Ten Most Obscure Cars Of All Time

Yesterday, we asked for the most obscure cars you could think of. You came back with a slew of glorious machines, some of which even we couldn't identify. Here are ten of the most obscure.


This is "Answers of the Day" — a feature where we take the best ten responses from the previous day's "Question of the Day" and shine it up to show off. It's by you and for you, the Jalopnik readers. Enjoy!

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10. 1967 Mohs Ostentatienne Opera Sedan

Suggested By: Austin Mini Man

What Makes it Awesome: The Ostentienne Opera Sedan was accessible only from its one rear door and sported solid steel rails for crash protection. Ostentatious doesn't begin to describe options like gold-inlaid panels, refrigerators, and Ming-style oriental rugs.


What Makes it Obscure: At an inflation-adjusted purchase price of over $160,000 for a truck-engined car that looked like the unholy offspring of a 1927 Rolls Royce Playboy Roadster and a Facel Vega. Buyers were scarce, with only three or four examples seeing production each year over the car's short run.


9. 1951-1954 Muntz Jet

Suggested By: MZS

What Makes it Awesome: With an attractive aluminum body, a fiberglass top, and American V-8 power, the Muntz offered both performance and style at or above par for its era.


What Makes it Obscure: Producing such an advanced car cost money, and in the case of the Muntz Jet, the cost was greater than the selling price. Production ceased after around 400 examples.

Photo Credit: Autohistorian


8. 1985-1990 Owosso Pulse

Suggested By: Dolphfr

What Makes it Awesome: Once used in an advertisement for Coors beer, the Owosso Pulse looks like a jet but is actually powered by a Yamaha or Honda motorcycle engine. The Owosso's creator, a kitplane designer named Jim Bede, considered it a to be a roadgoing version of his airplane designs.


What Makes it Obscure: Despite being remarkably thrifty with fuel, the Pulse saw limited production. Current estimates put about 150 left on the road. Maybe.

Photo Credit: TheKneeslider


7. 1970 Mercury Cyclone Spoiler II Long-Nose

Suggested By: Gimmi Mørgäikkönën

What Makes it Awesome: Related to the Torino Cobra but with a uniquely Mercury vibe and powerful 429-cubic-inch V-8, the Cyclone is one of only a handful of Mercurys more desirable than their Ford counterparts.


What Makes it Obscure: A homologation special for NASCAR when such things mattered, the Cyc' Spoiler II Longnose was part of a plan to beat the all-conquering Plymouth Superbird. The program was canceled early, with just a handful winding up in the driveways of lucky buyers.

Photo Credit: Supercars.net


6. 1956-1957 Volvo P1900

Suggested By: PotbellyJoe

What Makes it Awesome: It's the Volvo even Volvo enthusiasts forget about. A quirky and half-hearted Swedish attempt to build a Corvette, the P1900 lacked the power and style of the American sports car.


What Makes it Obscure: Quality wasn't up to normal Volvo standards; according to lore, when the head of the company drove it, he was so scared that he immediately stopped production. Only 68 were produced, and many didn't survive. (Sam Smith once drove one on a Volvo press trip. His thoughts: "It's like a 444/544 that someone beat with a horrible stick.")


5. 1963 ATS 2500 GT 3.0-Liter Coupe

Suggested By: Zagto

What Makes it Awesome: The ATS 2500 GT is so romantically shaped you'd swear it was a Ferrari. You wouldn't be far off. The ATS was the work of a handful of former Ferrari employees; motivated by a 220-hp, mid-mounted 2.5-liter V-8, it was able to hit 150 MPH.


What Makes it Obscure: Like most of the companies on this list, ATS was eventually torpedoed by financial trouble. Less than ten cars were built, and just one had a full interior.

Photo Credit: ConceptCarz.com


4. 1984-87 Honda CRX Roadster

Suggested By: SlimWhitman

What Makes it Awesome: The Honda CRX is one of the most desirable 1980s econohatches and was ubiquitous when new. A coachbuilt convertible just ups the excellence.


What Makes it Obscure: The CRX was converted into a roadster by the Straman Company and could be ordered from a Honda dealership for about $5,000. It's hard to believe that 130 people forked over money for a less-usable Honda, but we're glad they did.


3. 1971 Manic GT

Suggested By: Franchitti27

What Makes it Awesome: It's Canadian. It's called "Manic." It's the cheaper, less attractive, Renault-based stand-in for the Alpine.


What Makes it Obscure: Designed by a guy named Jacques About (no kidding), the Manic GT was going to be the first big Canadian sports car. A crappy Renault-based supply chain meant the plant never had enough parts to continuously build cars. Just 160 Manic GTs were produced.


2. 1956 Powell Sport Wagon

Suggested By: Jonee

What Makes it Awesome: This 1941 Plymouth-based wagon was the proto-crossover/SUV and constructed from rebuilt parts from other cars. It had few curves because curves were expensive. The best feature is the long tubes in the rear — they were designed to hold fishing lines or other long objects.


What Makes it Obscure: Because the cars were built from old Plymouth parts Powell was limited by component supply. The Powell Registry shows few were produced; even fewer Sport Wagons remain.

Photo Credit: Motor Trend


1. 1963-1967 Gordon-Keeble

Suggested By: ni2sml

What Makes it Awesome: It's an English car designed by Giugraro, built by Bertone, and fitted with the 5.4-liter V-8 from a Corvette. It looks as sexy as any European GT from the day (in profile, at least) and was just as fast. It also had a turtle for a logo, which is kind of awesome.


What Makes it Obscure: The Gordon-Keeble had a lot going for it, but a too-high price and supplier issues doomed the car to just 100 examples. You may never have heard of it, but now that you've seen it, you probably won't forget it.

Photo Credit: Old Classic Car

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