To Jay Ohrberg (USA), a car is not something you simply get into and drive. It’s a fantasy made real. Jay’s a custom-car constructor par excellence, and has made a habit of pushing the boundaries of existing automotive technology and materials. As he says himself, “What better way to test innovative engineering features than through the design, development and construction of custom-built cars?”
A life-long mechanical tinkerer (and one-time Hollywood stuntman), Jay’s made a living from creating a super-realistic string of world-famous vehicles for movies and television. His CV is truly breathtaking: the famous vehicles he’s created to date include the souped-up DeLorean DMC-12 from Back to the Future (USA, 1985), and even Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. He also created “Kitt”, the high-spec, multifunctional car from 1980s hit TV series Knight Rider – and appeared in several episodes of the series.
Jay’s taken his extraordinary vehicles on tour to around 30 countries. You’ll find a selection of some of those other masterpieces here:
These days, you’ll come across many of Jay’s classic creations in the recently created Hollywood Cars Museum in Las Vegas, USA. Alongside countless other iconic movie vehicles, it houses five James Bond cars, including the memorable Lotus Esprit Submarine car from 1977’s The Spy Who Loved Me:
He’s also constructed around 500 experimental vehicles, including the Pink Panther’s Panthermobile and even a Piano Show Car (a mobile, fully playable, piano).
Oh, and along the way, he built a world-record limousine.
American Dream is a 100-ft (30.5-m) s-t-r-e-e-e-e-e-e-t-c-h limo adapted from two Cadillac cars. Completed in 1992, its super-length unsurprisingly earned it a Guinness World Record title for the Longest car. It has 26 wheels, two engines and can be set to be driven straight or to bend in the middle; it originally operated with two drivers, to help with reversing. Jay also packed the limo with a host of only-in-Hollywood indulgences, including a jacuzzi, water bed (king-sized, naturally), a helipad, a putting green and – of course – a swimming pool, complete with diving board:
Sadly, the limo fell into disrepair and now languishes in storage. But the Dream’s not over yet. In 2015, Jay launched a kickstarter project to try and raise enough cash to make an even longer limousine – this time, topping out at 110 ft (33 m). He estimated the cost at $200,000 and reckoned it would take around eight months to complete. It’s a long shot, but… watch this space!