2021 has been a weird one for us all and this oddball list of 21 vehicles certainly captures the zeitgeist. There’s everything here from Tom Hanks’ Toyota FJ40 to Mr Bean’s Aston Martin V8 Vantage Zagato.
Some of these vehicles are timeless classics like the bare metal body Lamborghini Miura P400 S and the Isdera Imperator 108i, whereas others were likely popular for their peculiarness, like the Mercedes-Benz 450 SL Trans Am race car and the Checker Cab Camper.
Fast Facts – Silodrome’s Top 21 Cars Of 2021
- Every year I sit down and compile a list of the top cars and motorcycles featured on Silodrome in the previous 12 months.
- These lists are always controversial and I’m frequently called an idiot for including the vehicles I do, however I would like to note that these lists are compiled based on the web traffic popularity of each vehicle – there’s no personal opinion in it at all.
- Regardless of who you are or how your tastes run there should be plenty here to keep you interested, if you’d like to send me a message and call me an idiot, as is tradition, you’ll find a link to the contact page in the footer on the righthand side.
- No matter who you are or where you’re at, I hope you have a great 2022.
⇞ #21 – A Batmobile With A Propane-Flame Jet Exhaust
This Batmobile has a functional propane fired “turbine” jet exhaust flame just like the original driven by Adam West back in 1966 during the original Batman television series.
Of all the Batmobiles we’ve seen come up for sale in recent memory, this one is the closest to the first screen-used Batmobile that was famously built by George Barris and his crew in just three weeks before filming began.
⇞ #20 – A 4×4 Chevolet Corvair Zombie Hunting Van
This highly-unusual 1964 Chevrolet Corvair van first popped up for sale a little earlier this year and caused quite a stir. The seller explains that it’s 100% street legal and that it was built for events like Burning Man and Wasteland Weekend.
Although it’s listed as a Corvair van it actually just uses a Corvair van body. From the sills down it’s actually a 1965 Ford F100 four-wheel drive chassis that’s been fitted with a 350 cubic inch small block Chevy V8 which is mated to a GM Turbo-Hydramatic automatic transmission.
⇞ #19 – A Bare Metal Body Lamborghini Miura P400 S
This Lamborghini Miura P400 S was hidden away in a California Bay Area warehouse for well over 40 years, a victim of a minor fender bender that had seen it laid up for repairs that wouldn’t happen until it was rediscovered four decades later.
The early history of this Miura is fascinating, it was bought by a wealthy Iranian family and shipped to their daughter – a 19 year old coed attending college at University of California, Berkeley.
⇞ #18 – A Rare BMW-Glas 3000 V8
This is one of just 389 examples of the BMW-Glas 3000 V8, they were only made in 1967 and 1968 before BMW discontinued the model, and today they’re among the rarest BMWs money can buy.
In the early 1960s Hans Glas GmbH, one of Germany’s smallest automakers, was in dire financial trouble. The company approached Italian design house Frua to design them a new GT car, a car that company executives hoped would turn their fortunes around.
⇞ #17 – Elton John’s Ferrari Daytona Is For Sale
Sir Elton John is not a man famous for his discreet fashion sense or shy on-stage persona, so it should probably come as no surprise that he bought himself a Ferrari Daytona back in the 1970s.
Over the decades since he first became a global star Sir Elton developed a reputation as a bit of a petrolhead, he’s owned a significant number of notable cars including supercars, sports cars, and luxury vehicles.
At various times in his life he’s owned an Aston Martin V8 Vantage Volante, a Jaguar E-Type, a Bentley Turbo R Saloon, a Rolls Royce Silver Cloud III, an Aston Martin V8 Vantage V550, a Ferrari 512TR, and of course the car you see here – a 1972 Ferrari 365 GTB/4 Daytona.
⇞ #16 – A Bombardier B7 V8-Powered 7 Person Snow Coach
It’s not everyday you get the chance to buy a restored Bombardier B7, these were the world’s first dedicated production “snow coaches” able to carry groups of people, and this one is powered by a 221 cu. in Ford Flathead V8.
The Bombardier B7 was designed by mechanic and self-taught engineer Joseph-Armand Bombardier after his 2 year old son Yvon died during the winter because no vehicles could traverse the snow and get him to hospital.
⇞ #15 – A Rare Original Motion Performance Manta Ray GT
This is a rare original Motion Manta Ray GT, to cut a long story short, it’s a Corvette that was custom built in the 1970s by a company called Motion Performance, before they were fined by the US Justice Department and forced to cease most of their operations.
Not many automobile modification specialists can boast that they shutdown due to a targeted federal investigation, in fact as far as I can tell, Motion Performance was one of the only ones.
The reason they were targeted varies depending on who you talk to, but it seems that the DOJ and EPA took umbrage at the fact that Motion Performance would remove emissions equipment from cars as part of their high-performance rebuilds.
⇞ #14 – A Beautifully Restored 1978 Jeep J10 Golden Eagle Pickup
Every now and then a vehicle pops up for sale that gets me to wondering how much money I could pull together if I emptied the couch cushions and that little box in the console armrest in the car.
This Jeep J10 Golden Eagle is one of those cars. I know it won’t appeal to all of you but those of you who grew up watching old American action movie reruns on boxy televisions with clicky dials and wood veneer on the sides will all love this thing just as much as I do.
⇞ #13 – The Isdera Imperator 108i
The Isdera Imperator 108i was a supercar born from the stubborn refusal of its designer to let it die as “just” a concept car – it was originally designed by Eberhard Schulz as the Mercedes-Benz CW311 concept car in 1978.
Mercedes had opted not to put it into production, but they didn’t stand in Schulz’s way when he set out to create his own production model of the car under the the marque “Isdera” that he founded in 1982.
The company’s unusual name is a portmanteau of “Ingenieurbüro für Styling, Design und Racing,” or in English, “Engineering Company for Styling, Design and Racing.”
⇞ #12 – Rowan Atkinson’s 1964 Ford Falcon Race Car Is For Sale
Rowan Atkinson is of course best known for his work as a comedic actor and writer, but what a lot of people outside the world of classic motoring don’t know is that he’s an accomplished racing driver and a regular competitor at events like the Goodwood Revival and the Silverstone Classic.
This 1964 Ford Falcon FIA race car has been owned and used extensively by Atkinson since he first bought the car 15 years ago in 2006 and added it to his impressive collection.
⇞ #11 – The Jerrari: A Ferrari-Jeep Wagoneer Combination
The Jerrari is a vehicle that no logical person would build, it’s combination of a 1969 Ferrari 365 GT and a 1969 Jeep Wagoneer. Fortunately the team behind it decided to forgo logic and create one of the most memorable and unusual four-wheel drive chimeras of all time.
As the world waits to see the unveiling of the Ferrari Purosangue in 2022, the first four-wheel drive SUV ever made by the Italian marque, the timing couldn’t be better for the car you see here to pop up for sale – the Jerrari. This was the first Ferrari SUV although truth be told it did use mostly American parts and so I’m sure the purists will decry anyone calling it a Ferrari.
⇞ #10 – The Champer: A Rare Checker Cab Camper
This is the Champer, and as its portmanteau name implies it’s a Checker Camper, it was first converted into a camper back in 1977 and it features a slew of changes over a regular Checker including an uprated engine, transmission, and rear axle to better cope with the additional weight and drag.
The Checker Taxi is one of the most famous taxicab designs in history, alongside the ubiquitous London Black Cab. Checker had the model in production from 1958 until 1982 with only minimal updates to keep costs down.
⇞ #9 – A $200,000 Mohs Safarikar For Sale On EBay
Just three examples of the Mohs Safarikar were ever made and only two have survived to the current day, the vehicles were designed to be a combination between a four-wheel drive and a Rolls-Royce for wealthy people to use when big game hunting in Africa.
When new the Safarikar cost between $19,600 and $25,600 USD, a vast sum in 1972 dollars. Due to the high cost, unusual looks, and exceedingly small potential market the car wasn’t a success, and it would be the last car offered by Mohs.
⇞ #8 – A Mercedes-Benz 450 SL Trans Am Race Car
This Mercedes-Benz SL is a Trans Am race car that was driven in period by Loren St. Lawrence under the DeAtley Motorsport/Michelob banner. Power is provided by a highly-modified 4.5 liter Mercedes V8 with dual Holley carburetors sitting on a custom intake manifold.
St. Lawrence competed in the car during the 1982 SCCA Trans Am season, competing at the Laguna Seca Raceway, the Sears Point International Raceway, and the Portland International Raceway among others.
⇞ #7 – “Big Oly” Is For Sale
It’s difficult to overstate the importance of “Big Oly” – the Ford Bronco you see here. It’s the vehicle that rewrote the rule book for off-road racing in the early 1970s, going on to dominate races like the Baja 1000, the Baja 500, and the Mint 400.
Today the concept of “silhouette” off-road racing trucks is well established, but back in the late 1960s when Big Oly was designed and built it was a pioneering concept. The Bronco’s unusual name came from the team’s lead sponsor – Olympia Beer.
⇞ #6 – Rod Stewart’s Lamborghini Countach LP400 “Periscopio”
All surviving examples of the Lamborghini Countach LP400 “Periscopio” are valuable, just 157 were made and today they’re seen as among the purest expressions of Marcello Gandini’s original design.
This car is perhaps a little more special than most because of its first owner, British rock ‘n roll legend and pronounced Lamborghini aficionado Rod Stewart.
⇞ #5 – “Back To The Future” Spec – A 1985 Toyota SR-5 For Marty McFly
The jet black 1985 Toyota SR-5 from Back To The Future, with its yellow-capped KC Daylighter spotlights on the roll bar, has been a car lusted after by countless millions of viewers since the first film in the trilogy was released in the mid-80s.
The DeLorean DMC-12 has always been the main star of the series of course, but given its relatively brief appearances on screen the SR-5 left a lasting impact on many and helped the humble Toyota Pick Up become an icon.
⇞ #4 – Mr Bean’s Aston Martin V8 Vantage Zagato
This is believed to be both the fastest and most powerful example of the Aston Martin V8 Vantage Zagato in the world. This is thanks to the fact that after Rowan Atkinson of Mr Bean fame bought it secondhand in 1998 he sent it off to Aston Martin Works to have it converted into a race car to compete in the AMOC C2 Class “Mildly Modified” category.
Outside of the car community it isn’t widely known that Rowan Atkinson is an accomplished race car driver with decades of experience under his belt. Perhaps the only hint of it has been his exploits at the wheel of his Mini in the Mr Bean series, often engaged in a one-sided battle with a hapless Reliant Regal.
⇞ #3 – The Car The Star Wars Landspeeder Was Based On: The Bond Bug
Although you may be looking at the car pictured above and wondering what it is, you almost certainly have seen one before. Well you’ve seen a vehicle based on it at least, it was a Bond Bug that gave its chassis and running gear to the vehicle that would become Luke Skywalker’s Landspeeder in the 1977 film Star Wars.
The Bond Bug is a two-seat, three-wheeled British automobile that used the wedge-shaped styling of the cutting edge supercars of the early 1970s – like the Lamborghini Countach, but without the power prestige, handling, or good-looks.
⇞ #2 – Tom Hanks Is Selling His FJ40 Land Cruiser
This customized 1980 Toyota Land Cruiser FJ40 was commissioned by Tom Hanks and built to his specifications. It’s now powered by 4.3 liter GM L35 Vortec V6 producing 180 hp, it has a 5-speed transmission, and upgraded suspension.
Importantly the engine swap has the stamp of approval from the California Bureau of Automotive Repair, it carries the BAR inspection label under the hood to attest that it passes California smog requirements.
⇞ #1 – A Porsche 356 Outlaw Powered By A Radial Engine
This is the new three-cylinder radial engine from Australian company Radial Motion. The engineers behind it originally began the project back in 2017 specifically to develop a new aircraft engine however they quickly realized that it would also have both automotive and defense applications also.
The first vehicle that a prototype Radial Motion engine was fitted to was the Porsche 356 Outlaw you see pictured above and below. Later versions of the engine have been fitted to a VW Kombi and a VW Beetle, and these have also been used for testing purposes.
Articles that Ben has written have been covered on CNN, Popular Mechanics, Smithsonian Magazine, Road & Track Magazine, the official Pinterest blog, the official eBay Motors blog, BuzzFeed, Autoweek Magazine, Wired Magazine, Autoblog, Gear Patrol, Jalopnik, The Verge, and many more.
Silodrome was founded by Ben back in 2010, in the years since the site has grown to become a world leader in the alternative and vintage motoring sector, with well over a million monthly readers from around the world and many hundreds of thousands of followers on social media.