5 Absolutely Unique Vehicles From The 20th Century

In this fast paced 21st century, we come across innumerable snazzy vehicles every other day. Newspapers, internet and television keep giving us news of the newly launched cars and bikes having the most unique technology in them. However, there was a time, about a century back, when several vehicles made headlines as well; for their unique designs.

Here, we have listed five such absolutely unique vehicles from the 20th century that you would love knowing about.

Motorized Ben Hur: Many of you would be familiar with the grand chariots that were shown in the epic movie ‘Ben-Hur’. Well, this particular vehicle was inspired from those chariots and was designed by engineers in Germany in the 1930s. The vehicle was basically a chariot drawn by two motor bikes’ halves in place of horses. By 1938, the design was refashioned and two more motorcycle heads were added to the chariots; thus making it four motorbikes being controlled by a single driver on a chariot. Despite its uniqueness and its popularity in arenas where motorcycle chariot racing was relished, the vehicle could not continue for long as it wasn’t really ideal to run on the roads.

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Motor Roller Skates: Designed by a motor innovator named M. Constantini way back in 1905, this invention was way ahead of its time and rightly caught the fancy of the people back then. The impressive thing about this motor roller-skates was that apart from being completely motorized, it could also be easily maneuvered by the rider in multiple ways.

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The MonoWheel: Also known as the MonoCycle, this invention dates back to the year 1931 and was patented by M. Goventosa de Udine. The remarkable feature of this unique vehicle was that it was capable of running at 150 KPH, or about 93 MPH. A couple of years later, the vehicle was refined a bit. Simple yet exceptional in its design, the MonoWheel has also been plagued by some controversies in the past few years where some researchers have claimed that Udine might not have been the sole creator of this vehicle. Nevertheless, the MonoWheel was a great invention in its time and still continues to enthrall people.

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The OctoAuto: Dating way back to 1911, the OctoAuto, was designed by Milton Reeves. The car had eight tires: four in the front and back respectively. Measuring over a massive 20 feet in size, the OctoAuto came in for a lot of criticism for its weird design and size and was called pretty useless by many. One of the primary criticisms to this bizarre car was that Reeves had just fused in some bits to a 1910 Overland car and added two more axles and four more guncart-style wheels to it make it his own invention. Regardless, this was one car that was talked about for a long time for its uniqueness.

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The NKL-26: This is the only vehicle on the list that, despite its peculiar design, came in actual use; in the Second World War no less. Introduced by the Soviet Union, the NKL-26 was made of plywood and had an armor plate that was 10mm thick. Furthermore, the vehicle could run very smoothly on ice and also had a 7.62 mm machine gun mounted on its top to take on the enemy if required; even from a reasonably long distance. Suffice to say, the NKL-26 was a pretty ‘badass’ vehicle and was well ahead of its time.

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A hardcore cricket fanatic, I am a journalism graduate and work as the Editor at a book packaging house in Kolkata. I write for a national sports magazine, Cricket Today, and a couple of other websites along with regular blogs on varied issues.