The perfect surprise gift for a car lover

From a giver who has lots of money to burn

How many times have you imagined what it would be like to win the Powerball? I known I have and I buy tickets when the jackpot is really big. I’m talking big six figure big! Of course I’d quit my job, or maybe buy the place. I’d buy some of the cars I’ve always lusted over, buy a home on a lake and another one someplace warm so I wouldn’t have to put up with the cold winters here in Wisconsin. Then it’s time to start giving away some of my new found fortune. Cash is good but I think a thoughtful gift is more fun.

The Submarine Sports Car

I have these two friends that taught me how to fly, Dave and Tim. These guys are over the top fun and love stuff out of the ordinary. Tim likes cars and currently owns a Triumph TR6. They both love the water which is why I would get them this gift.

Photos: Hammacher Schlemmer

I found this on Hammacher Schlemmer who are known for their unusual stuff. If you’re a James Bond fan you will recognize this as it’s similar to the Lotus driven by Bond in The Spy Who Loved Me. This vehicle does the same things, driving on roads then taking a splash in the water but without all the special effects. There were two cars used in the movie, one for the chase scenes and a second for the underwater work. This one does it all utilizing the same steel chassis found in a Lotus Elise.

Once in the water, two water jets mounted behind rotating louvers at the front of the vehicle provide steering and lift and propellers at the rear provide forward movement up to 2 knots at depths down to 33′. No need to drag scuba tanks because the has two that are built in and hold air good for an hour.

Powering the vehicle is a 54 kW 160 NM electric motor powered by six 48-volt Lithium-ion batteries, allowing it to reach a maximum speed of 75 mph. It can travel up to 80 miles on land run for three hours under water. It takes about four hours to chatge the batteries. It’s interior is water proof and it even can operate autonomosly. This toy will only set me back two million bucks, but heck, I’m loaded. The only stipulation I would have for Tim and Dave is that they would have to take me for a ride in the Bay of Green Bay where they live. I can’t wait to see the expressions on the people at the boat launch!

A small car with a big window sticker

The other crazy car I found on their site a Peel Trident, would be parfect for my friend and blogging partner Mark Savage. Mainly because he’s probably the only one of my friends who’s short enough to ride in it.

Photo: Hammacher Schlemmer

Measuring only 72 inches long and just 42 inches wide it was orrigionally produced by the Peel Engineering on the Isle of Man just two years, 1965 to 1966. As a frame of refference, the Smart Fortwo (recently killed in the U.S. Finally!) is 106.1 inches long and 65.5 inches wide. A Cadillac Escalade is a whopping 204 inches long and 81 inches wide. Origionally powered by a DKW 49 cc gas engine producing a meager 4.2 hp. Later models featured a 99 cc Triumph Tina engine. It seats just two people, driver and a passenger who ride just 12 inches off the ground on the car’s three 9 inch diameter wheels. All this coolness will only set me back $25,000.

Another wacky car from England

Leave it to the British to come up with something like this. The original vehicle is included in Time magazine‘s list of the 50 Worst Cars Ever. BTW, this list also included the Ford Model T, AMC Gremlin, and Pacer, Ford Pinto, and and Explorer, and Triumph TR 7.

Photo: MSothsby’s

This Peel is a reproduction but uses many of the same materials as the original known at the time as “The Terrestrial Flying Saucer” because of its bubble top. Fitted in the fiberglass body is upgraded power coming from a 3 hp electric moped engine that provides a 28 mph maximum speed for two very small riders weighing a total of 300 lbs. The rear wheel provides power while the driver steers the front wheels and stops with all-wheel brake. Also upgraded is a reverse gear, which the originals didn’t have. The rechargeable battery provides a 15-mile range before requiring a five-hour charge using the included AC adapter.

There’s a gasoline version also available but I couldn’t find any info on it. The whole thing is pretty light because shipping weight is listed at just 198 lbs. Are they street-legal? Well that all depends on where you live. Sure I’d like to get him the real deal but there were only 82 manufactured and almost never change hands. At a Sotheby’s auction in 2017 one sold for $121,000.

This isn’t the first time Hammacher Schlemmer has offered something unique like this. A replica of the 1966 Batmobile, a London Taxi, and an 120 mph electric car could all be purchased. I love these guys.


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