Wacky auctions: bizarre TV car stars in oddball sale


Mercedes-Benz World will soon host the sale of some of the wackiest cars ever made, including the Bugaloos Buggy from the eponymous children's TV show of the '70s.

Built by the same man who created the original Batmobile and later versions of Knight Rider's KITT, George Barris, the Bugaloos Buggy was used for the duration of The Bugaloos between 1970 and 1972.
The amazing street legal buggy has four custom bucket seats, four phones and the ability to play that most modern of music mediums: stereo tape cartridges.

Made from fiberglass and mounted on top of a VW chassis, the car was designed to look like, naturally, a bug, and evoked the special powers of The Bugaloos' main characters - namely that they could fly and walk on water.

The wheels are single-piece Ansen Spring alloys painted orange, and wrapped in Firestone tyres.

The car was originally sold to a collector in 1983, but was then 'lost' until coming up for sale again in France in 2003, at which point it was carefully restored. It's expected to go for around £15,000.

But if speed is more your thing than nostalgia, the Snake Pit (above), also built by Barris, will be a better fit. Made specifically to break speed records, the huge Snake Pit has an estimated 2,000bhp from six Ford Cobra V8 engines.

This inordinately complicated caricature of a car has 48 exhausts, two Ford automatic transmissions, 12 four-barrel carburetors and two Pontiac rear axles.

The bright orange car will be difficult to park for two reasons: it's 23-foot long, and it doesn't work, so the buyer will have to employ someone with the taste and skills for the extraordinary to start having a go at land speed records again.

There's not reserve, but fully functional it's reportedly worth around $100,000 (£65,000).

The Bunkbeds is another star turn that doesn't work, though when it does it has a Ferrari-matching 600bhp from an, erm, headboard-mounted V8 engine. It promises to be the best handling bunk bed ever made, thanks to Formula One-wide Goodyear tyres and disc brakes on all four wheels; it can be steered from either the top or bottom bunk.

It's worth around £15,000 - around the same price as all manner of family cars guaranteed to send their occupants to sleep.

And finally there's the original Amphicar. Designed by Hans Trippel, the German engineer famous for both this and designing the gullwing doors of the iconic Mercedes-Benz 300 SL.

Of the 99 originally made, this is one of 20 thought still to exist, and was built in 1965. Powered by a 1.2-litre Triumph Herald engine, it could hit 70mph on land and, of course, drive on water.

This one was actually once driven down the Thames during the Henley Royal Regatta, and is expected to fetch around £17,000.

All the cars will be sold at the Historics at Brooklands sale at Mercedes-Benz World, Surrey, on Saturday February 18.
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