New year, new series. When I was a kid, I would go to the library a few times a week and read Illustrated Motor Cars of the World. A few years ago, I found a used copy at Powell's Books in Portland. Each page of the 263-page book has four interesting cars. Every car is illustrated. I am going to start featuring some of the strange and unusual cars in the book.
First up, the Cugnot. It was the first automobile, ever.
The car was commissioned by the French military, as it was trying to figure out ways to transport cannons. In a way, it's sort of like an 18th century version of DARPA. The steam engine drove the singular front wheel. Not surprisingly, it was very unstable, especially off-road. The boiler was also substandard, even for its time.
Here is a video of a replica made by a car museum in Tampa, Florida. Yes, it has Florida plates. You can literally register anything there!