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ETpro's avatar

What's the oddest thing you have ever driven?

Asked by ETpro (34216 points ) November 11th, 2012

Perhaps the deeply compromised Morris Minor I had when I lived in England in the 1960s is my oddest ride. But I’ve also driven a forklift truck. I’ve driven both three and four-wheel street sweepers. I’ve driven one of those mobile air-conditioning trucks that goes out on airport tarmacs and cools airplanes parked without a connection to the terminal’s air conditioning system. Oh, and bumper cars were fun at the now demolished Ocean View Amusement Park. By the way, the clip was from a movie. The real Ocean View Rocket Roller-coaster never self destructed. It was torn down in the making of that 1979 movie.

But getting back to the question, has anyone driven a locomotive, a tractor, or a steamship? What’s the absolutely oddest thing you’ve driven?

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45 Answers

syz's avatar

A backhoe. We had an old, donated one that had no brakes – serious pucker power going down a hill and around a curve by the leopard enclosure!

When my sister worked in the Everglades, she drove a swamp buggy

(My dad has scary, scary stories about his old Rover, and our MG Midget spent more time in the shop than on the road – I’ll avoid English-made cars, thank you. Although I understand they make a decent bike)

ucme's avatar

When I was a kid I “drove” one of these crazy buggers.

Espiritus_Corvus's avatar

I had a little two toned, red&white 1960 Metro during my first year in Europe in 1982. It was great, especially when we were paying $4.50/gal. for gas in Sweden. Big change from the gas-guzzling, powder blue 1976 Caprice Classic convertible I had back in the states just a few months previously.

But for me the strangest thing I ever drove was a big Korean War surplus deuce-and-a-half filled with fish tanks (including the tropical fish and the water) through the streets of San Francisco. I was supposed to be a delivery driver, but I lied about my experience driving trucks. I was 18, had no experience in anything and really needed a job. I killed a lot of fish trying to shift up those hills and was fired within hours on the first day. The guy asked me if I could handle a “Live Load.” I thought he was talking about the fish. I still don’t know what a “Brodie” switch is.

ETpro's avatar

@syz A backhoe. How cool!

When I was in the UK, I bought the Morris Minor for the vast sum of £15 quid! It was the same color as the one shown here. But mine was fast turning rust brown and parts of the doors had rusted to the point they flapped in the wind as it went down the road. There was a hole in the floorboards you had to keep your feet clear of as you drove it. :D

@ucme Gee, that reminds me. I completely forgot the 125cc Honda I had in Los Angeles. I drove that to work most days for a year, commuting on those busy Freeways.

@Espiritus_Corvus Ah yes, I remember the Nash Metro. Motorized bath tubs, they were called. In the days of the Detroit dinosaurs and ever larger tail fins, they somehow failed to win a massive market.

Coloma's avatar

A wacky scooter in asia.
I was stylin’ with my dole hat and bag of black market fireworks and the cool “engrish” tee-shirt I found that said Expect party active lol
I have also driven a pony cart and a goat cart. Ponies pack more horsepower. ;-p

Coloma's avatar

I LOVE Nash Metropolitans, my classic dream car! I want to paint mine 2 tone cantelope orange and cream colored.:-D

dabbler's avatar

When I was kid my uncle let me drive his tractor in a field, in a straight line, for about thirty yards.

In college I was the passenger in a two-seater Cessna and the pilot, a fellow college student, let me fly it for a few minutes. Once again, though, in on a straight and level path, not too risky. It was apparently totally legal to turn the controls of a private aircraft over to an unlicensed person during flight, but a certified person has to do the take-off and landing.
Under his control we did a nice flyover of the seven-story building we lived in and I got a photo directly down the atrium. We were celebrities around the student housing for a minute or so.

jordym84's avatar

I once drove a golf cart (or a pargo, as we call them around here) and it had a whopping maximum speed of 12 mph. Unfortunately I lost control of it and drove it into a bunch of trees, but luckily no damage was done – thank goodness it was only 12 mph lol

Espiritus_Corvus's avatar

@Coloma @ETpro Yeah, that was my Donald Duck car.

dabbler's avatar

Oh yeah, as a student engineer I once drove a BART train (SF) (night instrumentation testing, no passengers) for a couple hundred yards. While it’s an impressive vehicle, driving it is pretty dull. No steering obviously, and propulsion is controlled by a joystick pushed or pulled to go/stop.

Sunny2's avatar

I drove a Lambretta motor scooter for 3 months around Europe – a great adventure!

Tropical_Willie's avatar

Whizzer motor bike in the 1950’s not old enough, oh well I did.

High lift fork lift, that you strapped into the cage and you and the forks went up 28 feet.

Crosley wagon 1952 (I think). No ignition switch just a toggle switch and push button for starter. Once again not old enough . . .

chyna's avatar

A four wheeler for children, last year. I couldn’t move my leg fast enough to hit the breaks because the steering wheel was in my knee cap. I wrecked into my nephews deck.

AmWiser's avatar

I use to be a whiz on a Unicycle (many, many, many, years ago).

Oop! reread the question…driving not riding. Please disregard.

filmfann's avatar

A few years ago, at the Napa Arts and Wine festival, I drove a Segway about. Very nice.

serenade's avatar

I once worked at a Napa winery that used a very old dump truck to take piles of grape stems from the winery proper to a compost pile out in the vineyard. So I got to dump those loads. I also got busted for driving it too fast on the winding, hilly, vineyard-lined single-lane dirt road that was the route to the compost pile. Yahoo!

creative1's avatar

My first car a 77 pinto it was so old that the floor in the backseat was only the rug and when the rug happened to rip one day on the way home from the store we lost a bottle of soda out the bottom. My friends and I still laugh at it so so so many years later. But I have to say some of my fondest memories was rocking to AC DC on our way to Hampton Beach.

Blondesjon's avatar

Cattle.

400 head black angus and 40+ head longhorns.

it never failed to be strange

dabbler's avatar

After high school, while I was working for the power company in Los Angeles (publicly owned, very well run, some of the lowest electricity rates in the country) I really really wanted to drive the straddle-crane that is used to pick up a large, several-ton, spool of electrical cable and put it onto the crew truck. I was (reasonably) not allowed to drive it due to lack of thorough training, but it was a kick just to watch it in operation.
It is a flamingo of a vehicle with four very tall legs and a powerful crane mounted at the top. The legs can be turned separately, so it can go straight, turn a corner, or turn in place, as needed.

You see similar, larger, straddle-cranes at container shipping docks.

WestRiverrat's avatar

A paddleboat ducky we made for the schools annual milk jug races. Floatation has to be provided by recycled milk containers, propulsion provided by human power.

Jack79's avatar

Nothing that fancy, a 3-wheeled small tractor in our vineyard, and the weirdest thing I’ve ridden was a kind of horse that belongs to an endangered sub-species.

wildpotato's avatar

I have driven a tractor with a tedding attachment. It was fun and very meditative, and a good way to learn how to drive a manual transmission vehicle.

I drove a Toolcat to pick up hay bales and stack them in the truck, and then in the barn, and also to do bunches of other stuff. Mostly water the cows in the upper field. Front-end loaders are such a blast – can’t wait to try a full Bobcat someday.

I have driven a jet boat that had a Chevy big block engine installed in it, like a 6 or 8 cylinder. Thing weighed as much as the boat itself did. That little Frankenboat could do like 65 mph. My buddy has a devil of a time finding parts to fix the thing, though.

ETpro's avatar

I knew I shouldn’t have asked this. I am soooo jealous of you guys. You’ve driven some truly neat stuff! Answers to each soon.

ETpro's avatar

@Coloma I would LOVE to have a Nash Rambler and would proudly drive it even if it was painted pu$$y pink.

@dabbler I never got to drive a tractor. :-( My grandma owned the farm right behind the place where I grew up, but she leased it to a tenant farmer who had the good sense to keep all the kids away from his farm machinery. I did get to fly a plane. Like you, just in a straight line and for a few miles halfway between the Santa Barbara Airport and the Channel Islands, well out over the Pacific. But the pilot (then my boss) wouldn’t let me touch the controls of his plane on landing or takeoff, so I never “drove” it, I just flew it.

A BART train. How cool is that? No, really… I don’t know.

@jordym84 You lost control at 12 MPH? Remind me not to let you near the controls of my car.

@Sunny2 Motor scooters are fun, aren’t they. Risky fun, but fun, nonetheless.

@Tropical_Willie Ah, the old Crosley Wagon. I remember those. When I was a kid, grandma had a car with one of those push-button starters. I think it was a 1947 Chevy.

@chyna Ha! You “driving” (wrecking) your nephew’s kiddie car would have made a great YouTube video.

@AmWiser Riding a unicycle is unusual enough to pass muster with me. It took “drive to learn how.

@filmfann Are Segways as much fun to drive as they seem?

@serenade I’m impressed that you managed to exceed the speed limit with such an old truck.

@creative1 Sounds like my old Morris Minor, only its hole was right under the driver’s feet.

@Blondesjon Wow! A heard of cattle. Yup, that’s “driving”.

@WestRiverrat Did you win the race?

@Jack79 A lawn tractor is cool. Even cooler is the rare horse. We already let @AmWiser slide on a ride, so you’re good.

@wildpotato A Toolcat? And a jet boat? I’d love to drive either… both.

@woodcutter Now that is one awesome vehicle. It deserves a long link. :D

augustlan's avatar

The vehicle itself isn’t that odd, but I’d never driven anything close to as big as this thing not that actual truck, but one like it, which was towing a 16 foot trailer loaded with one of these at the time, making it even bigger. I had to drive it a long way, on highways and tiny roads, and didn’t kill anyone. ;)

The weirdest thing I’ve ever ridden in was an old hearse. My mother had to drive one for a while when I was in high school her car died, we were poor, my grandfather sold limos and hearses, you do the math. Being regularly dropped off at school in a hearse was humiliating, at the time. Wish I could have embraced the cool factor!

ETpro's avatar

@augustlan That is assuredly like (or more) than driving a tractor-trailer truck. That was also a heavy load. Sad that you didn’t get a chance to drive the skip loader separately. And a hearse to boot. Very nice.

jordym84's avatar

@ETpro I just got really nervous because I wasn’t supposed to be driving it lol

WestRiverrat's avatar

@ETpro We didn’t sink.

ETpro's avatar

@jordym84 Yeah? Well, you’re not supposed to be driving my car either. Never mind that I don’t have a car right now. :D

@WestRiverrat In a race of boats fashioned from milk cartons, just not sinking is pretty darned close to a win.

Sunny2's avatar

I spent an afternoon tooling around town on a Segway. It was fun, but not particularly practical on bumpy roads or sidewalks. Big warehouses or long office corridors seem like more reasonable settings for them.

augustlan's avatar

Ooh, I forgot about the Segway! This old guy rides one around town, and he let me ride it on Halloween a few years ago. It was so much fun!

ETpro's avatar

@Sunny2 & @augustlan OK, you guys have sold me. There’s a Segway tour of Boston’s North End. When the weather gets decent in spring, I’ve got to go for a ride.

Sunny2's avatar

@ETpro May should be nice. Would post your route and reactions? I used to live in Boston and enjoy the thought of your excursion. Do not try to take it on cobblestones. I think it would stall.

ETpro's avatar

@Sunny2 I believe they have mapped the route pretty carefully to keep the vehicles on even pavement.

filmfann's avatar

The Segways are a lot of fun. When i drove it, they had a little course coned off, and I went through it forwards and backwards. It amazes me those things can do what they do.

JenniferP's avatar

When I was a teenager I taught myself to ride a unicycle. I rode it around my neighborhood.

ETpro's avatar

@JenniferP Extremely cool.

JenniferP's avatar

I haven’t rode it in a long time. I probably forgot how.

woodcutter's avatar

When we were kids my oldest sister got a unicycle. It came with two poles for balance during the learning curve. I always thought it an odd choice for something to ride. But there she was, going down the road arms flailing all over as far as a half mile away. I could just imagine what people in passing cars were thinking.

JenniferP's avatar

That’s one of the reasons I gave it up. I felt foolish riding it around. Not so much as a teenager out in the country but when I was an adult in the city I felt dumb.

ETpro's avatar

@woodcutter & @JenniferP It’s certainly not what I’d choose for Boston traffic.

woodcutter's avatar

I was actually impressed with her determination in learning how to use it. After a couple falls on my butt I would have been wanting away from that thing. But back in the day she had more padding back there than I had.

ETpro's avatar

A scientist from Taiwan has a great entry. He drives NASA’s Curiosity rover on the surface of Mars.

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