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In photos: The weird and wonderful of the L.A. Auto Show

Major car shows are all about the big reveal; new models soon to roll into showrooms or concepts that telegraph where auto makers hope to go. The Los Angeles Auto Show, which is currently underway, is no different but there’s a lot of interesting, often oddball stuff waiting to be discovered outside the big exhibition hall. Here’s just a sample of the weird and wonderful.

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Divergent3D You’re looking at the skeleton of a car produced entirely by 3D printing. Divergent3D recently signed a partnership agreement with PSA Group (Peugeot, Citroen) to use the LA-based company’s technology. They also displayed a 3D-printed motorcycle at the show.

Steve Mertl/The Globe and Mail

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Zelectric Motors Porsche 911 You’ve made a commitment to electric cars, but you want a classic to park beside your Tesla? Zelectric Motors of San Diego will convert any air-cooled Volkswagen or Porsche, like this 1960s 911 Targa, with lithium batteries and modern electric-drive components. It promises range up to 160 kilometres on a charge and a top speed of 160 km/h.

Steve Mertl/The Globe and Mail

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USSV Rhino XT If you want your SUV to stand out from the ones your neighbours have, a U.S. Specialty Vehicles Rhino is for you. It’s built in Rancho Cucamonga, Calif., with reinforced body panels and frame and, in the four-door GX, a roll cage. Rhinos appear designed to survive in a post-apocalyptic dystopia. The two-door XT starts at nearly $77,000 US, the GX at $194,000, aimed at senior executives for whom the Mercedes G-Class is not butch enough.

Steve Mertl/The Globe and Mail

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USSV Rhino XT Rhinos appear designed to survive in a post-apocalyptic dystopia. The two-door XT starts at nearly $77,000 US, the GX at $194,000, aimed at senior executives for whom the Mercedes G-Class is not butch enough.

Steve Mertl/The Globe and Mail

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BAC Mono The British-built Mono is touted as a road-legal Formula-level racing car. Its 305-horsepower four-cylinder motor, mounted racing-style behind the driver, has to move a car weighing less than 600 kg. While it can be licensed for the street, it’s likely to be used as a track-day toy. The display model belongs to Canadian music star Deadmau5. The price: $225,000 U.S.

Steve Mertl/The Globe and Mail

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Polaris Slingshot SLR If you can’t afford a Mono, the Slingshot, which starts at $26,999 and ranges up to about $32,499 for this top-line SLR, can give similar thrills. It’s a three-wheeler weighing less than 800 kg, with a 173-hp car engine mounted up front. They come only with manual transmissions. And unlike the Mono, you can share your thrills with a friend.

Steve Mertl/The Globe and Mail

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Porsche 919 Hybrid Lego Grown-up gear-heads love building Lego versions of their favourite cars, so this Porsche 919 Hybrid racer half covered in Lego blocks seems like a natural cross-promotion.

Steve Mertl/The Globe and Mail

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Forgiato Havoc 1 Even if you’re not into bikes you can’t help but admire the Forgiato Havoc 1, a custom ride that showcases the California wheel-maker’s Il Moto line of motorbike rims. The icing on this metal cake is its Porsche/Harley Davidson V-Rod engine, a product of a brief partnership between Harley and Porsche’s engineering division.

Steve Mertl/The Globe and Mail

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Pink Panthermobile This strange vehicle was built for the opening of NBC TV’s Pink Panther cartoon show, which ran from 1969 to 1976. It was designed by Ed “Newt” Newton and customizer Dan Wood and built on an Oldsmobile Toronado. Pink shag reclining seats, a bar, clam-shell doors and a necessary backup camera were among the many features of this $100,000 U.S. custom car.

Steve Mertl/The Globe and Mail

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1962 Ghia Coupe Carrozzeria Ghia is a legendary Italian auto designer and custom coachbuilder celebrating its centennial in 2016. Lucille Ball, Frank Sinatra and Peter Lawford owned one of these, built with Chrysler mechanicals including a 383 cubic-inch hemi V-8.

Steve Mertl/The Globe and Mail

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1957 Chevrolet Bel Air low-rider No L.A. Auto Show would be complete without a few slammed pieces of vintage American iron and this Bel Air stood out for it’s impressive detailing. The chromed engine bay features laser-etched images of a young woman on the V-8‘s valve covers, but the air-spring system in the trunk tops it for eye candy. This is capital-C Custom.

Steve Mertl/The Globe and Mail

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