Sign Up

Our Privacy Policy identifies how we handle personal information in accordance with the Privacy Act. Read it prior to submitting your information.

By clicking “Register” you agree to our Terms Of Use and Privacy Policy.

Weirdest cars to ever race

Anything and everything can be raced according to this list and the Repco Garage has had fun trawling the web to find some of the weirdest creations to ever hit the race track.

Tyrrell P34 – Formula 1

The obvious first addition to this list is the six-wheel Tyrrell P34 introduced for the 1976 Formula 1 World Championship season and was designed by Derek Gardner.

Using four 10-inch diameter wheels at the front and regular sized at the rear, it proved successful in its maiden season as an evolution of the design in 1977 failed to further it up the grid leaving Tyrrell to abandon the concept by the next year.

Designed to take advantage of using smaller wheels at the front to lower the drag and clean up the aerodynamics at the front to enhance the effects on the rear wing.

Its golden hour came at the Swedish Grand Prix in 1976 when Jody Scheckter and Patrick Depailler gave Tyrrell a 1-2 for the P34.

This design was unique, but other teams including March, Williams and Ferrari experimented with six-wheeled chassis, but all at the rear. It didn’t matter anyway as a maximum of four-wheels is a requirement of the Formula 1 regulations.

Brabham BT46B – Formula 1

It was a case of won and done for the Brabham BT46B or commonly known as the ‘Fan Car’. Racing to victory with Niki Lauda to the 1978 Swedish Grand Prix thanks in part to the large fan in the rear, which produced significant downforce and increased the cooling.

Designed by the legendary Gordon Murray, but politics involving Brabham’s Team Owner Bernie Ecclestone stopped it from continuing as he had just been elected as the Chief Executive of the Formula One Constructors Association and the ‘fan car’ had the potential to collapse this. For the record, the FIA had approved the design to run the entire season.

Peugeot 806 – Super Touring

A people mover in a touring car race? Yeah right. No, indeed it did happen as Peugeot entered its 805 in the 1995 Spa 24 Hours with the help of Kronos Racing, but under the skin was where the major changes were. Out went the capable to carry six passengers as running gear from the 405 Mi16 running gear, an engine bloc from the 306 Group A rally car and the cylinder head from the 405 super tourer, but an engine problem led to its retirement.

Volvo 850 Estate – Super Touring

A surprise to was Volvo’s entry into the British Touring Car Championship in 1994 when it revealed the 850 Estate as its challenger. Believing the body shape was an advantage given the lack of aerodynamic aids allowed to be used, the Volvo was built by Tom Walkinshaw Racing and achieved some solid results although Alfa Romeo took full advantage of the ruleset leading to spoilers, air dams and splitters being implemented for 1995.

It proved crucial to the future success of Volvo in the series thanks to the unique engine development undertaken and Rickard Rydell took full advantage. One was even sent down under for Tony Scott to race in the 1995 Australian Super Touring Championship. Still an iconic shape to this day.

Ferrari 308 GTB Group B – Rallying

Ferrari going rallying is an unlikely scenario, but it did happen during the halcyon days of Group B when famed tuning house Michelotti developed the 308 supercar into . A rarity as only four were built to Group B regulations producing 320bhp from its V8 engine.

A bespoke racing gearbox sent power from the V8 to the rear wheels as the regular modifications made for competition purposes such as stripped out interior, roll cage and special gauges.

The 308 did take one win in what was a brief dalliance by Ferrari into the world of rallying.

Toyota Hiace – Rallying

A favourite of tradies worldwide, the Toyota Hiace has been turned into an unlikely forest warrior in Japan by Takahiro Kitami. It is a complete bespoke Hiace as no parts are available of course featuring leaf springs at the rear, but extensive suspension work and gearbox improvement have been the focuses as the engine is near-stock. Kitami builds customer Hiaces for 10 million yen and is targeting Rally2 entries.

Ssangyong Musso – One-make series

While Australia had the V8 Utes and Asia has it own series for utilities, New Zealand raced Ssangyong Musso pick ups. Racing with 2.2-litre diesel engines, the Mussos have Proflex Dampers, Speedline Corse wheels and a regulations safety kit, but otherwise are stock.

Further expanding to the UK, many drivers have used the Ssangyong Musso Series to advance through the ranks particularly in New Zealand.

Hyundai Excel – One-make series

Another one-make series, but emerging from Australia nearly a decade ago now the Hyundai Excels enjoy an enviable alumni of drivers to reach the higher levels of the sport after getting their start here.

Limited modification except to suspension, exhausts and safety equipment has led to the perfect entry category for not only young drivers, but those who want to just compete. The racing continues to be action-packed in this ‘econobox’.

Rolls-Royce Corniche – Dakar

A Rolls-Royce has to be the most unlikely brand to choose when entering Dakar, but Jean-Christophe Pelletier did just this for the 1981 event. It wasn’t a stock Rolls-Royce Corniche with modifications including an engine swap to a small block Chevy, with Toyota HJ45 chassis and gearbox used to enhance the off-road abilities. The panels were replaced by fibreglass replicas as it proved quite competitive.