How much oddball can you squeeze into one car? We probably haven't reached the limit yet, but just after the turn of the 20th century a man did his best to find out. A wealthy Scottish engineer named Robert "Scotty" Nicholl Matthewson, living in Calcutta, bought a 30-horsepower Brooke sedan in 1910 England, and had a maker of steam-powereed fairground rides chisel a monumental and highly ornate wooden swan's body to cover the engine. Then he took it back to India.

He could win an award for weird right there, but that's only the beginning. In an era of awesomely expensive coachbuilt cars, a Brooke was more than thrice the cost of a Rolls-Royce. To make sure the Swan's other amenities befit the marque, Matthewson had a multi-note, exhaust-driven horn installed that he could play on a keyboard in the rear seat, but an even more startling way to clear the roads ahead was the swan's beak, which emitted a jet of scalding water onto anyone in the way. Other features: glowing eyes, Indian silk upholstery, plenty of gold leaf, brushes to keep the wheels clean while moving, and an "orifice" round back that would deposit whitewash on the roads. Because sometimes a swan's gotta go. The car was such a hit in town that it was bought by the Maharaja of Nabha, who had a miniature replica of it made called the Cygnet.

Jay Leno checked it out with Evert Louwman, the man who owns the museum in The Hague where the Brooke Swan Car is displayed, while at Pebble Beach. You can watch the story of it below.


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  • 16 Comments
      arenadood
      • 2 Years Ago
      I like the part that craps on the road, where can I get one to take care of tailgaters.
      Scott West
      • 2 Years Ago
      That looks like something Björk would drive.. Whilst wearing her swan dress, of course.
      • 2 Years Ago
      [blocked]
      zepeda1
      • 2 Years Ago
      It shoots scalding hot water out its beak?! How did this car not win Grand Prize!
      Gregory
      • 2 Years Ago
      Where's the 'donkey' car and the 'elephant' car for USA political party chiefs?
      SAAj
      • 2 Years Ago
      Sometimes it takes a boiling-water-spewing swan to help us appreciate just how far pedestrian safety standards have come in the past 112 years.
      chibblitz
      • 2 Years Ago
      That is one ugly mother fu*ken car, nasty as sh*t.
      musikhut
      • 2 Years Ago
      Been around cars most of my life and had never heard of these. What an absolutely NEAT pair of cars! I about fell out of my chair laughing when they described the telegraph system for communicating with the driver. I couldn't believe it when the guy said it weighed about 6400 lbs (about the same as an early H2 Hummer)! That's insane considering how small the car looked. On a side note, while these would have to get my vote for uniqueness, that Mercedes parked next to them has my heart. That thing is sheer beauty!
      dave and mary
      • 2 Years Ago
      Anyone with me on "who cares what Jay Leno is doing?"
        Arch
        • 2 Years Ago
        @dave and mary
        I care. He is a good guy and cares a lot about cars.
      T REXX
      • 2 Years Ago
      don't tell me he bought it....jay would buy a skateboard if it had a motor in it..or on it...lol
      Michael
      • 2 Years Ago
      Leno=least funny guy on TV. Major loser. Why does autoblog want to be his boyfriend?
      Thor
      • 2 Years Ago
      Is that Wayne Carini from Chasing Classic Cars in the passenger seat of the last pic?
        Jdsho
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Thor
        Yes, Wayne is all over Pebble Beach. Every year we see him hanging out :) He's a nice guy.
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