By on February 15, 2017

Trabant (Wikimedia Commons)

Last Labor Day weekend, when snow was a hazy memory and the warm days seemed as if they’d last forever, I spent some time in a small cottage about three hours northwest of Montreal.

The nearest village, accessible by twisty backroads with an asphalt surface strangely superior to most Montreal highways, contained exactly what you’d expect for a tiny hamlet in a remote, low-rent section of the Laurentian Mountains. General store. Liquor store. Bank. Post office. Poutine store. Okay, that last one’s not true, as this place ascribed to the BYOC rule (Bring Your Own Curds).

Walking back to my car after picking up supplies, which in this case consisted of beer, more beer, and an extra-large bottle white wine for the fairer sex, I saw it. “What the hell are you doing here?” I muttered under my breath.

Bentley Bentayga-7

The driver of the Bentley Bentayga was clearly lost, possibly after having taken a wrong turn while searching for curds. We’ve all done it. Regardless, his $266,000-plus (CAD) SUV stood out from the ATVs the residents of this dusty, pinprick-on-a-map village used as their daily drivers.

I know, I know. The Bentayga is a factory vehicle now in production. It’s not an example of something an obscure automaker made 12 units of in 1937, nor is it a coachbuilt one-off of an already rare classic. But at the time, in early September of last year, Bentley had sold approximately 30 Bentaygas in all of Canada. 18 in August, the first month of deliveries. 10 in September. And yet here was an Alpine Green version, just driving through the bush.

At the time, that counts as pretty rare. The second Bentayga I saw in the wild? Detroit, last month. Outside a Bentley press event. So there you go.

With the memory banks now humming, I can rustle up another, perhaps more appropriate example of spotting a unicorn in the wild: the guy I saw driving a Trabant in downtown Montreal last year. A wild, unshaven fellow, no doubt on his way to deliver a manifesto to a state-run media outlet. Keep tabs on him, coppers.

But now it’s time to turn the mic over to you, Best and Brightest. What’s the rarest vehicle you’ve seen plying the avenues and alleyways of America — or any other country — in your extensive travels?

Tell us a campfire story.

[Images: Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 3.0); Bentley Motors]

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247 Comments on “QOTD: What’s the Rarest Car You’ve Spotted in the Wild?...”


  • avatar
    dukeisduke

    Two different Tatra T613s (both driving!), and a Mercury M100 pickup at my kids’ high school (I know, it’s only Canadian, but still).

  • avatar
    dukeisduke

    And I’m digging that Trabant.

  • avatar
    sutherland555

    Nissan Murano Crosscabriolet in Toronto a couple years ago….it must’ve been the only one sold in the entire city…..ever

    • 0 avatar
      Wodehouse

      Yes! A couple of days ago, during my bike commute from work, I saw 2 of them come to a halt at a traffic light! They were both black, yet, one had a black top and the other a tan-like top. I nearly fell off my bike with shock. I don’t care what anyone else thinks, I love the cartoonish things.

      • 0 avatar
        sutherland555

        Seriously, what the chances of that? I think you have a better chance being hit by lightning than seeing 2 of them at the same time in the same place.

      • 0 avatar
        Marko

        The last time I saw several at once was at a certain running of the Boston Marathon (yes, the one that inspired “Patriot’s Day”), where they were being used to display the time.

    • 0 avatar
      Paragon

      Yes, I’ve seen at least 3 different Nissan Murano Crosscabriolet vehicles at different times while driving down the highway. Most recently, in the last 90 days, on a mild winter day, with the top down!!!

    • 0 avatar
      boozysmurf

      That was the first one that sprung to mind, @sutherland555.

      I’ve a feeling I spotted the same one in the Muskoka’s last summer, Total doubletake as it went past me, just north of Coboconk.

      • 0 avatar
        sutherland555

        I love the Muskokas. My buddy has an old school family cottage south of Parry Sound that I get to just about every summer.

        That said, that car just screams rich and stupid, perfect for some of the owners of the new “cottages” there.

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    I saw a Bentley Bentayga in Dallas last week while on a business trip.

    I always do a double take on those rare occasions I see a Daihatsu Rocky in the wild. Having grown up in the Midwest when they were brand new I never saw one until Daihatsu had long ago packed up and went home. (I think I’ve seen 2 in my lifetime.)

    A few years ago I was waiting in the line at Rain Tunnel Car Spa in Albuquerque for a wash and was right next to an elderly lady in a Alfa Romeo 164 – deep green paint and tan leather interior. Still the only one I’ve ever seen in the wild.

    • 0 avatar
      Pete Zaitcev

      I saw at least 2 Rockies in ABQ, took pictures of both. It’s not all that rare, although getting more harder to find as their owners drive them with a dubious maintenance.

      • 0 avatar
        PrincipalDan

        Try growing up in the rural Midwest where a sizable part of the population worked for (or had relatives that worked for) one of the Big 3. I didn’t see Hondas with any regularity until they opened their plant in Ohio, let alone some tiny little “furin\'” brand like Daihatsu.

        Heck the only VWs I had any close contact with in those years were old Beetles, Buses, and an Uncle who had a diesel Rabbit.

        • 0 avatar
          Marko

          Daihatsu was never sold in the Midwest or Northeast. That means I’ve only seen one in my life – a Rocky at the Whole Foods in Providence, RI about three years ago.

          I saw one Alfa 164 in Boston about 4-5 years ago.

          • 0 avatar
            NoGoYo

            Uhh…what? I’ve seen at least two Rockys here in PA. Hell, one of them was on Craigslist!

          • 0 avatar
            Marko

            Maybe they had dealers in WV or MD, but they were officially “never” in the Midwest or Northeast (PA is specifically mentioned).

            http://articles.latimes.com/1991-02-10/business/fi-1571_1_auto-marketing/2

    • 0 avatar
      fastwilly

      I’m stuck in Chile for another couple days and there are plenty of Rockies here. I saw one last night on the “Copper Highway” between Rancangua and the El Teniente mine.

      There are also a lot of Mahindra pick-up trucks, and plenty of delightfully weird Chinese vehicles. The Ladas are disappearing…bummer.

  • avatar
    FreedMike

    Saw a ’50s vintage Mercedes 300SL gullwing a few months ago, during a Sunday drive.

    Couldn’t decide whether I wanted to a) congratulate the guy for letting such a magnificent, horrifically expensive car out on the streets, or b) question his sanity.

    • 0 avatar
      jhefner

      An otherwise small and humble used sports car dealership in my hometown briefly had a Mercedes 300SL Gullwing in it’s showroom; my friend and I stopped to look at it. It was definitely a trailer queen; the exhaust pipes were still black, and it had it’s original fitted luggage in the trunk.

      Growing up, there was a Nash Metropolitan and Studebaker Avanti in my neighborhood. The Avanti caught my attention once by making a loud noise when it stopped at the stop sign across the street from my house. Looking on the road, I found a piece of it’s brake disk; still very hot.

      Typing this reminds me that there was also a Chrysler 300 that stayed parked in a carport up my street. No, not today’s 300, a 1969-1971 Chrysler 300 Non-Letter Series in two-tone gold and brown stripes. It looked something like this:

      http://www.lov2xlr8.no/visitor/h300/h300.html

      I drove a ’74 Plymouth Fury II at the time, so I was very impressed with it. I then saw it on the road a few times, then it disappeared.

      Don’t know if these count because they were sitting in a field, but a few years ago I spotted a 1936 Chrysler Airflow, a 1966-1970 Oldsmobile Toronado, and a 1942 Chevrolet Fleetline Aero Sedan all sitting together in a field. I had read about the Airflow several times in the past, but this was the first one I had seen in person. They were south of Arlington, TX, I think they belonged to the head of the local Airflow club, who may have had a restored one in a shop nearby; I have only gotten brief glimpses of it. A recent grass fire and winter uncovered them enough for me to see them and take pictures; they disappeared a short time later.

      https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10202302944569508.1073741829.1668226073&type=1&l=a6b44c3629

  • avatar
    deanst

    The last car I got excited to see was a Nissan figaro in downtown Toronto. I’m not usually a fan of Japan market vehicles, so I was surprised that I could identify it. I’ve also recently seen a debadged RHD mitsubishi that I couldn’t identify – only knew it was a Mitsubishi because of the interior gauges, which reminded me of mitsubishis ive owned in the past.

    I also enjoy spotting little RHD Mitsubishi Delica small vans I when I go to Vancouver – where they seem oddly popular. Any trip to Detroit usually has me spotting some prototype, and I usually see early vehicles from the local Ford (Oakville) plant before they are officially released.

    The nearby private school has 2 people with Bentley bentaygas – so that is the rarest vehicle I’m sick of seeing.

    • 0 avatar
      Sloomis

      You beat me to it. I was going to say Nissan Figaro as well, in this case in a resort town in Door County Wisconsin.

    • 0 avatar
      Featherston

      Wow, I’ve never seen a Figaro in North America. Someone used to street park one in Bloomsbury, London, in the mid-’00s. The lack of Nissan badging definitely threw me, and I had to look up what it was.

      One thing I like about London is that in most neighborhoods people *don’t* park by ear. This Figaro was in very good shape, and my boss’s first-gen TT had nary a scratch on it after two or three years of street parking. Don’t try that in the States unless your car is from the 5-mph bumper era.

      Rare at least in terms of context: In 2010 or so, I saw a ’63 or ’64 Riviera street parked in Chicago. Odder still was that this was during winter, the car was on the beater side of driver condition, and it appeared someone was living out of it.

    • 0 avatar
      quasimondo

      Speaking of Mitsubishi’s I spotted a Pajero Evolution once. Very rare for me, since I thought the only Mitsubishi Evo’s were of the Lancer variety.

  • avatar
    Drzhivago138

    Daewoo Lanos in a university parking lot. I’ve never seen a Nubira or Leganza.

  • avatar
    kenwood

    I saw a guy with a Facel Vega HK500 in silver with red interior just tooling along on a quiet neighborhood street in some suburb of Chicago. Stunning car.

    • 0 avatar
      Paragon

      Because I used to read my dad’s old car magazines, oh – and look at the pictures – I’ve known my whole adult life a little bit about those rare cars. To me, that is pretty much the epitome of an awesome and very rare car. About the single most cool car I’ve seen mentioned. Have never seen one in the flesh, and I’d guess your sighting to be that of possibly the most rare sighting of all. Facel Vegas seem to have always been rare and very desirable cars.

  • avatar
    ajla

    I’ll break the rules a little bit, from 2009 to 2014 my secondary vehicles were a Dodge Diplomat, Buick Electra, and Cadillac Allante.

    The rarest occurrence was when I saw another one of these on a road. Or, when I saw a contemporary vehicle of some type. For example, one time I went to a restaurant with my Allante and there was a Chrysler TC by Maserati in the same parking lot. How often in 2013 were an Allante and TC in close vicinity to each other outside of a car show (or junkyard)?

  • avatar
    deanst

    And for the Americans here – I grew up with friends who had ladas and skodas – which were evilly marketed to unsuspecting Canadians 40 years ago.

    • 0 avatar
      sutherland555

      My uncle bought a Lada as his 1st brand new car. I remember it pretty vividly from when I was a kid. I also remember it being a POS that didn’t last too long. Considering my dad was driving a Ford Fairmont at the time, that’s a pretty low bar.

    • 0 avatar
      NoGoYo

      I remember a 1986 Road and Track (I used to have a pile of 1986 issues) Canadian comparo with a Lada Riva, a Skoda, a Hyundai Pony, and I think something else. I had never heard of any of those cars so it fascinated young me.

      • 0 avatar
        Arthur Dailey

        At the south-east corner of Steeles Avenue West and Petrolia Road in Toronto the office tower still has the Lada name and logo on 2 sides of the top floors. It was Canadian HQ for Lada.

        Had a friend who bought a Lada new. He was a mechanic and found it extremely easy to work on. And in reality quite a robust little vehicle for the time, although unsophisticated.

        Still see a Lada Niva (Cossack edition?) driving around here.

    • 0 avatar
      Marko

      Saw a rusty Lada at a No Frills in Toronto about a decade ago.

  • avatar
    gtemnykh

    Aston Martin Lagonda plodding along in traffic near Indy’s downtown last summer.

    Saw a few Lada Samaras in Upstate NY with Canadian plates in the late 90s, was utterly baffled as a child until I read up on the matter.

    • 0 avatar
      BigOldChryslers

      I also saw an Aston Martin Lagonda a couple summers ago. It was driving the other direction on a rural highway in southern Ontario. That may be the rarest vehicle I’ve seen not at a car show.

      Another candidate, at least for this side of the Atlantic, would be the Mercedes V220 diesel-powered minivan I spotted parked at the local library about a month ago.

      I’ve also seen one Isuzu VehiCROSS. It was in someone’s driveway, but I really don’t remember any of the circumstances around spotting that one.

      Many years ago (20?) I saw a beat-up Stutz Blackhawk at a flea market in Florida. One of the vendors was selling crocheted doilies and such out of the back of it. She shooed me away when I started photographing it.

      I go to a lot of car shows where I’ve seen numerous rare cars, so I don’t know if those count as “in he wild” even though most are driven to the events.

      • 0 avatar
        Russycle

        There was a Vehicross in my town, saw it a couple times. Been a few years since I last came across it.

        • 0 avatar
          Paragon

          You know, the Isuzu Vehicross is about the only sport utility vehicle that has ever had much appeal to me. So long as it is one that is yellow with black trim. A very unique looking vehicle. Have seen very few of any color over the years.

    • 0 avatar
      Paragon

      An Aston Martin Lagonda sighting would certainly be pretty rare. Recall seeing one on the road in Cleveland about 15-20 years ago. My only sighting of one being driven.

    • 0 avatar
      Maymar

      Even stranger than still seeing the odd Canadian Lada still trundling around (there’s an ex-factory rally car still kicking around, I met the previous owners with it several years ago), for some reason, the former Lada Canada HQ never had the logo taken off in the past 20 years.

  • avatar
    Corey Lewis

    I saw a Maybach 62 parked on a sidewalk in South Korea. Only time I’ve ever seen one. The curtains were closed.

    • 0 avatar
      Compaq Deskpro

      I’ve seen one on the road with curtains in New Hampshire. No idea why.

    • 0 avatar
      bumpy ii

      I saw one at a stoplight in rural VA one day. Had DC plates.

      I’ve also seen a EDM Cadillac STS (the RWD one) with some sort of EU plate, and a smart roadster (owner was on assignment with NATO and brought the car with him).

      Rarest would have to be the S15 Silvia. Lovely blue color, and very very illegal.

    • 0 avatar
      BigOldChryslers

      I’ve seen two Maybachs. One was at the side of the road near Ottawa, presumably broken down. This was many years ago, so it would’ve been fairly new at the time.

    • 0 avatar
      Andrew717

      I saw one three different times at the gas station near my house, each time it was filling up. All over the course of about two months.

      I also had the same commute as the owner of a Fisker Karma, which I saw at least twice a week for several months, always as we waited at the same light for the on-ramp.

  • avatar
    NoID

    I’ve had the joy of driving a one-off Jeep concept in the wild for 2.5 days. Does that count?

    As for simply spotting vehicles out on the road, I did see a Pontiac Grand Prix 2+2 Aerocoupe in pretty decent shape in Flint, MI on two occasions. Oddly enough I’ve only seen it driving, never at the large annual Back to the Bricks car show that they hold downtown.

  • avatar
    Lorenzo

    In 1963, I saw a 1932 Cadillac V12 roadster, and it was for sale, for “only” $11,500. Adjusted for inflation, that’s about $90k, a bargain today, but that’s using the government’s rigged inflation calculator. That price was over 2-1/2 times the median annual salary in 1963.

  • avatar
    Menar Fromarz

    I not only spotted it, but owned it. A 1980 slant six Volare that not only ran well when cold and rainy, but wouldn’t stall turning left at a stoplight. Does that count for rare ?

    • 0 avatar
      jhefner

      No, because we owned one too; a beige wagon. When my car was totaled, my parents gave it to me and bought a Celebrity wagon; I later gave it to my brother when I bought my first car, so we got quite a few years of service out of it with few problems. But it seemed rough and primitive compared to the K Cars that were also in the family at the time.

  • avatar
    roamer

    A Rolls Royce Phantom III – Auric Goldfinger’s ride in the ’64 James Bond movie. I spotted this in the wilds of downtown Kirkland, home to so many Microsoft millionaires. The amazing thing is that I didn’t even blink at it’s presence until after it had driven out of sight. Living in Seattle – especially near Redmond – warps your sense of normal where cars are concerned. I knew this area was different the first month after I moved and spotted an Aston Martin parked in front of the Home Depot. Of course, it was ‘just’ a V8 model.

  • avatar
    scott25

    Probably the weirdest thing I’ve seen over the past year was a fluorescent green Puma GT (VW-based Brazilian “sports car”) (and I see it fairly often in the summer, don’t know how it got here).

    I’ve seen at least two different Murano CCs over the past year in southern Ontario.

    And the usual JDM/Euro-import weirdness, like a 90’s Alfa Spider.

    • 0 avatar
      Paragon

      I, too, have see a Puma GT, though it was parked, thus not being driven. Seems it was somewhere in Chicago, about 20 years ago. I knew what it was as a result of car magazines like “Hot VWs and Kit Cars.” Or, perhaps from one of those Guides to Kit Cars publications.

  • avatar
    Thorshammer_gp

    For whatever reason, northern Utah seems to be the dumping ground for the rarer rebadged versions of relatively common cars- it’s the only place I’ve seen a Mazda Navajo driving around, and someone in my apartment complex owns an Isuzu Oasis.

  • avatar
    Detroit-Iron

    Noble M400 in a parking garage. At the time I didn’t know what it was. Apropos of nothing, I feel like I used to see a lot of E-Type Jags but now I can’t remember the last time I saw one.

    • 0 avatar
      Paragon

      Have also seen a Noble M400 being driven. My sighting was twice in the last 8-10 years in the Cincinnati area. Having an interest and affinity for rare, fast and unusual cars, I knew what it was.

  • avatar
    319583076

    Hard to say:

    I saw a Veyron on the street one night for a commercial shoot – that’s maybe the rarest.

    Parked on the street, Qvale Mangusta followed by a Lambo Diablo, a Ferrari 328, and a couple of Panteras. In motion, a Carrera GT although I once saw a Countach but I couldn’t get close enough to it to verify whether or not it was genuine. I also saw a very nervous gentleman driving an Aventador in rush hour traffic.

    Then there was the time I walked out of restaurant and saw an electric blue Suzuki Equator parked on the street…

    • 0 avatar
      Land Ark

      Probably one of the most photographed “in the wild” cars is/was the black and yellow Veyron on Rodeo Dr. in Beverly Hills. Always parked on the same curb in front of the owner’s store. It was there the only time I’ve been to California and I was probably just as excited to see it as anyone else who has.

      Google Beverly Hills Veyron and bask in the social media photo frenzy.

      • 0 avatar
        319583076

        Ah, forgot about that one! Make that two Veyrons… The one I saw was in front of the Hermes store across the street from the NYSE.

        There is a real Boss 429 that I’ve seen at local car shows, but never in motion…

        I’ve spotted the Oscar Meyer Weinermobile in the wild several times.

  • avatar
    phreshone

    People down the street have a blue Cadillac XLR. Do I see other XLR’s in Dallas… no… If I were to see one, I certainly doubt it would be blue…

    • 0 avatar
      jhefner

      There is a black one that is always parked in front of a business in Carrollton. It is in a warehouse district, so you would have to know were to look for it; you would not just stumble on it.

    • 0 avatar
      Paragon

      Have actually seen an XLR being driven in nice weather in Ohio within the past year. But nevertheless, a pretty rare sighting because it seems they are rarely ever seen except at car shows. Sure didn’t sell very well, and don’t know what has become of the ones that did sell. Perhaps stored away as low-mileage examples?

  • avatar
    Jeff Weimer

    1931 Pierce-Arrow owned by a friend of mine in the mid-eighties. He would (of course) rent it for various things and take it to shows. He would have a hard time garaging it nearby (Magnolia district in Seattle) because he rented and didn’t have a garage of his own. The car (and he) would move around a lot – all within the same 10-block square area near Discovery Park.

    He was one weird dude, too; but a super-nice guy. Into Transcendental Meditation and all that old hippie stuff. Although at the time it was only a decade or so after all that, it seemed as long in the past then as it does now.

  • avatar

    When I was growing up in Indiana in the 1960s, a neighbor drove an Arnolt-MG as his daily driver. In Moscow in the early 1990s, a prewar razorback Tatra was someones regular driver. On an Italian trip in the early 2000s, I saw a spring drive with several Audi RO80s on an Alpine pass.

  • avatar
    Compaq Deskpro

    I saw a Shwimmwagen drive right into the local lake right down the boat launch while I was swimming last year. I didn’t identify it right away, I almost had a heart attack seeing what looked kind of like a 55 Bel Air driving into a lake.

    I’ve seen a Suzuki Equator and Mitsubishi Raider once each.

    Strangly, I’ve seen numerous Land Rover Defenders, both 2 and 4 door, all over Boston.

    • 0 avatar
      Hummer

      “a Suzuki Equator and Mitsubishi Raider once each.”

      I think 90% of production must have went to NC, I see these as often as I see Cobalts. Same with Lincoln pickups everywhere, even several black woods.

  • avatar
    BunkerMan

    The odd Bricklin, here and there. They were built in my area, so they are probably more common here than elsewhere.

    Around 2900 built total.

  • avatar
    jack4x

    A G63 AMG 6×6 driving in the ritzy part of London while I was on vacation. It takes a lot to make Ferraris and Lambos invisible but that thing did the trick.

  • avatar
    Vaggo

    Spyker C8 spyder in Hyde Park, London
    Ferrari 458 bare unbuilt body in white at Jaguar Land Rover Gaydon Design & Engineering Centre
    Noble M12 on the M40 motorway
    Jaguar XK R-S in the carpark at Envisage Coventry
    About 7 F-type Project 7’s all parked up at the British Motor Museum car park
    HUE 166 (the first ever land rover) being driven on the B4100 near Gaydon
    M3 CSL in the carpark at JLR Gaydon
    Sunbeam Tiger in the carpark at JLR Gaydon
    Namco Pony in Kythira, Greece
    TVR Sagaris on the M5
    TVR Cerbera every day on my commute (going the opposite direction)

    Oh and my neighbour has a bentayga on the drive most weekends. He’s the driver for the CEO of a major UK bank.

  • avatar
    Corey Lewis

    I’m revising my answer. A couple years ago I saw a two-tone Ford Ka driving around in Cincinnati, on Ohio plates. This is technically not possible, so that’s the rarest thing I’ve seen.

    Plus, who’d go through all the trouble for a Ka?

    • 0 avatar
      Sloomis

      Somebody in the Chicago area by me somehow did the same with a Hyundai Trajet, as I posted below. I was thinking the same thing – why on earth bother for something like that?

    • 0 avatar
      FormerFF

      I saw a Ka in a Home Depot parking lot a few years ago. It had Mexican plates, just visiting the area I assume.

    • 0 avatar
      Featherston

      I propose a contest between Corey and FormerFF: Eternal glory to the first person to spot a StreetKA or SportKA in the US.

      I confess I’m a fan of New Edge styling and, as a result, quite liked the look of the Ford Puma. If the Ka and the Bill Thomas Cheetah had had a child, it would have been the Puma.

      • 0 avatar
        FormerFF

        I like the New Edge cars as well. Right around the year 2000, I was deciding on a new car, and looked at the ’99 Mercury Cougar, but wound up buying a ’02 Focus hatch.

        Speaking of the Cheetah, see below…

    • 0 avatar
      Paragon

      Since you shouldn’t even be able to register a Ford Ka anywhere in the United States, that certainly counts as being super rare. I do know what they look like so I’d recognize one if it saw it. But, my first thought would be that it can’t be one, with Ohio plates.

  • avatar
    friedclams

    Saab Sonett (the 1970s version). Also a “Kammback” AMC Spirit.

  • avatar
    whynot

    -A Red Chevy SSR in one of Copenhagen’s residential districts. Strange to see one of those over there. I think it is also the only SSR I have ever seen that wasn’t in yellow as well.

    -My neighbor use to have a Lincoln Blackwood. I think his truck is the only Blackwood I have ever seen out in the wild.

  • avatar
    seth1065

    I have 2 , I have seen all of one Saab 9-4 in the wild at the post office in my town, I live in the ny metro area where saabs are not rare, I own a saab so I kinda of look out for them but this is the only one I have ever seen outside of a car show, but at least that was made for the US ( about 400 in total)
    Last summer in Iowa of all places I saw a VW armonk pickup diesel truck to boot, had regular plates , no idea how it got into the US or how it got in private hands.

  • avatar
    philadlj

    There was a silver four-door Avanti in my college’s neighborhood, one of only 90 ever built – or a third of the number of F-150s sold in the time it took to read this sentence.

  • avatar
    carguy

    Porsche Carrera GT and a mint condition Volvo Amazon

  • avatar
    tonyola

    I once saw a 1980s-vintage Toyota Century in a parking lot in Orlando, Florida.

  • avatar
    Marcus36

    IsuzuVEHICROSS…once in San Diego and then once in Chicago, and one on my driveway many times since I used to own one.

  • avatar
    55_wrench

    It’s not strictly a car, but it had an engine and wheels, so..

    Taking a run to the Guitar Center on Ventura Boulevard with my son back in the late 90s, I spotted a huge buslike vehicle on a side street. I didn’t know what it was, but with its art deco styling and stainless steel body, it had to be special.

    http://o.aolcdn.com/dims-global/dims3/GLOB/legacy_thumbnail/750×422/quality/95/http://www.blogcdn.com/www.autoblog.com/media/2011/07/futurliner-018.jpg

    Turned out to be a 1940 GM Futurliner, one of 12.

    • 0 avatar
      Jeff Weimer

      There was one restored on “Bitchin’ Rides”, could it be that one?

    • 0 avatar
      BigOldChryslers

      I saw one of the Futurliners, many years ago before I even knew what it really was. It was the one brought to Canada, painted green and used to advertise the Fido cellphone provider.

      It wasn’t until years later when I was browsing a website dedicated to Futurliners and saw a picture of that one that it occurred to me that I had seen it as a kid.

  • avatar
    narcoossee

    Pontiac Can-Am

  • avatar
    Land Ark

    I spotted a Figaro in Dublin while visiting a few years ago and I saw another one driving around Tysons Corner here in Northern VA just last week.

  • avatar
    Zackman

    I was driving home from Eldora raceway once, and going through Dayton, a Crosley entered I-75. He was going all of 45 mph. I had to laugh and hope he didn’t get creamed! This was Aug. 1995.

    Lately? A Plymouth Prowler last summer. Nothing since, save an occasional classic actually being driven on the way to a cruise-in somewhere.

    • 0 avatar
      Paragon

      People who aren’t familiar with the car should do a quick Wikipedia search for Crosley. Mr. Crosley is from Cincinnati and the cars were built in Indiana. But be sure and read the list of Notable Crosley Owners. There are some very big-name Crosley owners for sure!

  • avatar
    Sloomis

    Not rare elsewhere in the world, but in the Chicago suburb I work in somebody has a Hyundai Trajet that I see from time to time, with Illinois plates and all. I have no idea how that one got registered, as it was never sold in this country as far as I know, and it’s not 25 years old.

  • avatar
    JMII

    Veyron – ironically it was on the back of flat bed tow truck.

    I know someone with an BMW Z3 Coupe and those are pretty rare. Also know someone who imported an early 90s Nissan Skyline. Plus my wife had a Volvo C30 which isn’t a car you see everyday but calling rare might be a stretch. Bentleys and Telsas are common place driving around where I work so they don’t even raise an eyebrow here.

    Since I frequent track days I’ve seen all kinds of rare vehicles include several KTM X-bows, Caterham 7, all kinds of Ferrari, Lambos, Lotus, etc.

    However the rarest is a Rossion (Noble M400).

  • avatar
    azmtns

    I was in stopped behind a 2004 Maserati MC12 last November. It had the temp dealer license on it.

  • avatar
    jeoff

    There’s a guy in VaHi in Atlanta that uses a Citroen 2CV as a daily driver.

    • 0 avatar
      Corey Lewis

      That’s a car where I’d think it would be barely operable in many modern traffic conditions. The power just isn’t there.

    • 0 avatar
      Corey Lewis

      That’s a car where I’d think it would be barely workable in many modern traffic conditions. The power just isn’t there.

    • 0 avatar
      Paragon

      I know what those things look like – a bit odd or unusual – plus they haven’t been made in many years. That is most surprising as a daily driver. And, in Atlanta! Seems he would have to keep it off the highway – you know – to avoid getting killed. Must be driven only on city streets. My experience in Atlanta is much like that of Houston; people for years have tended to drive crazy fast on the beltway. But, that is certainly true of many other cities, too.

  • avatar
    brettc

    I’ve seen a Mercedes 508D van (in orange) driving around Portland, Maine a few times.

    https://www.mercedes-benz.com/en/mercedes-benz/classic/museum/mercedes-benz-508-d-panel-van/

    Saw a diesel Dodge Caravan in Charlottetown, PEI a few years ago. It had European plates on it.

  • avatar
    JuniperBug

    Count me among the ones who’ve seen a Bugatti Veyron. It was last month while on a long weekend in Miami. I’ve also seen at least one Porsche GT, I think it was in Chicago, although I may have seen one in the Montreal area, as well. I saw a Lamborghini Diablo parked on a side street in Zurich, and although it doesn’t count, I got to see the new Bugatti Chiron at the Geneva Auto Show last year. A Citroen SM at an impromptu market square car show in Frankfurt in 2011 or so.

    • 0 avatar
      S2k Chris

      Saw a street-parked Carrera GT on some nondescript Chicago side street. Was on one of those “Gangster” bus tours to see the old gangster sites, the CGT was the best part of the tour for me.

  • avatar
    joeb-z

    Suzuki X-90.

    • 0 avatar
      Land Ark

      I actually knew a guy who owned one. He was a larger fellow and one would more likely expect to see him on a Hog than anything else. He loved that little thing.
      Though to be fair it was the last one I recall seeing and it was nearly 20 years ago.

    • 0 avatar
      BigOldChryslers

      Used to be two of those running around my town, a red one and a black one.

    • 0 avatar
      Arthur Dailey

      Had a shop teacher in our high school who had a Jensen Interceptor. It actually ran occasionally.

      Also had a Prof who drove a Checker Marathon. For a while in the late 70’s they had a following in that community as a personal vehicle.

      X-90’s were not particularly rare when new in the Toronto area. But then I had a working relationship with Suzuki so used to visit their HQ and some dealerships, so was exposed to their vehicles.

      What would now be considered old Volvo’s were not rare in school parking lots when I was a student.

      • 0 avatar
        FormerFF

        We must be living somewhat parallel lives. I had a music teacher in high school who also drove an Interceptor. After she got divorced, the Interceptor was replaced by a VW Super Beetle with one of those Rolls-Royce looking hoods grafted on.

      • 0 avatar
        BigOldChryslers

        > Had a shop teacher in our high school who had a Jensen Interceptor. It actually ran occasionally.

        I wouldn’t think that it would be hard to keep an Interceptor running, except for Jensen-specific wear items like brake parts. They were powered by a Mopar big block and 727 Torqueflite automatic. IIRC, their biggest problem was that they were bad rusters.

  • avatar

    I live next to Ann Arbor, MI, and Saabs are almost as common as Hondas on the road. There are a handful of 9-4X running around here…

    And the Mercedes dealership in town has been sitting on a ten year old Maybach 57 for about six months, around 80,000 miles and a $70k price tag…

  • avatar
    jimbo1126

    I was a child at the time, but it was unmistakeable to this young car buff – a Chrysler Turbine in the 1960s when a few were being tested by the public.

    • 0 avatar
      BigOldChryslers

      LUCKY! One of my “bucket list” goals is to personally see all 9 remaining Turbines. I’ve never got to hear one actually running yet.

    • 0 avatar
      Paragon

      Wow, one of the Chrysler turbine cars. The number of people alive today who have ever seen one running under it’s own power would have to be very, very small. People may not know that Chrysler tested turbine engines in a few normal production cars for quite a few years before the small number of specially-built turbine cars were loaned – briefly – to the general car-buying public to better gauge public interest. They had the intention of being the the maker of the first mass-produced turbine cars. The design of the original fastback 1966 Dodge Charger was what they intended to put the turbine in before the decision to cancel the turbine car mass production project. And yet, Chrysler continued to test more modern turbines in cars for a number of years.

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    I snapped some kinda of 70s JDM kei car looking thing in a fenced in yard in Butler PA. No idea what it is exactly but the mirrors on the hood were a dead giveaway to JDM.

  • avatar
    rcx141

    A Nash Metropolitan in the West Suburbs of Chicago. Also, a Trabant driving on Route 59 outside of Naperville (seriously). How the heck did that get here?

    • 0 avatar
      Paragon

      I know somebody who either has or used to have an old, restored Nash Metropolitan. Can’t say I ever actually saw it running but pretty sure it was in running condition. Have seen a few over the years at car shows.

  • avatar
    wintermutt

    Toyota 2000 GT in a pharmacy parking lot.

    not sure this qualifies but i have a relative on my wife’s side with a
    1909 Benz Blitzen in a storage unit. wooden spoke wheels like on a covered wagon.
    “The 1909 Blitzen Benz built by Benz & Cie., held the land speed record for ten years

  • avatar
    dal20402

    While driving my ex-stepmom’s ratty Discovery along a country road in France, I was passed at considerable velocity by a blue Porsche 959. That remains the rarest thing I’ve seen outside a museum to this day.

  • avatar
    NoGoYo

    I’ve seen a Yugo and a lot more DeLoreans than I ever expected to see.

    • 0 avatar
      Paragon

      A close friend and I visited a DeLorean dealer in Dallas back in the 1980s and were allowed to get in and sit in one on the showroom floor. It actually seemed like a very cool car.

  • avatar
    King of Eldorado

    In Santa Fe, NM: a late-50s(?) Wolseley 1500 parked on the street (a surprisingly tiny car), and two Morgan 3-wheelers driving together on the road up to the ski area.

  • avatar
    FuzzyPlushroom

    This electric-converted Tjorven lives a few miles up the road from me.
    http://dafclubamerica.proboards.com/thread/580/saved

    Similarly, there’s an NSU Prinz-on-a-stick up in Loudon, a bit south of NHMS on 106. Photos from a few years back:
    http://i.imgur.com/n0XwC.jpg
    http://i.imgur.com/t60jq.jpg

    As far as the rarest thing I’ve spotted *on the road*, I caught a glimpse of an R5 Turbo on Route 2 down in Acton, MA last summer. Wasn’t quick enough with the camera, as I was headed east, and it was headed west.

    Oh, and I found an S-Cargo at a little dirt used-car lot on Route 9 west of Brattleboro, VT a few winters ago. No idea how it got there, as they weren’t yet even legal to import at the time. My photos of that are… somewhere.

  • avatar
    azfelix

    Ferrari F40 -brakes squealed while slowing
    Ferrari F40 kit car -idling in Post Office parking lot
    Ferrari 328 kit car (Fiero based) -for sale at Acura dealership in used car area
    Bugatti Veyron -surprisingly underwhelming
    GM EV1 -early 2000’s Phoenix
    Brabus Mercedes SL -pumping 110(?) octane fuel at gas station
    Fisker Karma -gorgeous
    Oscar Mayer Wienermobile -I was not in love with it; cannot speak for the other drivers on the road at the time

    • 0 avatar
      BigOldChryslers

      I saw a Fisker Karma, then minutes later a Chevy Volt, on my way to work one morning. This was back when the Volt was new and not so common on the road.

      I’ve spotted 3 Tesla Model-X’s in the wild. Oddly enough, two Thursdays ago, I saw a Model-X, then minutes later I parked next to a Model-S. Then the following Saturday I saw an X and an S minutes apart again. (Not the same ones I had spotted before.)

    • 0 avatar
      azfelix

      How could I have forgotten…

      Messerschmitt KR200 -in Chatham, ON fellow had two and drove them on regular basis; one was pale yellow with white folding roof, the other metallic blue with clear roof if I recall correctly
      LaForza -it was not moving at the time, because it was either parked or because it was an Italian SUV from the 80’s (perhaps both I suppose)

      • 0 avatar
        Paragon

        Going back in time to when I was a little kid, in the late 1950s and early 1960s, there was often a BMW Isetta and even a Messerschmitt KR200 in the parking lot of the Big Bear grocery store my Mom shopped at. Because they were very unusual cars, I asked what they were. It’s a memory I’ve never forgotten. This in a town 35 miles outside of Columbus, Ohio. Seems a bit surprising people would even consider cars like these, and VWs, in the years following WWII.

    • 0 avatar
      jim brewer

      I actually drove a GM Ev1 around the block. I had forgotten that. So that would be rarest. Otherwise, an Amphicar.

  • avatar
    NeilM

    Ford GT40 (original roadgoing version) a couple of times in Paris; Lambo Miura many times, also their Espada; Ferrari 365 GTB4 Daytona (belonged to a friend who gave me, ahem, a memorable ride on an expressway in London); Ferrari 275 GTB/4 parked on the street in Geneva; Amphicars several times; a few Trabants, Ladas and Moskvitches; Merc 300SL Gullwing on the street more than once; Marcos, Ginetta and most of the other British small volume sports cars at one time or another; Citroën SM, love that sleek car. Oh, how about a Bizzarini Strada, bright orange, in Nice, late 60’s? And from the sublime to the ridiculous I’ve driven a Citroën 2CV lots of times — anyone see Chris Harris’s video about his?

    I should point out that many of the above were decades ago when they weren’t as ridiculously valuable as some are today today.

    I drove a Lancia Thema 8.32 once, back in the 80’s sometime. This was the Lancia FWD sedan that shared its platform with a Saab of the era, except with a Ferrari four cam, thirty-two valve V8 stuffed transversely in the front. Thank you Fiat/Ferrari parts bin! This was after an Italian Sunday lunch long and well-wined enough for the owner to offer me a drive and for me to think it a good idea to accept. No harm came of it, but this wasn’t a great decision on either of our parts.

    Came across an example of the (notorious) Porsche Carrera GT at Tire Rack in South Bend a couple of years ago. It was being prepped for the 2015 One Lap. I’ve instructed in a Ford GT, 2006 or so, and in an early model Viper, fully track prepped. A guy I know in Indiana has both a Lambo Gallardo with over 120K miles he’s put on it from new, plus a new Hurracàn, and he drives both on track. Pretty sure I’ve seen most of the regular Ferraris and Lambos at one time or another, but not necessarily the really exotic ones like the F50, etc.

    The one car I’ve never seen and would really like to is the Veyron.

  • avatar
    sturmvogel

    A Fisker Karma last year near Ft. Belvoir, Virginia. Had to do a triple take to figure out what it was. Azfelix is right, simply stunning.

    • 0 avatar
      FormerFF

      I saw a Karma in a Kroger parking lot, it is stunning. It’s kind of the Ashley Graham of the car world, a little on the bigger side, but gorgeous in every way.

      • 0 avatar
        JMII

        I’ve seen 2 or 3 Karmas. As mentioned above I work in the Boca/West Palm area where exotic cars are almost normal.

        Just remembered BMW i8 at the track too. Attending track days at Sebring draws in lots of toys.

  • avatar
    dividebytube

    Mercedes 300 SL Gullwing – it was driving about 10mph less than the speed limit and would intermittently puff out some blue smoke.

    But oh so beautiful.

  • avatar
    Arthur Dailey

    Where to start?
    The Old Man had a friend who had an Amphicar and would drive it around (occasionally).
    Worked for a guy who owned an Aston-Martin DB Mark III.
    Saw an Aston-Martin Lagonda in its hometown of Newport-Pagnell.
    2Cv’s aren’t rare in Europe but have seen a number in Ontario.
    Played football with a guy who drove a Morgan.
    Worked with a guy who drove a Nissan S Cargo in Ontario (right hand steering).
    Had a client who kept a Bricklin that he had bought new in his garage.
    On the 407 recently saw a Maseratti Levante SUV.
    Previously a couple of years ago saw a Fisker Karma on the same highway. Must say that it was a beautiful looking vehicle.
    *Forgot the VW Thing that a friend had.
    And the old standbys. A Superbird used to live in a garage in the neighbourhood. A friend had an original AMX a much underappreciated car. And of course the 1959 Eldorado Biarritz convertible that I owned for a day.

    • 0 avatar
      BigOldChryslers

      By AMX you mean the 2-seater that was based on the Javelin? I only ask because there was also the AMX/3 mid-engine sports car, of which only 6 were built.

      • 0 avatar
        Arthur Dailey

        Sorry not the mid-engine rarity. The original 2 seater 1968. It was not actually based on the Javelin as it went into production before the Javelin and had a shorter wheelbase. It was meant to combine American 1/4 mile speed with European style handling and to a degree succeeded. Perhaps the most underestimated car of its era.

        Forgot to mention 3 not so rare cars, but rare in that I got to drive all 3. A Triumph TR7, Fiat X19 and Toyota MR2. All of course with 3 pedals. All owned by friends so that I spent considerable time in them. Although the Toyota was by far the best ‘car’, when it was operating I found the TR7 to be my favourite.

    • 0 avatar
      FormerFF

      There was, back in the 60’s, an small amusement park that gave Amphicar rides as one of their attractions. I got one, it was an odd sensation to drive into the water, but it was really slow once in. I could see an Amphicar losing ground to a headwind.

  • avatar
    Russycle

    I was hitting yard sales in a little one-horse town in rural Oregon and there was very handsome, in need of some lovin’ 60s-era British roadster parked on a side street. No badges, wasn’t a model I recognized. Wish I’d snapped some pics.

    Couple years ago I came across a pristine MGB-GT in a BiMart parking lot. Hardly ever see those anymore.

  • avatar
    FormerFF

    Third rarest: I was riding a bicycle in north metro Atlanta a few years ago, and while waiting for a light, a Tesla Roadster pulled up alongside me. I had a nice chat with the driver for the minute or so we were waiting for the light to change.

    Second rarest: Also a couple of years ago, driving on Georgia Highway 92 coming back from Target, I looked up in my mirrors and saw the very unfamiliar horseshoe shaped grille of a Bugatti Veyron. This one was red and black in color, which around these parts are Georgia Bulldog colors, though I don’t expect that had anything to do with the owner’s color choice. There are a few small neighborhoods of very expensive houses in the area, and I do see a Ferrari or Lamborghini five or six times a year, but I never expected to see a Veyron cruising down the road. He changed lanes and passed me, so I trailed along to get a better look at it, but not getting too close. Hitting a Veyron could induce bankruptcy!

    Rarest, by a lot: Riding in my mom’s ’64 Impala wagon near the intersection of Highways 31 and 72 near West Dundee, Illinois, I spotted a silver blue colored sports car. We didn’t see many sports cars those days, mostly Corvettes and the occasional MG, the climate was harsh and the roads were heavily salted in the winter. This car had a shape that was somewhat similar to the Corvette fastback of the day, but was much smaller, lower, and curvier, with round headlights that were behind oval covers. The hood was long and the cab was pushed back almost to the back of the car. I didn’t know what it was. This would have been back in 1966 or 1967, and of course there was no internet, and no one in the house subscribed to car magazines, so I was left to wonder. One day I walked into a store looking for a plastic model to build, and there was that same car in a model kit. It was an honest-to-Bill-Thomas Cheetah. Considering that fewer than 25 were built and most of them were used as race cars, I’m sure that was the rarest car I’ll ever see going down the road.

  • avatar
    SaulTigh

    In the mid-90’s, after my freshman year in college, I came home for the summer and worked my old job and hung out with my HS best friend. We were driving the main drag of my Missouri home town and pulled up at a spotlight behind a Wolseley. I only knew what it was because I had received this book for my birthday in 1989:

    https://www.amazon.com/Marques-Europe-Britain-Germany-Volumes/dp/0600564487

    I’ve still got the book packed away somewhere.

    Surely these are extraordinarily rare in the United States.

  • avatar
    GTL

    Saw an Audi R8 on I-285 last week.

  • avatar
    FormerFF

    A few years ago I saw a small roadster, not far from Sebring, Florida. The only badging it has was “Brabus”, whom I later found out was a Mercedes tuner. I’m pretty sure it was a Smart Roadster, which I don’t think was ever imported here.

  • avatar
    SilverCoupe

    I saw what appeared to be the original Batmobile from the 1960’s TV series on the River Road along the Delaware, north of New Hope, a few years ago. I did not at the time know that there were more than one of them.

    I was annoyed that there was no Veyron at the French National Car Museum in Mulhouse, France last year – and then I saw one on the road in the small town of Obernai, France a couple of days later.

    Back when my Audi TT was new (I had a very early one), I passed a gorgeous ’39 Auburn Boat tailed speedster, also in the vicinity of New Hope, PA. We kept leap frogging past each other – I was pointing at the Auburn, and they were pointing at the then rare TT!

  • avatar
    1998redwagon

    unimog. northern minnesota. an entire german family taking a summer holiday driving cross country from east coast to west – in their own vehicle.

    stopped at local beer store headed west. must have been diplos.

    • 0 avatar
      SaulTigh

      Saw a complete hippy family with a small cabin mounted on the back of a Unimog at Mount Rushmore, probably 25 years ago. Like a modern day Conestoga – they had pots and pans hanging from racks mounted under the cabin, in front of the wheels.

    • 0 avatar
      CarnotCycle

      UNIMOG outfitted with who-knows-how-much $$$ worth of aftermarket custom doodads antennas etc. in Bozeman Montana, six years ago. Kinda had soft spot for them, and more and more wanted one ever since.

  • avatar
    TurboMark

    I used to see a guy on my commute semi-regularly driving a Toyota Soarer Aerocabin. They only made and sold 500 of them in Japan. So seeing one in central Ohio was certainly odd. Although, working at a major Asian automotive OEM based in central Ohio was likely an influencing factor.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Toyota_Soarer#/media/File:Toyota-SoarerAerocabin.jpg

  • avatar
    WRCanuck

    There used to be a Toyota Sera parked in front of an apartment building near my office in downtown Hamilton, Ontario (Canada). Less than 16,000 made and maybe only a handful ever brought to North America.

    I also spotted a Mitsubishi Evo IV going from Hamilton to Niagara a few times in 2012. Never seen again.

    Finally, there’s someone in Hamilton (or who frequents the city) that has a Fisker Karma. That one is a rare bird, for sure.

    • 0 avatar
      WRCanuck

      I forgot to make mention of the Maybach 57 and Ferrari Enzo that the owner of my previous place of employment had. Both rare vehicles. As I understand, he was only one of a handful of people in Canada to own an Enzo.

      Oh, and more recently, I had the personal pleasure of riding shotgun in what is for now a very rare car: a 2017 Acura NSX.

  • avatar
    ctowne

    VW vanagon. this was circa ~2004. A NEW one with temp tags and everything. must have been one of 15 sold in the states that year…
    Runner up? Lincoln Blackwood.

  • avatar
    cleek

    Around 1990 I saw a Lamborghini LM002 parked in Austin, Tx. Red with tan leather interior.

  • avatar
    Turkina

    I have seen the 3-million mile Volvo P1800 driving around in its natural environment. I have a picture of it somewhere…
    Also got to see a Mercedes 300SL under restoration.

  • avatar
    matador

    Daihatsu Charade. Saw one near Billings, Montana about a year ago

    • 0 avatar

      I still own my 1988 Daihatsu Charade with only 55k miles. Still looks and runs perfectly. Most people don’t think twice about it, but true car enthusiasts know how uncommon the car is

      • 0 avatar
        SaulTigh

        How hard is it to get parts? There was one of these running around my college campus in the mid-90’s. Small enough he could get around the barriers and drive right up to buildings on the sidewalk.

  • avatar
    jimf42

    I have seen a Facel Vega Facelia convertible around here…also a Turner MkIII (not a race car, but a street driven sports car).

  • avatar
    CobraJet

    Back about late 1964 or early 1965 I used to see a 63 Chrysler Turbine come by my junior high school every morning while we stood outside waiting for the bell. These were given to individuals to keep and use for several months at a time as experimental use. The man I saw driving it every morning was obviously commuting to work in it.

  • avatar
    stingray65

    Bugatti Type 35 (a real one) out for an early Sunday run in a suburb of Oslo. BMW Isetta out for an early Sunday run in South Dakota.

  • avatar
    Arthur Dailey

    More memories. In high school one of the guys had a Mercury Cyclone CobraJet one of the rarest of muscle cars. Wonder whatever happened to it?

    Played baseball with a guy who drove a hot-rodded Studebaker pick-up. Another had an AC Cobra kit car.

  • avatar
    TheBlueSoap

    AMC Eagle Wagon in the UOIT parking lot
    International Harvester 1210 Crew Cab longbox pickup 3 streets over from my place
    International Harvester MXT on the 407
    Shelby Series 1 on the DVP
    Diamond T 201 pickup at Autofest in Oshawa
    an original Shelby Cobra that was restored after a fire at SummerFest in Bowmanville during the Rick Patterson Memorial Show and Shine
    Nissan S-Cargo in Toronto
    Rolls-Royce Wraith at Pearson Airport
    Maserati GranTourismo MC Stradale

  • avatar
    notwhoithink

    I saw a Fisker Karma in a parking lot in Schaumberg, IL once.

    There’s a lawyer in town (Columbus) that occasionally drives his LaFerrari to work.

  • avatar
    Marko

    I’ve seen two of the Saab 9-4X, one in Boston and one in Philadelphia.

    A 1991 Volvo 780, one of about 400 (only year badged “COUPE” instead of “780”), in Erie, PA.

    I’ve seen three or four Jaguar X-Type wagons.

    Two Fisker Karmas.

    One of my high school classmates had an IS300 Sportcross.

    A 2004+ VW Transporter (never sold in the US) with Virginia plates in Providence, RI. How did someone manage to do that – VW headquarters?

  • avatar
    Frylock350

    I see a silver 2018 Terrain on a regular basis. I didn’t think they were available to the general public yet?

  • avatar
    2manycars

    Some years ago I saw a Tucker being driven on the road. Of course it might have been a replica, but it looked the part.

  • avatar

    It was after a car show, but it was being driven on a public road: Panhard 24.

    Do cars seen at the Woodward Dream Cruise count?

  • avatar
    brenschluss

    Someone brought a (the?) Bertone Mantide to a local car show (sorry not sorry) a few years ago.

    It took me a minute to figure out if it was fake, or a kit car or something, but the details checked out.

    If you think it’s ugly in pictures, hooo boy you ain’t seen nothin’ yet. I thought it was a bit ungainly in print, but it’s literally the single ugliest vehicle I have ever seen in person. The closer you get, the more the body looks like it was made in a Chinese hot tub factory.

  • avatar
    Carzzi

    Mosler Consulier (ugly but cool) and Shelby Series 1 (bugly but cool). Mosler had a chrysler 2.2 turbo. The Shelby’s got pushrod/bellcrank coilovers and an engine that’s set well behind the front axle. Runs an Olds 32V.

  • avatar
    rpn453

    Number one would have to the Saleen S7 that passed me in Calgary.

    Number two would probably be the Lambo Jalpa stopped beside me at the lights in Regina.

  • avatar
    jack4x

    My father in law owns a Matra Bagheera (non-running), according to him, it is one of 5 or so that made it to the US. I have no way to verify that, but I’ve certainly never seen another one.

  • avatar
    Marko

    Oh – and a Peugeot 405 WAGON in Narragansett, RI about 4 years ago – I never even knew the US got these.

  • avatar

    This one’s tough. ..on the road….

    The NY Metro area has a ridiculous motor pool compared to anything short of Dubai.

    Multiples-McLaren, Tesla, Porsche, Ferrari. All AMG. Tesla is almost common in Westchester, NY. Saw a new NSX on the road a few months back-rare, haven’t seen another. . Passed the new Alfa Sportscar today., the 4C. Red. Maybe the second one ?

    Saw a Porsche GT last summer at a car show, it drove in so that Counts.

    I once saw a Zil Limousine with Consulate License plates in Manhattan. I think that is the winner. A fascinating copy of US 60’s styling cues.

  • avatar

    Man, this sounds like an un-humble brag, but if you guys are into rare cars seen on the street, you should visit Los Angeles. Just yesterday, I saw the prototype Armaretta parked at a golf course near my house. So that’s a one-off prototype with a total production of only one year. (Link for reference: http://hooniverse.com/2012/09/01/hooniverse-weekend-of-discovery-ii-the-1986-87-armaretta/).

    If you want to see some pics of the car for proof, search Instagram for “forestcasey.” It was unspeakably weird in person.

  • avatar
    Lou_BC

    DeLorean

  • avatar
    Brdrodge

    For me it is probably a 1941 Packard limo. Saw it in a parking lot with the chauffer standing by it. I spun around and went back to see it and the driver showed it to me and let me sit in the back. Had original paint. Air conditioning was turned on and off by placing or removing the drive belt for the compressor around the crankshaft pulley.

  • avatar

    I spotted an Alfa 8C Competizione (in 2010) street parked on Mulholland Dr. Im sure it had at least a couple thousand miles on the clock, because Florida plates.

    If my search was correct—there were only 500 of those produced? Pretty car to look at for sure.

  • avatar

    Quite possibly my very own 1988 Daihatsu Charade. I’ve owned this car for seven years, and it remains in pristine condition with only 55k miles. In that time, I’ve seen maybe three other Charades, but none in good condition. I’ve been approached several times by car enthusiasts or former Charade owners who haven’t seen one in 20+ years.

    Owning this car can be a headache sometimes. There’s no spare parts, no dealer network. My usual mechanic refuses to touch it. No one has ever heard of it if it needs standard maintenance. There’s no option to select it on websites for electronic toll booths or vehicle registration

    • 0 avatar
      SaulTigh

      If it were say, 1998, I’d suggest you buy a couple parts cars. I knew a guy at that time who was a such a huge fan of commuting (100 mile round trip each day) in the early 90’s Ford Festivas that he maintained a constant supply of parts cars in his back yard. Did all the work himself and always had 3 running at any given time (one for him, one for his wife, and a spare). That’s dedication.

  • avatar
    Fred

    Edwards America
    https://flic.kr/p/ExM7UF

  • avatar
    Paragon

    Just yesterday, Valentine’s Day, while in Chicago on “the Stevenson” (I-55), I saw my first ever BMW i8. While I knew it was a BMW, I couldn’t recall which model it was. How many other folks have seen one being driven on the highway? Truth is it wasn’t going any faster than the car I was in as it was rush hour, and we were all barely moving.

    • 0 avatar
      mechaman

      I’ve seen one in Chicago, as well as an i3 (?) A good place to see some exotics is in the River North area by the Merchandise Mart/Apparel Center/Sun-Times Building, especially at a gym nearby.

  • avatar
    Paragon

    Was the Mercedes A-Class sold in Canada, but of course not in the US? Saw one with Canadian plates about 10 years ago. I immediately knew what it was because I’ve frequented car magazines, and now online car sites, my entire adult life.

  • avatar
    Paragon

    Also, the only Alfa Romeo 4C I’ve seen was not at a car show, but was being driven on the highway. In Ohio.

  • avatar
    whynotaztec

    2 years ago I passed a Pontiac T1000 on 128 in the Boston area with Maine plates. Not sure how or why it still existed.

    At my body shop I worked on an X90 and a 9-2x. And a Starion!

    • 0 avatar
      Paragon

      I admit to briefly selling cars at a Pontiac dealership in the 1980s. What I was given to drive, once I and a few other guys started working there, was a T1000. Being brand-new it ran OK, but was nothing to get excited about. As you all may or may not know, it was little more than a slightly different Chevette.

  • avatar
    Kyree S. Williams

    I saw a white Bentayga on the way home last week. In Oklahoma. Of all places.

    Also, saw an 80s-era Morgan Plus Four last month. That was a treat.

  • avatar
    Maymar

    One of the GM dealers in a group I used to work for had a Bitter SC in for service (it was a GM dealer, I don’t really know who else would work on a Bitter in Toronto).

    I was also very excited to see an Aston Martin DB5 shooting brake (apparently 1 of 13) on the motorway around London this past fall.

    • 0 avatar
      Paragon

      I have seen one Bitter SC in the US about 15 years ago. Not positive, but I think it was at a car show in Charlotte, NC. I spent some time talking with the owner about it as I knew a little bit of the history of Erich Bitter and his cars. GIS Bitter SC, if not familiar, as I find it to be a very good looking car.

  • avatar
    Paragon

    Let me ask how many people besides myself have actually seen a Pinzgauer being daily driven on city streets in the US? Anybody? It’s here in central Ohio. For those who don’t know it is a Swiss army vehicle. And, it still sports a military green color. And, it sits rather high off the ground, making it look like there is a risk of tipping over. Plus, who goes to the bother of getting it legal to drive in the US? That someone lives fairly close to me and has got to be a hard-core military or outdoorsman kind of guy. My first ever sighting of this vehicle began only recently.

    • 0 avatar
      Trev Limiter

      Yes, as a matter of fact! I have a time stamped photo of one filling up at a Chevron station (8544 E Chapman Ave, Orange, CA 92869) at 4:04 p.m. on Wednesday, November 16, 2016. I didn’t know what it was at first. Thankfully “Pinzgauer” was printed beneath the logo. California plates.

  • avatar
    Paragon

    Has anybody ever seen a Cimbria SS? Running or not. Know what a Cimbria looks like? Do a GIS. I located 3 in Ohio about 17-18 years ago and bought them. A red one, a black one and an unfinished one. Some were built to order, though most were sold as kits to be self-built. They look VERY COOL, though most have rather mundane running gear. I drove the first two briefly when first purchased. They then sat for years. About 5 years ago, a neighbor helped me get them running again, but the demands of work have prevented me from getting to car shows, much less take a car to show. I work a lot of hours, including weekends, with days off during the week.

  • avatar
    la834

    I saw a late-’50s BMW 502 V8 fastback sedan parked outside a service station in Rockville MD, probably the rarest car I’ve seen in the wild.

    Common worldwide but rare in the US, I’ve seen two Rover SD1s, a couple of grey-market Citroen CXs, a 2CV, and an otiginal Fiat 500.

    Somebody who lived halfway around the block from me when I wss a kid had a Plymouth Superbird; because it was nearby and I saw it frequently I assumed it must be common and only learned otherwise in my late teens.

  • avatar

    A Suzuki Mighty Boy. Saw one of these in Australia, and it’s an odd bird. Based on the subcompact Alto, its bed is large enough for a large pizza. Very rare car, only sold in Australia, and strangely Cyprus, in the early to mid 80’s

  • avatar
    MWolf

    I’ve seen two Zimmer Quicksilvers, several years and several hundred miles apart. One was in my hometown, parked in front of a gas station, the other was owned by a creepy old barfly who hit on anything the moved, regardless of gender. Both were red.

  • avatar
    mechaman

    There was a NSU R0 80 parked for a good long time in a service station on the Southwest Side of Chicago, at the corner of 31st Street and Pulaski (if you are familiar with Chicago, you’ll know that’s a short walk to the original Home Run Inn Pizza place), but it’s LONG gone now, station and car. More recently, I saw a VW Pointer(?) in Cicero, and an Opel (Saturn) Astra. It had Opel badging on it, not Saturn, but I don’t know if it was just cosmetic or not …

  • avatar
    mechaman

    Almost forgot about the McLaren I saw bookin’ west on the I-290 (Eisenhower) one Saturday afternoon … dude was flyin’.

  • avatar
    Trev Limiter

    Growing up as a sharp-eyed car enthusiast in Southern California, I’m spoiled for choice. These are all from the last five years. Let’s see….

    A Porsche 959 on US101 South south of San Luis Obispo

    A chrome-painted Bugatti Veyron on Pacific Coast Highway in Malibu

    A white Ferrari F12berlineta tearing up Mulholland Highway

    A dark red Panoz Esperante parked in a driveway on Mulholland Drive

    A Dodge Viper SRT10 ACR heading up San Marcos Road in Santa Barbara

    A Pinzgauer casually filling up at a Chevron in Orange, CA

    A BMW Z8 in Idyllwild, CA

    A pristine E30 BMW M3 in one of the many parking garages near LAX

    A Fisker Karma on Pacific Coast Highway in Dana Point, CA

    A Fisker Karma on Silverado Canyon Road in Silverado, CA

    A Coda in the customer parking of a Tesla showroom in Seattle, WA

    And those are just the chance encounters. Including cars from autocross events would add the new Dodge Viper ACR, several Morgans, a 1980s VW Scirocco and a Fiat X1/9. Cars and Coffee vehicles include Mercedes-Benz 300 SL, Ferrari 458 Speciale, Porsche Carrera GT and Porsche 918 Spyder.

  • avatar
    ItsJustaRide

    Ferrari 575M Superamerica parked curbside (!) on Rue Crescent in Montreal.

  • avatar
    TheImpalaKid

    I first heard, then saw a white BMW M1 in downtown Cincinnati, Ohio back in the 80s. It was magnificent.

  • avatar
    87 Morgan

    An older gentleman that goes to my church is an avid odd ball car collector.

    He has a Tucker Torpedo, #17. Always fun to see that in the parking lot on Sunday! It has been a long time though since he has had it out.

  • avatar
    boozysmurf

    Nissan Figaro – Bank/Hunt Club area in Ottawa

    Bricklin SV-1 – two sat on a lot in Milton, Ontario for years when I was in high school, and recently, it turns out one of my coworkers in Ottawa is a Bricklin guy, and drives his to work occasionally AND one of the Genesis Coupe guys I know, his family is Bricklin people (which is weird and cool).

    DiTomaso Mangusta lives in the Ottawa area, but only seems to come out for Italian week.

    There’s a couple of Delorean’s in various states of disrepair around Ottawa, too.

    There’s a guy who cruises his Model T fairly regularly, too.

    And, the afore mentioned Nissan Murano CrossCabriolet in the Muskokas.

  • avatar
    Flipper35

    Ferrari 365 GTS/4 “Daytona” Spyder. Pulling out from a stop sign close to our house out in the middle of nowhere. They sound SO sweet.

    Saw an LM002 near Madison. The owner has quite a collection of odd stuff.

  • avatar
    sutherland555

    Just remembered another one. An absolutely pristine (from what I could tell at least) lemon yellow 2nd gen Civic hatchback in downtown Toronto. Talk about a unicorn.

  • avatar
    NeilM

    I’m impressed by the several people who’ve seen a Fisker Karma in the wild; wish I could say the same.

    Re the Daihatsu Charade, I drove one of those as a rental for a week on Oahu back in the early eighties. We called it the Atomic Roller Skate. With its tiny 3-cylinder engine the only way to drive was foot to the floor and don’t use the brakes unless you have to — lots of fun but without lots of speed.

  • avatar
    fastwilly

    I once saw a Karenjy parked outside a Catholic church in Madagascar. I highly doubt the thing could be driven, but still pretty cool!

  • avatar
    cls12vg30

    Last year I happened across a Noble M400 in a strip mall parking lot in Burlington, NC. I was….surprised.

    I’ve seen a handful of Fisker Karmas over the past few years.

    Murano Crosscabriolet? I saw one of those yesterday.

  • avatar
    fr88

    Rarest car I ever saw in the wild was a 1960 Cadillac Eldorado Brougham in a lot across from a swank hotel in Virginia Beach. I had to look twice because at first I thought it was a 1961 Sedan deVille. But as I got closer I realized it was lower, sleeker, longer and more finely detailed than a’61. It was the rare Italian-bodied Brougham model, 1 of 101 produced. It is the only Eldorado Brougham of any year I have ever seen out on the street and not at a car show.

  • avatar
    Johnster

    Several years ago, in Yellowstone Park I saw a Rolls Royce Camargue being driven down a highway and a Lamborghini Espada parked in front of one of those little log cabins you can rent. I also once saw a Porsche Carrera being driven in central Wyoming.

    Cars that I’ve only seen once around the L.A. area were a Crosley Hot Shot Super Shot in Monrovia, a Maserati Khamsin in Pasadena, and an early ’60s Lancia Appia 4-door sedan parked in front of the Target store in downtown Pasadena.

    Every once in a while I’ll see a Mercedes-Benz Unimog and a couple of times I’ve seen a Pinzgauer SUV-van thing.

  • avatar
    Paragon

    There was a guy who worked only a block from where I worked who daily drove a white, 2-door Daewoo Lanos. One time he was filling up his car at the same gas station as me. The car appeared in great shape and apparently was in fine running condition. Last saw it 5-7 years ago. This in the Columbus, Ohio area.

  • avatar
    Paragon

    While I can’t speak to exactly how rare it is, I saw my first Tesla Model X in Columbus, Ohio on I-270 yesterday. Especially since there is a Tesla dealership in Columbus not far from Easton Town center, it’s not that unusual to see a Tesla. But, that was my first sighting of an X.


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