So Zipcar offers different kinds of cars to get around in—you already know that. But what if there were a special line of cars for the more eccentric drivers of the world? You know, those of us who don’t mind standing out in a crowd or stopping traffic (responsibly and safely, of course).
Well…there isn’t (at least, not yet). So, instead, we made a list of some of the strangest and most unique vehicles that aren’t without their practical charms, and wonder aloud what it might be like to reserve them in our cities.
Floppy Disc Cars
The floppy disc car: giving an all new meaning to “hard drive.” Image courtesy of Madeleine Ball.
Perfect for a spontaneous road trip through the Oregon Trail, these floppy disc cars are one of the coolest cases of upcycling we’ve ever seen. We actually stumbled upon one in the wild last year (the owner was unavailable for comment, photo, or high-five), and they really are impressive to behold. It may seem like an isolated instance, but these cars have been spotted all over the country in what we can only assume is some kind of convergent creative upcycling movement. Typically, keyboard keys border the windows, 5¼ floppies are arranged in colorful patterns across the body, and the smaller 3½ line bumpers and doors. No word if there’s an available drive (get it?) to actually read the data on these bad boys…but we won’t get too technical about it.
Tiny Green Pea Car
Adorable bite-sized rides that remind you to eat your veggies? Yes, peas. Image courtesy of Asylum FX.
This car couldn’t be more British if the trunk (er, boot) came stuffed with bowler derbies and the engine ran on unleaded Marmite. UK-based special effects company Asylum actually assembled this petite Frankenstein, using the frame of a go-kart, headlights from a VW Beetle, and a Honda engine. (The rest was just mad genius.) The car was actually custom-made for a TV commercial advertising—you probably guessed it—peas, but we think this tiny green machine would fit right in at Zipcar.
Need wheels that take you right to the door of your office—then through the lobby, up the elevator, and into your cubicle? Then you need the Volpe. Image courtesy of Zagato Volpe.
Tiny houses? They’re neat, but what about tiny cars? At 3.3 feet wide, the Italian-born Volpe is maybe the smallest we’ve ever seen. You might think this little tyke runs on electric charge alone (or C batteries?), but alas—it runs on a dynamic combo of gasoline, natural gas, electricity, and solar power. That means when your ~43 miles of electric juice runs out, you can switch over to gas when you need it. This quadruple power-source threat means good things for the environment, and we like that. Maybe not your best option for an IKEA trip, though.
BMW Motorrad VISION NEXT 100
These motorcycles look crazy cool—and come with loads of safety features, too. (So stop worrying, Mom!) Image courtesy of BMW.
Possibly named by the CEO of BMW’s 13-year-old son, the Motorrad VISION NEXT 100 concept bike is definitely one of those cases of pop culture accurately predicting the future. Don’t consider yourself an easy rider? No problem—because this thing will have self-balancing systems that keep you upright whether you’re zooming down the highway or at a standstill. But the best part is what BMW calls the Digital Companion, which offers advice and “adjustments” for the rider to optimize their experience. Top it all off with a full field of vision visor that projects feedback about road and vehicle conditions in real time, and you’ve got one safe and futuristic bike to zip around in—that is, once it gets released sometime in 2040.
We can’t all have the luxury of a spacious front lawn—but what if we could reserve them by the hour? Let’s paint the town green. Image courtesy of jaqian.
We’re a big fan of going green, and we’re also a big fan of going big. Combine those two together, and what do you get? The literally green car. Anyone can slap a layer of AstroTurf on their hood, but maintaining an actual car-den of Eden? That’s an idea that really grows on us. Each Zipcar-den (last pun, we swear) could even come with a watering can in the back, so you can water a patch while you refuel! Just a refreshing thought.
DUKW (Duck Tour Boats)
We think it’s time to get our feet wet with some amphibious vehicle selections. You’ll go from grill to gills in no time.
You’ve probably seen them barreling through cities (and waterways) across the country, usually piloted by eccentric tour guides who instruct their passengers to quack at…well, everything. But tourist-trap enthusiasm aside, why shouldn’t Zipcar have their own line of amphibious WWII-era vehicles? Sometimes the grocery store across the river just has the better snacks, and the shortest distance between two points is a straight line…