked readers are dedicated Batman fans, chances are you're looking at the epitome of every automotive fantasy you've ever had. And it's easy to understand why -- having the Batmobile as your personal ride would improve your life in every conceivable way. Messed up parallel parking and scratched another car? Who would raise hell at the guy who drives the Batmobile? Late for work? "I'm sorry, I had a hard time finding a parking space for my Batmobile." Get charged with a crime? Pointing at your Batmobile grants you an instant pardon.
"Sir, we're willing to turn a blind eye to all that smack you've been smuggling in exchange for one five-minute ride."
And the people at Putsch didn't set out to make just any old movie replica, either. They actually went as far as building it with an actual turbine-powered engine, a feat that, incidentally, even the "actual" movie Batmobile didn't really have. Powered by a military-grade Boeing turbine engine taken from a drone helicopter, the Batmobile can reach speeds of up to 180 mph, and could probably be much faster if it wasn't for the fact that the cool design creates a lot of drag and makes it a bitch to handle at high speeds.
Wait, they stole an engine from one of the Joker's rides? Oh, SNAP!
The creator of this masterpiece, Batman admirer and possible superhero gadgeteer Casey Putsch, took to his work with admirable dedication. He never actually knew much about turbine engines before the project -- he learned how to rebuild the turbine engine from scratch, all in order to achieve maximum levels of Batmanism. Mission accomplished, Casey. Mission accomplished.
Now, if you'd ever need to go undercover while still packing the same horsepower, you could go for the ...
Imagine you're stuck at a traffic light with your VW Beetle when some jerkass comes along and starts revving his fancy sports car engine at you. He's being as obnoxious as he possibly can, clearly goading you into a race so he can humiliate your unassuming, fuel-efficient ride and impress his date at your expense.
Then the light goes green, you fire up your goddamn jet engine and disappear into the horizon, leaving behind a stench of burned rubber and mildly scorched sports car owner.
"Sorry about your hair. Shouldn't have bought a convertible."
The Jet Beetle is exactly what it says on the box: a sensible, unassuming new model Volkswagen Beetle ... that has a giant-ass Navy surplus General Electric T58-8F jet engine (the same type that's used to land the presidential chopper) strapped on.
"Come on bitches, tailgate me."
It's the brainchild of car modifier Ron Patrick, who took consummate care to keep it street legal. The Jet Beetle actually has two engines: a standard-issue gasoline engine in the front, and the jet engine in the back. This means the law can't touch you when you use the ordinary gasoline engine ... and when you decide to use the other one, let's see them catch you.
Pay attention to the speedometer, though -- Patrick is fairly certain the car will actually lift off the ground if it hits 160 mph.
He claims he gets this look from the police all the time while they figure out if they can charge him with anything.
Hey, speaking of which ...
Did you ever have one of those really neat RC off-road buggies as a child, only to find out as you grow up that they're not a viable transportation option in the real world? The ParaJet SkyCar sets out to fix this glaring error with a vengeance. While it's street legal, there's very few places it can't go. It's equally at home off-roading as it is on the streets ... but it doesn't stop there. See, the "sky" part of the name isn't just clever marketing. This car actually flies.
Yes, someone has invented a flying car and it looks just like that bitchin' RC buggy you had as a kid. It's bio-fueled, too -- but frankly, we doubt you give the environment much thought as you're flying over the 5 p.m. traffic, laughing maniacally and throwing rude gestures at unbelieving faces below. The huge parachute wing/propeller combination the car uses to fly enables you to steer it with two pulleys, much like a parachute. What's better, thanks to this method of flight, you can totally operate it without a pilot's license of any kind.
"Dad, can't we just ramp stuff like normal people?"
The SkyCar is not just a concept model, either. It was successfully tested in 2009 with a 42-day London-Timbuktu-London expedition, and if you happen to have a spare $80,000 burning a hole in your pocket, you can totally place an order for one right now.
We're thinking about ordering one just to fire it up and throw shit into the propeller.
Tramontana R Edition
"Tramontana" is the name for a ridiculously strong wind that blows into Spain from the north -- so forceful that legends say it causes madness. You can't just toss a name like that on a Prius. No, you fill your workspace with race car and fighter jet parts, watch all the superhero movies you can get your hands on and go freaking nuts. And, if you're really, really lucky, what you wind up with looks a little something like Tramontana R Edition, a $495,000 supercar they only make 12 of per year.
Look at that thing. Just seriously ... look at it. It looks less plausible than any Batmobile design. But not only is it real, it's street legal. Oh, and this is how you get into the car:
People who claim they could never love anything more than their children haven't owned this car.
Yeah, it has a canopy like a goddamned fighter jet. And, no kidding, this is the steering wheel:
Great, now we have Kenny Loggins' "Danger Zone" in our heads.
Yeah, it's actually more fighter jet than car. Performance-wise, the Tramontana R Edition is no slouch, either. With a 720-horsepower V12 engine on a frame that only weighs 2,990 pounds, it can accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in 3.5 seconds and has a top speed of 214 mph.
Real Tron Light Cycle
Short of an actual working hoverboard, the most unattainable pop culture vehicle has to be the Tron light cycle. Clearly, these impossible bikes were designed with little more than the cool factor in mind. That neon-lighted ghetto blaster shape and those empty wheels are just not things in real-life motorcycles.
Or so you'd think. Parker Brothers Choppers will totally fix you up with a completely street legal, fully operational version of the Tron motorcycle -- no mean feat, as the originals were pretty much computer generated. The price tag for the bike is around $55,000, which is a bargain when you consider that every hardened biker will be reduced to tears of envy as you roll by on this baby. The whole "hubless wheels" thing is achieved with special wheels made from former truck tires, though it seems like the driving position would eventually be hard on your neck:
"By the way, ma'am, you are technically no longer a virgin."
And the signature Tron neon lights? It totally has them, too, thanks to electroluminescent strips built into the tire cowlings, wheel rims and body of the cycle. The first model was powered by gasoline, but in true sci-fi fashion, they're now being made all electric and can go around 100 miles on a single 15- to 35-minute charge, with enough juice left over for the lighting.
Sadly, they have not yet managed to duplicate the ability to create solid walls of light behind you as you drive, but we have to take these things one step at a time. But you can, however, get a Tron motorcycle suit for the full effect.
Now there's a man who will have so much sex, it'll actually make him angry.
The WaterCar Python
If you suddenly woke up tomorrow as a rich douchebag, you'd have a difficult decision to make: "Which do I buy first? A sports car, or a speed boat?" Fortunately, the WaterCar Python means you only have one trip to make.
You can now cruise the streets around the beach in a neat, Corvette-based convertible that can -- should the need arise to shut up that competitive jerk at the traffic light -- easily hit 60 mph in around 4.5 seconds. Then, you drive down to the actual beach. Swimsuit-clad members of the opposite sex stare in awe as you steer right into the water and hit a button to retract the wheels. Instantly, the Python becomes a fully functional speedboat with a top speed of 60 mph -- more than enough to make most actual boats look bad in comparison.
"Nice turn signal, asshole!"
It's powerful, too -- you can totally have a water skier or six in tow, should the occasion arise (it will). You can also stop whenever you feel like relaxing for a while -- the car is a stable floater. Hell, even the doors are designed to be able to open without flooding the car.
The only time that's ever happened without preceding the words "Oh shit."
Pretty much the only thing that isn't a built-in feature is a beach party. Although, with the Python in your corner, it shouldn't take you long to acquire your own.
"Great. Now my seats smell like sun tan oil and Kahlua."
Of course, if you were a true rich douchebag, you'd need to look at something like the ...
Yes, that's exactly what it looks like. Dan Harris, the creator of the LimoJet, took an actual 1974 Lear jet fuselage and converted it into a high-end limousine. Why the hell not?
When life gives you decommissioned jets, make something to ferry overprivileged teens around on prom night.
The tail stands 11 feet high, and the whole thing sits on custom 28-inch chrome wheels. Its length is a respectable 42 feet from nose to rear, and its 101 inches from side to side are exactly one inch away from making it illegally wide. Oh, and it's a freaking jet plane. We really can't stress that part enough.
We would totally require a naked security check before entering that thing.
It is equally impressive on the inside: The 18-seat vehicle has a 42-inch HD plasma screen, an 8,000 watt sound system and several cow herds' worth of leather.
Harris markets his creations under the unfortunate brand name Jetmousine and charges around a million dollars per vehicle (flight attendants not included). However, if you don't happen to have that kind of money lying around, you can just rent one -- the first jet limo is already out there, flying under the flag of a Chicago based limo company. It's going to be the best prom night ever!
Video game companies have clearly been doing "portable" gaming completely wrong. You need to be able to bring the whole high-def experience with you -- four-player multiplayer, full-size monitors, a thumping sound system and a fridge full of Mountain Dew. Meet the All-Terrain Gamer:
You ain't shit until you can snipe while driving up the side of a mountain.
The ATG is basically a Transformer that decided to skip the "robot" phase in favor of a "badass entertainment center" one. Its base mode is that of a perfectly ordinary Toyota Tacoma pickup. But at the flick of a wrist and the push of a button, it becomes the magic car we all always really wanted.
Ironically, no racing games.
The sides of the car are actually two giant gull-wing doors, which rise up to provide shelter for the front and back seats that rearrange into a neat, four-seat row. Four 24-inch LCD screens fold out of the paneling, providing everyone with their own monitor. The custom made Kicker sound system fires up, the drinks cooler unveils itself and the controllers emerge. You and your friends are now sitting in the best Game Cave around, and as the vehicle comes with four Xbox 360 consoles, it looks as if you're going to be staying for some time.
As the icing on the cake, a giant 66-inch monitor pops out the back of the vehicle, so everyone stuck behind your now traffic-stopping gaming party can see exactly how much fun you're having.
All the fun of a dope-ass game room with the added ability to endanger human lives.
And, once the angry trucker stuck behind you finally reaches his limit and comes ramming into your ride, just grab a bike from the ATG's bike rack to make your escape.
What could possibly top this?
The Sofa Car
Let's say you're lying on the couch when you're hit with a sudden, all-consuming craving for Cheetos. It's a lose-lose scenario -- the couch is comfortable and you're feeling far too lazy to run to the store, but you need your delicious artificial flavorings and you need them now.
Sure, you could just have your snacks delivered, but that's not enough for you. What you need here is clearly a motorized goddamn sofa.
"I don't want to freak you out, but it's also a toilet."
The leopard-print Casual Lofa is precisely that. In fact, it holds its own against plenty of other, decidedly less couchy vehicles on the road -- with a top speed of 87 mph, it is a former record holder for being the fastest piece of furniture in existence.
Much to the chagrin of law enforcement -- and despite boasting features such as a pizza pan steering wheel, a chocolate bar to change gears, indicators in two flowerpots, a speedometer inside a clock and a working television -- the Casual Lofa is a completely street legal, registered vehicle. Not that it's likely to stop you from getting pulled over -- the vehicle's builder has been stopped by the police as many as 12 times within a single day.
Which just makes it that much funnier.