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Practice English Speaking&Listening with: The Most Bizarre Vehicles That Have Ever Been Created

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- [Greg] Many of us get up in the morning,

get ready for school or work,

hop into whatever vehicle we're driving or riding in,

and never think twice about that vehicle.

Coming up, you'll discover 20 vehicles so bizarre

they'll leave you in appreciation

of the normal vehicle you ride in everyday.

I'm Greg from Be Amazed,

and here are the top 20 most bizarre vehicles of all time.

(upbeat music)

Number 20, ZiL 2906.

This bizarre looking, screw-driven amphibious craft

is a Russian vehicle that was originally

designed to recover re-entered space capsules.

Russian manufacturer, ZiL,

designed two vehicles for the mission,

the 2906 and the 4906.

The smaller 2906 would ride on the back

of the 4906 until the terrain became too much.

Then the 2906 would be deployed

and the recovery mission would continue.

On land, it travels up to 16 kilometers

or about 10 miles per hour.

In the swamp, it cranks that up to a whopping 20 kilometers

or about 12 miles per hour.

In the snow, however, is where it really shines.

Traveling up to 45 kilometers or roughly 28 miles per hour.

Number 19, The Caspian Sea Monster.

Aside from the look and method of flight of this vehicle,

the way it got it's name is almost as bizarre.

In the 1960s, American spy satellites

were picking up a strange aircraft being tested in Russia.

Members of the CIA incorrectly translated the words

on the fuselage of the aircraft as Kaspian Monster,

though the words actually meant Corabl Market,

or Prototype Ship, in Russian.

The Caspian Sea Monster was an experimental

ground effect vehicle that technically flew,

but stayed very close to the surface,

so it could rely on ground effect.

To make this as efficient as possible,

the aircraft was designed and built to be huge.

The largest aircraft on the planet,

until the An-225 took to the skies.

Number 18, VZ-9 Avrocar.

During the Cold War, militaries across the globe

were constantly developing new and sometimes bizarre crafts,

including the U.S. military.

In a joint effort between the U.S. and Canada,

the VZ-9 Avrocar was created.

This flying saucer look-alike

was designed to be a fighter aircraft,

capable of extremely high speeds and altitudes.

In fact, the U.S. military had plans to make these

into a sort of flying jeep fleet.

After years of repeated failures in the thrust

and stability systems of the VZ-9, however,

the project was canceled.

Number 17, Firebird XP-21.

When the term Firebird is invoked,

many people think of the muscle car

that hit the market in 1967.

That vehicle, however,

was a long shot from the original Firebird, the XP-21.

This 370 horsepower, fighter jet-inspired,

turbine-powered rocket car

looked like it belonged in space rather than on land.

The original concepts on this vehicle

later inspired a British version

that would go on to break the world land speed record,

and become the first land vehicle to officially

break the sound barrier,

the Thrust SSC.

Using many of the same ideas and concepts from the 1950s,

the Thrust SSC is like the XP-21, except much larger,

and much more powerful grandson.

Number 16, The Big Banana Car.

What's as big as a Ford pickup,

as yellow as a perfectly ripe banana,

and the answer to the question,

"What sort of car would the most ridiculous

man in the world drive?"

The Big Banana Car.

The owner and designer, Steve Braithwaite,

asked himself that very question,

and came up with that very answer.

So, he took a perfectly good 1993 Ford F150,

four by four pickup,

and turned it into a driving banana,

that still has four wheel drive.

Steve says the vehicle got him closer

to his long-held desire

to be the most ridiculous man in the world.

Number 15, The BMW Gina Concept Car.

This shape-shifting Beamer

is more than just a design idea.

It completely changes the way designers can think

about designing vehicles.

Gina comes with a fabric shell,

rather than the typical plastic, aluminum, and steel.

The fabric allows the vehicle to change its appearance

and shape as it does simple things,

like open the door, ready the headrests, or open the hood.

Hey, BMW, is that supposed to look like a woman's...

Oh, never mind.

Number 14, The Colim Caravan.

Designer Christian Susana designed a vehicle that

may not get many points for eye appeal,

but will definitely perk the ears

of those wishing to live a more mobile life.

Christian says the name Colim,

is an acronym for Colors of Life in Motion.

Called a lifestyle motor home,

it features a living area

designed for two to four people,

with individually applicable multi-function modules.

But the best part about this lifestyle motor home

is the fact that the front driving part

of the caravan attaches,

leaving the living area behind,

while offering a fuel-efficient vehicle

to travel around locally.

Number 13, Himiko Water Bus.

Looking like something straight out of Star Trek,

the Himiko Water Bus, or water taxi,

features many modern amenities,

as well as incredible views

through its many windows.

The eye-catching watercraft

was designed by well-known artist Leiji Matsumoto,

and is used to transport people around Tokyo,

while giving them an extraordinary view.

Number 12, Lepidodgera.

If you see this van cruising about,

you may be tempted to cruise in the opposite direction.

But the Lepidodgera Van's lead engineer, Mike Thielvoldt,

says, "There's nothing to fear."

The 37 foot tall steel butterfly

that sits atop of the van

can be intimidating,

until you learn that the 6,000 square foot winged creature

lights up brilliantly at night.

Best of all, it's powered using an on-board gasifier

that converts biomass into useable fuel

for the Dodge van's engine.

Number 11, Cricket Bat Car.

An Indian gentleman decided

he was going to go

a bit batty regarding the Cricket World Cup,

and created what appears to be

the world's only Cricket Bat Car.

The five-wheeled automobile ran on a 135CC engine,

weighed about 300 kilograms, or roughly 665 pounds,

had a top speed of 60 kilometers,

or about 37 miles per hour.

Number 10, Nemuth Parasol.

This relic from the 1930s

was built by students at Miami University.

While it's hard not to make the flying saucer correlation,

the Nemuth Parasol demonstrated to the world that

even a circular wing could be used on a plane with success.

In fact, one newspaper said the parachute plane

was ideal for landing your backyard,

and when you're done exploring the skies,

you could store the plane in a hanger

about the size of a large garage.

Unfortunately, the plane's low aspect ratio wing

created too much drag,

and the plane was scrapped,

because it was not fuel efficient or economical enough.

Number nine, The World's Longest Limousine.

At more than 30 meters, or roughly 100 feet long,

this limousine is the definition of stretched.

As if a heated jacuzzi, a sun deck, a swimming pool,

and a few beds weren't enough,

this condo on wheels

also features its own helipad.

Of course, if you can't afford to buy a stretch limousine,

you can also opt to build your own.

Or not.

Number eight, the Wienermobile.

You may have seen this bizarre vehicle

wandering around the U.S.

There are currently eight Weinermobiles

cruising around the highways.

The first Weinermobile was built in 1936,

and there have been 11 since then.

An interesting note about the Wienermobile,

only college students who are about to graduate

are eligible to drive it.

The Hotdoggers are chosen out of a pool

of about 2,000 eligible candidates each year.

And for those of you

wanting to take the Wienermobile on water,

there's the Hot Dog Boat.

Number seven, Bigfoot.

Our next bizarre vehicle

is more of a household name

than many of the oddities on this list.

While Bigfoot's creator, Bob Chandler,

made his first public appearance

with the four-wheeled giant in 1979,

new versions of the monster truck

seem to come out almost annually.

At least three variations of the Bigfoot

have garnered world records for their amazing feats.

In 2009, Bigfoot was named

one of the top five marketing vehicles of all time,

an honor shared by the U.S. Navy Blue Angels

and U.S. Airforce Thunderbirds.

Number six, Lockheed Martin P-791.

Probably responsible for countless UFO sightings,

the Lockheed Martin P-791

looks more like a giant bath toy

than it does a vehicle.

The goal of the P-791 was to have an aircraft

that features the speed of an airplane

and the buoyancy of an airship, or blimp.

Lockheed Martin is sticking by this idea,

and continuing to make this aircraft

for anyone that will buy it.

They say the P-791 can stay afloat at 20,000 feet

for up to three weeks

without the need for refueling.

Number five, The Cosmic Muffin.

This bizarre vehicle looks more like a prophylactic

from the outside than it does a watercraft.

But the story behind the Cosmic Muffin

is where the goods are.

In 1969, Howard Hughes' famous Boeing B-307,

also known as Hughes' Flying Office,

was deemed unflyable.

Shortly thereafter, a Fort Lauderdale realtor

and pilot, Kenneth W. London,

rescued it from the landfill,

and spent the next four years transforming it

into an exotic houseboat.

A view from the inside is nothing

like the awkward view from the outside.

Number four, BMW 4219 Eli.

This bizarre racing machine

may be the ultimate land vehicle of it's time.

The BMW 4219 Eli boasts 42 wheels,

which of course also means 42-wheel drive,

19 Porsche engines, each producing 459 horsepower,

which amounts to roughly 8700 combined horsepower,

and only one transmission.

This ultimate Beamer also features what they call

a toy trunk that BMW says is full of toys,

and you can play in it.

Number three, Convertible Fat Car.

If the sleek lines and incredible contouring

of modern vehicles just aren't your thing,

the plump and bizarre Convertible Fat Car

may be for you.

While many sculptors are focused more

on remodeling and removing volume

in order to shape a piece,

Austrian sculptor, Erwin Wurm,

focuses much of his art more on adding volume

and plumping things up.

That can be seen in many of his works,

including the Fat Car, which was built around a Porsche.

Wurm says this bizarre vehicle probes the link

between power, wealth, and body weight.

I say, it's just another ugly reminder

of the diet I was supposed to start months ago.

Number two, Alexander Lippisch's Aerodyne.

Almost a blend between a cartoon

and concept plane from the future,

Alexander Lippisch's Aeordyne

will go down in history

as one of the most bizarre vehicles in the world.

Understanding how this thing could even get off the ground

requires a stretch of the imagination,

considering its bulky, wingless,

and has a head that's twice the girth of it's tail.

The idea was that a single flow channel

would create enough thrust and lift

to keep the vehicle airborne.

While early versions of this aircraft

were built with a cockpit,

the test versions that actually flew were unmanned.

Number one, Igor Sobolevsky's Concept Vehicle.

We've saved the biggest, baddest,

and most bizarre vehicle for last.

This is Igor Sobolevsky's Concept Vehicle.

A mix between functionality, power,

and just all out girth,

this vehicle can be found in the imaginations of boys

and men all over the world.

The concept vehicle is loosely inspired by vehicles similar

to the Russian Kamaz Typhoon.

While Russia still uses the multi-functional,

modular, armored, mine-resistant Kamaz Typhoon,

Igor's Concept Vehicle is quite a way from mass production.

Still, the image of such a large and foreboding vehicle

is a testament to how far we've come

and how far we're going in the design and functionality

of our vehicles.

So, which one was your favorite?

Or, which one surprised you the most?

Let me know in the comments below.

Also, I'm new here,

so if you'd like to hear more of me,

please take part in this poll.

Thanks for watching.

(upbeat music)

The Description of The Most Bizarre Vehicles That Have Ever Been Created