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Hagerty Employee

7 of our favorite Frankensteined vehicles

This Halloween we’d like to look back at some of our favorite cars that were stitched together by mad scientists who saw creative potential where others saw a pile of parts. Pop culture’s version of Victor Frankenstein’s monster is crudely sewn together. He’s clumsy, plodding, and dim-witted. These four-wheeled creations, in contrast, show that splicing sheet metal and trim can truly be an art form. (And they don’t try to take revenge upon their creators.)


While we still appreciate the painstaking talent showcased in a flawless restoration, we’ve got a soft spot for those that see a production car as merely a jumping-off point. Here are seven of our favorite Frankensteined vehicles, in no particular order.


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I know that it's a "TV" car, but the Munster Koach has to be in this mix somewhere. And Dragula too!

Hagerty Employee
Pit Crew

Sure like to see the coupe in back of the Nova!

New Driver

I LOVE the last one...the yellow cab forward. Beautiful. But I’m wondering why “Christine”

wasn’t on the evil 58 Plymouth. As a second one we have ( this one is very obscure...I doubt if many/any rememberers the evil D6 Cat that become the “killdozer” !!

HAPPY HALLOWEEN everybody 🎃✌🏼 !


Frankensteined was the wrong title for this article.  Most of these cars are downright beautiful.  The Munster mobile and pretty much everything from the Mad Max franchise better fit Frankensteined.

Intermediate Driver

The Delorean Time Machine was definitely Frankensteined, all the additions for time travel.


You missed the Ferrari-powered Jeep Grand Wagoneer powered built for Bill Harrah, now on display at the National Automobile Museum in Reno!


That International is the bomb!  I'd love a 3/4 scale version of that as a new production vehicle.

Pit Crew

Umm, Where is Chip Foose's Imposter?

Pit Crew

I remember as a kid seeing late 1950’s era Chrysler Corp cars with Dodge sheet metal and trim in front, and Plymouth sheet metal and trim out back. Someone said these were Canadian-market cars.  Just looked it up and it actually was a thing, apparently beginning as far back as the 1930’s and ending in the early 60’s.  Maybe these were more along the lines of a Gene Wilder type "Fronkensteen" creation?  Check it out:

Intermediate Driver

I knight that Nova/Camaro, "Chevy II Much".


I find it interesting how differently we can respond to the same word, Frankensteined!  Brendan, the writer clearly saw it as being cars which were created using combination of parts from some vastly unrelated vehicles.  I have to agree, that is part of my definition of a Frankensteined vehicle.  But virtually all of the cars in the article are somewhere between fairly attractive and very beautiful!  Somehow that does not fit in my impression of a Frankensteined vehicle.


If I were to have picked the cars for this article, I would have gone directly to the world of Rat Rods!  I am not being critical of Rat Rods, I think many of them are incredibly clever, very unusual and not while not always beautiful in the traditional way, often very handsome and well proportioned.  Some come closer to looking scary or monster like.....which to my mind is being part of the Frankenstein world. Features like visible welds that are not ground down, panels that show visible rust, using repurposed garden hardware as design elements really gives me that monster vibe.


Just a thought!

New Driver

Have a 68 Volvo with Chevy v6 and various parts from Chrysler, ford,Audi, Porsche and maytag. 


I love these cars!  Frankensteined is a horrible description for them.  Re-designed, or re-imagined are more apt terms.  The Deora and that 34 Ford are just breathtaking!


That doesn’t look like a ‘59 Cadillac to me.

New Driver

Off-Road fanatics have been building testosterone fueled Frankensteined JEEPS for decades. In fact, Jeeps are commonly referred to as being "built, not bought". It would have been nice to see one featured.


The CadMad and the Deora are stunning and brilliant. I would ask for a Cad/Nomad on a 1960 DeVille, with the interior to be discussed. The Deora is wonderful and I want one. What I need to do is cash a very bad check for a big number and get started..............thank you Hagerty. Beautiful and creative art here.

Pit Crew

I agree with some of the replies here. Frankenstiened is not a good description of these cars. Also the CADMAD has a lot more detail to be sure. Might be a '59 body but why did they take the time and effort to cut off the "BIG" fins and put the much smaller '61 fins and tail lights on it? 

Intermediate Driver

You forgot to mention the Cadillac wheel covers on the Merc.

Intermediate Driver

For Frankenstines you need not look further than your local rat-rod gathering. Huge on creativity and recycling, but a little thin on paint.. ... Gary

Intermediate Driver

I agree that Halloween 0riented Character cars best fit the Frankenstein subject at/near the Oct 31 eve.  A pretty good example from a Counting Cars episode on the History channel where Elvira's Thunderbird underwent a "freshening-up" & Elvira & Danny "The Count" went for a nighttime ride on Vegas Strip near the Counts Custom shop where the work was done-   See if you agree:



Injustices need to be addressed where found, so let me agree with the others who feel  "Frankensteined" may be technically correct, but a horrible choice. Customs have always borrowed from anything else with wheels, no need to try and come up with a new name for "custom". Regarding those in the article, the Hirohata Merc is a legend, as close to perfection of design as one could hope for. Loved the Deora from day one. The Cad Mad just makes me sad. I realize the actual workmanship is absolutely top tier, but it just makes me sad in terms of opportunity cost. Adjusted for inflation, I believe it will always hold the world's record for wasted funds and effort.


Yes, I must say, I was mislead by the choice of title; my mind immediately went to the Munster Koach and Dragula, both Barris creations, as well as the Boot Hill Express, for which I do not recall the designer, but I did build the Monogram scale model.  Very much enjoyed the article though, like the CadMad, which I totally dug, but the Nova'd Camaro, not so much, sorry.  Stood next to the Hirohata Merc at the Peterson several years' ago; stunning not only for the bodywork, but the choice of colors, which made it look more 'factory' and elegant at the same time.  How about the Villain Car from the 'Great Race'?  Saw it at Cars of the Stars in Buena Park, where a 'Technician' was fine-tuning the scissor lift on the car to time it with the emerging cannon in the nose.  I recommended he use a limiter switch off a C2 'Vette, which he took to heart.  After about 5min of conversation, I realized I was speaking to, Von Dutch...


My mind again wandered, are you detecting a trend?  With the Frankenstein theme of mis-matched parts, purpose, and sloppy construction (sorry, Ms Shelley, Boris, you too, Elsa), I thought of the Pontiac Aztec (yikes), the answer to the question no one ever asked, the Subaru BRAT, Cool Concept, with its swoopy out-in-the-wind bucket seats, FACING BACKWARDS ("Hey, watch this"..."I can't!").


The Deora was a Great Choice, but then again, most early Hot Wheels cars would be, anyway.  See?  I told you guys we'd be gettin' to Hot Wheels sooner than later!  The T/F style Isetta, Sir Rodney Roadster (have a couple of those), Twin Mill, and anything by Gene Winfield, Dean Jefferies, and everything from Ed 'Big Daddy' Roth!


The Bathtub Car, the Toilet car, a supercharged Radio Flyer Wagon, hell, even the BB Chevy powered Save Mart Shopping Cart...


Detroit doesn't get left behind, even 'stock' car guys have wild imaginations, none more so than Herb Adams; who could forget The Silverbird, or the Catamaran CanAm?



Intermediate Driver

The CadMad won the Ridler Award. After 15 years of effort, somehow referring to it as a Frankenstein Car seems a bit disrespectful. Most would agree that is a work of art. Sort of like calling Michelangelo's 'David' "that marble thing". Read what JerseyBob has to say.  He has, what seems to be, a keen insight to the obvious!  The Porschevy OHC engine

is pretty cool, too! (BTW-the '34 Ford that houses it also a artistic piece.) as JerseyBob says, "just a thought"!