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From Historic Trains to Glittery Trucks, NYC's Wackiest Wheels

There's something in the way they move—these nine curious vehicles would catch the eye of even the most jaded New Yorker. Cruising the boroughs, or sitting stagnant underneath Manhattan, these bizarre cars and trains do all the same things normal cars do, except stranger. From taking you back in time to giving you a paternity test to being perhaps the most pimped out ice-cream truck of all time, these wonderful modes of transportation have made quite the reputation for themselves.

The Freight Cars of Track 61
In the belly of Grand Central Station lies Track 61, a decommissioned freight line converted into President Roosevelt's private entrance to the Waldorf Astoria. Far below where the public is allowed to roam (or can easily wander), today it is kept open in case the president ever needs an escape route.

Lost Horizons Night Market
There's a caravan of rented mover's trucks full of Burning Man-esq Bacchanalia roaming Brooklyn's streets after dark. This secret nocturnal art carnival doesn't publicly announce its whereabouts (their website features a picture of several parked UHauls and the message "The Lost Horizon Night Market does not have a mailing list"), and the last report of its existence happened in a Times piece back in 2011. The mystery makes it all the more strange to come upon on a side street late at night.

Brooklyn's Knife Grinding Trucks
At a time, knife grinding trucks were a common occurrence in city streets. Today, much less so. Dominic Del Re's grinding truck and Bob's grinding service are perhaps the last of their kind, perusing city streets (mainly in Brooklyn, although they've been spotted all around the city), refusing to make appointments but going about their business the old fashioned way.

Who's Your Daddy Paternity Test Truck
Finally, a mobile DNA-testing truck delivering paternity tests in a New York minute. This roving vehicle was created by Health Street, the testing company, and drives around Brooklyn answering the question, "who is your daddy?" Although there's no available schedule for the truck, Health Street also offers scheduled paternity testing at their sedentary office.

Park Slope Ghostbusters Car
A Park Slope mainstay often parked outside the Pavillion Theater, this redone exterminator vehicle has allegedly been roaming Brooklyn since the mid-80s. Some say the owner also owns an ambulance. Upon calling the phone number taped to the back window of the car, seeking further information, a very confused Spanish-speaking woman picked up and promptly hung up. Who ya gonna call?

Ride Or Die Ice Cream Truck
Coated in pink rhinestones with two cartoon drivers pasted to the front windshield, there is a severely pimped out ice cream truck roving Williamsburg. Pictured above parked in front of a local nightclub, the vehicle gave no explanation of its strangeness besides tens of calling cards in its side window picturing a bunny with a pink stripe painted across its face wearing a black t-shirt reading RIDE OR DIE. As it turns out, the truck is the main transport of New York-based dance-punk band HEARTSREVOLUTION. In one interview, band member Ben Pollock said of how fellow band member "Leila had made an ice cream truck, and she asked me to make music for it, so I made eleven songs just to play out of the ice cream truck speaker." Unlike the band's hit Not Hard to Explain, this roving bedazzled oddity merits quite a lot of back story and second looks.

Nostalgia Train
Time traveling on the F line has never been so easy! The Nostalgia Train runs annually during the winter holidays, a full 10 car train, typically on the F track, full of long out of service cars from New York's past. It's a century of underground travel, old advertisements simultaneously selling you World's Fair tickets and warning you of the dangers of communism. It's so many New Yorks crammed into one antiquated train. Dates haven't yet been released for the 2014 nostalgia train rides, but they're usually held in December.

A Mobile Public Trailer Park
Thanks to artist Kim Holleman, there's a public park roaming Brooklyn. A small trailer stuffed with rocks, plants, dirt, and other greenery Brooklynites are hard pressed to find outside of Prospect Park, this installment in Holleman's roving Brooklyn Utopias: Farm City exhibition may just end up in your neighborhood one morning – who knows where it will grow? Most recently it was hosted by the New Museum and will be showing in 2014 in the World Maker Faire at the New York Hall of Science.

The Rent is Too Damn High Car
Failed mayoral and presidential candidate Jimmy McMillan is most memorable for his outrageous facial hair, his catchy theme songs, and his car, which serves as home, office, and campaign. Emblazoned with the motto of his one-man, single-platform party, The Rent Is Too Damn High, this rent-free vehicle has helped McMillan achieve national fame, if not the presidency.
—Hannah Frisberg