Sure, it looks like an egg, but we respect the Previa. What other minivan has offered a mid-engine layout, manual trans, supercharger and all-wheel drive? Sadly, one couldn't combine all of these concepts, as it seems all supercharged Previas were of the automatic, rear-wheel drive variety. Today's feature is a rare one with its five-speed manual. The addition of Lexus SC430 "pie plate" wheels is an added bonus. We stand by previous claims that this is among the five ugliest OEM wheels ever offered.
We're big fans of odd layouts, and this certainly qualifies. The TriHawk had a short run in the early to mid 1980s and offered super-light weight, low center of gravity and eye-catching style. Think Slingshot, but way ahead of its time and with the added bonus of being built in Dana Point, California. Add in a Citroen flat four and we're in heaven.
Here's a rare one. The L'Automobile was a Brazilian-built, VW-powered coupe which allegedly used some parts from the previous VW do Brasil SP2 and, of course, used a VW chassis, engine and transaxle.
We've always been intrigued by these 70s Lotus Elite and Eclat (sometimes called the Lotus Eclair). These front-engine oddballs were large for Lotus, but still used the "just add lightness" formula and were known as excellent handlers. The Elite, with its shooting brake body type, is more the oddball, while this Eclat has a coupe roof line. To us, it seems like these cars were style leaders, as they went angular in the mid 70s, while so many others went that way around 1980-1984 (think Celica/Supra, 200SX, Corvette, Camaro/Firebird, Datsun Z, etc.).
This is one of several fiberglass-bodied, kit-type cars sold without engine or trans and designed to accept Porsche or VW goodies. This one's special, though, as the fiberglass body sits on an aluminum monocoque. That is only now becoming more common, thanks to Jaguar, Audi and a few others; but it was seriously exotic stuff at the time, which probably explains the high price - equivalent to $70k in today's dollars.
For those not old enough to remember, and for those who forget, it seemed that no one except salesmen and some realtors drove four-door, US domestic non-luxury cars back in the day. As recently as the late 70s, the best-selling car in the US was the Olds Cutlass, most of which were two-door sedans. The big families stepped up to wagons and vans, leaving the four-door for work and (oddly) retirement duty. Given all this, four-doors historically had a bit of a stigma and, more recently, they haven't ridden the wave of increased collector prices. That makes really nice four doors oddities and, as such, we love 'em. Today's feature is a 1968 Mercury Montego MX with bid block (390) power and a four-on-the-floor!
WWe love Pinto Cruising Wagons in just about any condition or format. This is probably the most heavily modified we've seen, as it's lifted and features a 1974 Bronco 4WD system and 1975 302 V8. The result is beautifully ridiculous.