Catmobiles

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Catmobiles

A Catmobile can't be far behind this fleeing trout bike at the Burning Man festival.

AP Photo/Debra Reid

And now, from a cupcake to a real cool cat. Make that a cool cat-egory. If you thought there were an awful lot of versions of the Batmobile over the years, you'd better brace yourself: we found a claw-full of Catmobiles in our search for strange steeds.

Cars shaped like Cheshire cats, cat convertibles, a cat-shaped bus -- the Strange-O-Meter placed this litter of kitty cars in a statistical dead heat in terms of strange factor.

Perhaps not surprisingly, more than a few cat coaches are attendees of Burning Man, the annual festival of creative self-expression held each year in the Black Rock Desert of Nevada.

According to the rules of Burning Man, motorized vehicles that are used primarily for hauling people around are mostly forbidden -- they go against the spirit of the event; and besides, they cause too many accidents. But slow-moving art cars, also called "mutant vehicles," are allowed upon receiving official approval from Burning Man brass (specifically, its Department of Mutant Vehicles, or DMV) [source: Burning Man].

We're glad for the speed and design restrictions placed on these vehicular critters. From the looks of some of them, these are fragile felines, and to have one involved in an accident would be simply catastrophic.

Our next strange vehicle also turns heads wherever it goes. And while it does float, it's certainly no parade float. Learn more on the next page.

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