A Nightmare on Main Street: The 10 scariest cars of all time
Dartz Prombron Black Shark: Defender from the Apocalypse
The ‘Black Shark’ might be ungainly, but you won’t be complaining when it shields you from the Apocalypse. Built in Russia, the Dartz Motorz (sic) SUVs were given a Hollywood endorsement when Bruce Willis drove one in the 2013 film A Good Day to Die Hard.
Rinspeed Bedouin Concept: Eggcellent idea in principle
In 2003, Rinspeed designer Frank M. Rinderknecht cooked up an intelligent, variable-space shooting brake concept based on the Porsche 996 Turbo. He clearly loved the ‘fried egg’ headlamps so much that he decided to apply the theme to the car’s body panels too. Shame they were rotten.
1957 Aurora: Religious righteousness; molten mess
Despite looking like a melted yank tank that swallowed a Lancia Fulvia whole, the 1957 Aurora concept had a saving grace: it was intended to be one of the first experimental safety vehicles, the brainchild of a Catholic priest (you couldn't make this stuff up). Except that didn’t save it – thankfully, only one was ever built.
Grave Digger: Expendable body parts
First appearing in the 1980s, Dennis Anderson’s Grave Digger has since become one of the most famous monster trucks, siring no fewer than 29 descendants. Many of these are still in service – but the original is on display in the ‘Digger’s Dungeon’, which has body parts (its own) hanging from the ceiling.
Panoz Abruzzi: Greedy goblin
Supported by his father Don (a chain-smoking millionaire nicotine mogul), Danny Panoz created a loud-mouthed supercar capable not only of simultaneously inhaling four pumpkins – but also relieving 81 buyers of half a million dollars each.
Maybach Exelero Concept: The devil works fast
Perhaps not ugly, but certainly evil-looking, the 2005 Maybach Exelero was a high-speed test car built for tyre manufacturer Fulda to shake down a new generation of rubber. It was capable of almost 220mph, but could scare the wits out of witnesses while stationary.
Packard Twelve Concept: A breaker's dozen
Appearing to have taken moustache-grooming tips from Charlie Chaplin (or…), the four-eyed Packard Twelve concept was intended to be the American company’s luxury saloon of the New Millennium. The only explanation for it being allowed to reach the public eye is that the approval board must have been drunk with pre-recession power, but thankfully they had sobered up before a decision to put it into production could be made.
Weber Sportscars Faster One: Tested in a tunnel, designed in the dark
Independent Swiss manufacturer Weber Sportscars perhaps proved best that form should not blindly follow function. Luckily, founder Roman Weber realised how eye-wateringly ugly the car was, and returned more recently with a marginally less offensive design.
Sbarro Monster G: Cleared for the one-way runway
At the 1987 Geneva Motor Show, Franco Sbarro introduced a quirky (read: queasy) Swiss alternative to the German G-Wagen. Sporting a 6.9-litre Mercedes V8 and wheels from a Boeing 747 (yes, really), the resulting ‘Monster G’ mercifully flew off into the sunset, never to be seen again.
Marussia B2: Cold and uninviting
A year before acquiring its ill-fated Formula 1 team, Moscow-based Marussia Motors blessed us with the B2 supercar, which had a six-cylinder engine from British specialist Cosworth. Shame the design wasn’t outsourced, too.
Photos: Dartz Motorz, Rinspeed, Peter Vann, Panoz Motors, Daimler, RM Auctions, Weber Sportscars, Marussia Motors