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Hagerty Employee

These 7 wacky rides promise double-takes, big smiles | Hagerty Media

If you're hunting for something weird and off-beat for your garage, there's a one-stop-shop on the horizon. RM Sotheby's "Handle With Fun" auction runs online from May -13 and, as the name suggests, it's all about goofy, silly fun. There are 300 lots covering toys, vintage vending machines, neon signs, an Addams Family pinball machine-you name it.
Pit Crew

Give the guys at RM credit. They seem to know how to package cars and get the results. Their Elkhart sale was one example of success even during the pandemic as other auction houses were struggling to find their way in the online world. How else would you sell a GEO 🙂
Pit Crew

Would love to get my hands on one of those Heilite tents sitting atop the Willys! In the meantime, I love camping in my Heilite single wheel camper pulled my by 1964 Beetle.
New Driver

Sad to me that a K Car is lumped in as Wacky. I know it's the wood grain siding. Owned several over the years with a Spirit 2.5 Turbo 5-Speed (over 300,000 miles) as the last one and they all were as good or better than some offerings from GM or Ford. Otherwise great selection, love the Jeep...!

Any round back school bus is cool in my book. Would definitely make a good RV if you didn't want a bus to transport people with. The 4CV might be a little cold in Illinois winters.
Advanced Driver

When a School bus and a Geo Metro convertible are the cleanest looking vehicles under the hood there is something wrong with the universe as a whole. I'm actually kind of partial to the Geo because I thought they were cute and different when they came out, I actually know two people that owned these cars, one had a teal Metro, and one had a red Pontiac Firefly that he converted to electric, I really liked both of them but only ever got to drive the Electrifly.

I owned an '86 Chevy Sprint for a long time, the precursor to the Metro. It may have been the absolute best at what it was designed for.

The Bus is cool, The Willy's is cool, but whoa Joe on the rest.

I never thought I'd see a day where a Geo Metro is sold at an auction under the guise of being a car someone would actually want to buy. Not to nit-pick, but I'm nearly certain that wheezy motor only produced 52hp, though who could blame an owner for trying to inflate it's power data by an extra 5%! 😆 I made the mistake of renting one...once.
New Driver

Rumor has it that the LeBaron convert was once owned by Jon Voight and George Costanza.

The Nash/Wayne bus would be a hoot at a car show. I'd add a sofa/bed, generator, rooftop AC/heat, water & gray water tanks & a sink, john, frig & stove. Outside a roll out awning & hideaway grill. Now that would be car show ready for sure.

I'm surprised to see a K car still exists. Most were rusted and scrapped after 2 years.
New Driver

K-car! I bought a 1982 Dodge Aries wagon, 5-speed, new. Big mistake. It popped out of second gear when off the gas, and the dealer couldn't fix it. Great design features like: the left front tire rubbed against the transaxle case. In desperation I wrote a letter to Lee Iacocca, but it was returned, unopened. Nightmare car.
Whew! I feel better now. Thanks for listening 😉

The Jeep reminded me of why I don't ask the wife to help me pack for trips anymore. "Honey, could you at least put the tent up on the roof rack?"
Intermediate Driver

Those were fun years and fun cars.
Now every car on the road, unless its a classic all look the same.
You can't even tell what make they are unless you are right beside them and then its guess work.
Intermediate Driver

One comment addressed the Dodge Aspen and a quality issue. Very few realize the Plymouth equivalent Volare along with the Dodge Aspen were the best selling station wagons in the United States for a couple of years.

LS'em all, especially the Zipper!
Intermediate Driver

What a fun auction that will be, with such "wacky" cars. My microcar-loving self would choose the Renault Jolly or the Sambar VW (that one's certain to get a lot of double-takes), with the Metro as a consolation prize. The Zipper is in the microcar category but those skinny wheels and tires are even too hilarious for me. The Jeep is delightful, and the Nash bus intriguing.

Andrew, thank you, I smiled through the whole article. Hagerty comes up with some really interesting aspects of the Hobby as well as some weirdness. Well done.
Advanced Driver

Based on current trends, that Willys Jeep will fetch a big number. The hipsters will have a meltdown over it. Probably the Jolly will, too. Although I don't think I can ever get my head around $100,000 !


It took me a moment to realize why the Zipper controls look so odd in that dash: they're lifted right off motorcycle handlebars!

For those not familiar with the Renault 4CV, that big chrome thing that looks like the gas cap is actually for the radiator water. The gas filler tube is inside the engine compartment, at the right side and covered by the red cap.
New Driver

I was newly married in 1981 and didn't have much money so I looked at the K-car as a possibility. When I asked my bride about it she said "I didn't know K-Mart sold cars". I didn't buy one but instead waited for the 1988 Caravan with wood-grain paneling. Another "Comeback" for Chrysler.
Intermediate Driver

I grew up in the era of Beetle conversions - Rolls, Ford and other front ends. Now here's a Subaru with a VW bus front end. How the world turns. I never would have imagined an auction for kei cars and K-cars. Twenty years ago I had a barber who collected Metro convertibles. At least they don't take up much space. I believe all Geo models became Chevy's when that line was dropped. Was it Geo or Saturn that caused Johnny Carson to quip, "Chevrolet and Toyota are collaborating on a new car to be called the Toyolet"?

wacky? wacky? the Jolly is the only wacky ta me. What's that make me?

The K cars were any of a number of cars built by Chrysler from the early 80s through the mid 90s; the "K" referred to the platform designation. From Chrysler's perspective, the K platform's strongest asset was its flexibility; Chrysler built a huge number of compact and midsize cars off the K platform and, with a bit of modification, adapted the K platform into the S platform which gave rise to Chrysler's uber-successful minivans. The K and S platform vehicles were enormous money makers for Chrysler and saved their asses from bankruptcy.

From the customer's perspective the K cars were generally economical and reasonably priced but were saddled with tons of build problems (misfitting trim, orange peel paint, electrical issues, etc), truly pathetic performance, and poor engine and transmission reliability. (Ask your mechanic about Chrysler's 2.2L 4-cylinder from that era. Go ahead. It'll be fun.) Despite these myriad issues, the cars were very popular — particularly the Chrysler LeBaron convertible which Chrysler sold about a billion of and flexed slightly less than boiled lasagna. (Seriously, there was a time where you couldn't go more than a mile without seeing one. If memory serves, for awhile it was one of the cheapest reasonably-appointed convertible on the market.)

The reason why the K cars became a joke was because they were an entire generation's first cars. Parents bought them hand over fist, drove them until they starting having problems, then handed them off to their kids as their first cars. By the time the kids got to them they were leaking oil and falling apart; that, coupled with their **bleep**ty performance, turned the K car into a joke for an entire generation.
Intermediate Driver

I don't need to ask a mechanic about the 2.2L, I've owned one in a 1988 Dodge Lancer Shelby (another K platform variant) since new. 165,000 miles, one head gasket replacement, and to this day starts immediately with a turn of the key. Oh, and the car still has its original clutch. It was also the fastest production sedan sold in the US at the time, so don't try to tell me about performance, either.
New Driver

Like the Zoe Zipper, I believe the Dale was also featured on the Price is Right - that's quite a credential.

The Jeep's for me! Neat list.

My neighbor has a lowered V8 powered 1947 Willys panel.

It has two surf boards on the top and is located 50 miles from Lake Erie.

He has surfing the Portage Lakes on the side with a surfer on it. He built a CJ5 to go with it with surf boards for a roof with a 350 Chevy and 2WD. It looks like it came from bay watch.

He gets more smiles per miles than most vehicles.