We Can’t Believe These Cars Are Street Legal
Car manufacturers are always coming up with great ideas to innovate. Needless to say, these innovations sometimes make for some unusual creations that can, at times, run afoul of the law but occasionally slip through the cracks and make their way onto our streets. Let’s take a look at some of favorite street legal creations - aka fast cars that just make the cut as ‘street legal’ or just safe enough to drive on the same roads as us mere mortals.
When a car is described as street legal, every motoring enthusiast worth their road salt knows it is talking about a car that is allowed to be driven on the streets and highways of one’s locality. But in order to understand the beauty of the legal, we must first dive into the murky and savage world of the illegal.
The standards deeming a car ‘illegal’ may vary, but more often than not – as seen in this list – the reasons have to do with safety -- namely that a certain car doesn’t meet one or more safety criteria. Cars of this genre are usually European, where a few of the safety standards don’t meet the NHTSA’s requirements - which makes for real roadside entertainment if you find yourself near Sunset or Santa Monica Boulevard any time of day or night in LA, where theTUNDRA calls home.
5 – Polaris Slingshot SLR
When considering automobile safety, which, we assume, normally one does not, imagine a car that’s missing a wheel, has no roof, no doors, and no real windshield – this is exactly what the Slingshot is; it’s a three-wheeled little convertible with a top speed of 125 mph, and a turn radius that makes motorcycles blush. We’re not entirely sure why this car is legal, but it makes us feel alive and we are so here for it.
4 – Bugatti Chiron Super Sport
The Chiron is the current record holder for fastest production car in the world. On a straight this puppy can rocket you into a 2001: Space Odyssey-like psychedelic trip at 304mph. To put that into perspective a fully loaded Boeing 777 jet liner can take off into the air, and into the actual stratosphere, at 180 mph. So if you have $3 million lying around you can go twice as fast and never leave the ground! And that’s legal for some reason, and we want more.
3 – Mercedes-Benz F 015
Have you ever wondered what a car that looked like if it were the third member of Daft Punk? If you check ‘YES’ then boy does Mercedes-Benz have the car for you! This car doesn’t have a steering wheel, or what one would traditionally call windows because all the passengers face one another, and the car drives itself. And you’d be forgiven for thinking that this is the very latest in cutting edge, but this thing has been around since 2015, and it’s legal and we welcome it as our new chrome overlord.
2 – Porsche 911 GT3 RS
We’re already on the record as being huge fans of Porsche, so it should come as no surprise that a Porsche is making this list. But, we wanted to take a slightly different view of the brand. This time we want to point out just how loud this particular model is. Coming in at 108 dBA at full throttle this car can honestly cause some hearing damage. But you know what, it’s legal and it is beautiful.
1 – Peel P50*
And finally, with an asterisk, this amazing little firebrand of a car - the P50 is still road legal in the UK only (hence the asterisk). But we cannot resist the irresponsibly teeny tiny allure of this automotive tour de force. With a top speed of 38 mph, a maximum capacity of one, only one headlight, and tires that look like they might be too small for a baby carriage we are obsessed with it, and will start a lobby to make legal in the U.S. Just think of how much winning you could do at an Ikea parking lot with this!
Coming Monday: Five best U.S. cities for Street Takeovers – the Where and the Why
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