Here are your favorite hyper-specialized vehicles

We probably shouldn’t be talking about cars all day, every day. Well, we can, and we mostly do. But to break things up, we took some time this week to think about cars next door, which are also amazing. Here are some of our favorite answers to this week’s quick question: “What’s the coolest hyper-specialized vehicle?”

Bucket wheel excavators

Bing mentioned Bagger 293 and included a photo of what I believe is still the largest vehicle in the world – a massive earth-moving apparatus designed to reshape the planet. Then I remembered a gem of early YouTube – a song (above) about one of these vehicles being imagined as some sort of alien-fighting robot? That’s…pretty crazy. Headphone warning if you put it on it gets kind of dubsteppy about 90 seconds in.

Lunar Rover

Apollo 15 astronaut James Irwin, with the Lunar Rover with Mount Hadley in the background, August 1971 Oxford Science Archive/Print Collector/Getty Images

Jimal and Krudler mentioned NASA’s lunar-powered electric vehicles, and indeed, as far as mission-specific powered vehicles go, it’s hard to beat. I wonder if we will be able to make road legal replicas of this out of electric Manx wagons one day soon.

Space Shuttle Crawler Transporter

The space shuttle Discovery rolls to the launch pad after emerging from NASA’s Vehicle Assembly Building atop a conveyor belt at Kennedy Space Center in 2011. Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Post-Apollo space shuttles seem a little more luxurious than the rockets from the lunar mission before, but anything flying feels a little too far out of reach for “interesting car-adjacent craft.” However, the power transport machine that carries shuttles to their launch pad is pretty impressive in its own right. This was quoted by SirVicSmasher. And how epic is that picture?

Disneyland Trams

Paul Bersebach/MediaNews Group/Orange County Register via Getty Images

As for machines that more people are likely to encounter in their own lives, commenters Toyota4x4 and Mr. Miller mentioned the trams that car people around Disneyland are cool specialized “cars”, and I’m inclined to agree. Carting tourists isn’t as glamorous as being a cart of astronauts, but these look oddly interesting.

Michelin’s Poids Lourd Rapide

Antarctic Snow Cruiser

Another crazy machine you’ll find more history about here is the Antarctic Snow Cruiser. As commenter Ry_Ry pointed out, it really was a big fail, but epically cool nonetheless.

There were a few more suggestions I couldn’t find good illustrations of (alas), including the cut-up truck cabs used to move small planes around and some racing machines. Thanks to everyone who shared their knowledge of unusual car-like vehicles with us, stay tuned on Tuesday for next week’s quiz!

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