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Update From LeMons Arse-Freeze-apalooza: Tech Inspection Cleared, Insanity Begins Tomorrow! I wonder what you're supposed to do if you meet a train when driving one of these things, especially the ones without a highway option.
These are usually in the parking lot of every greasy-spoon diner at any meal-time around here. Speaking of interesting rail stock, at the Nevada Northern Railroad Museum yard in Ely, Nevada, I saw a Ford flathead V8 powered railcar, I think it carried six passengers in an enclosed cab. After the Zombie-pocalypse, I am going to make my living turning surviving vehicles into these.
I live a couple hundred yards from a very busy set of tracks- Amtrak's southernmost leg of the NW Corridor passes by 4x daily, as well tons of commercial traffic. Considering the modern equivalent to many of the cars shown above would be a Rolls Royce or a Bentley, I wonder if the salesperson at a Bentley dealership would balk at a request to equip a car for rail use. You know the one, somewhere right between a duct-taped kludge job and the most confusing, over-engineered solution BMW has hidden behind a dashboard. The first person to make a system like this that can work efficiently will be rich beyond their wildest dreams, mark my words.

I had a '74 Honda Civic, and used to scare my girlfriend on Market Street in San Francisco by riding the muni rails and letting go of the steering wheel. I think I saw an article somewhere about a VW bus conversion like this, and even that was pretty cool.
All I can think is that these vehicles seem to embody the spirit of the Hooniverse pretty darn well.
There is a Packard in there, several Buicks, a few Cadillacs; I know it’s hard to believe now, but back when these cars were new, those were considered high-end and luxurious cars!
Imagine, sitting in a large vintage luxury car that’s capable of speeds in excess of 70 mph on the rails.
I'm quite used to pickups and the occasional crane or cherry picker, but something about a schoolbus-yellow box truck chugging down the rails struck me as both awesome and a little sketchy.
Now the rationale for turning large luxury cars into work vehicles like that is actually fairly obvious.
It would require virtually no input from the driver other than to push on the throttle, and knowing that, I would not be surprised if some sort of locking throttle mechanism was installed. In Colorado, starting in the thirties, the Rio Grande Southern built the Galloping Geese to replace steam trains on their narrow gauge line.

In the early days of motoring, from the 1930s up until the 1950s, there simply weren’t the heavy-duty trucks available like there are now.
You had the option of a large truck, like a Freightliner or a Kenworth today, or if that wouldn’t do, you modified a luxury car. The Cadillacs and Packards of the world were the vehicle of choice because the same features that made them luxurious for wealthy passengers also made them heavy-duty enough to take on work duties. Instead of all the hassle of an airline, or all the potentially-fatal diseases of a Greyhound bus, you could take a private luxury car at high speeds across the country without having to worry about accidents or injuries, or fatigue from driving. It is for this reason that Cadillacs were so often used as ambulances, hearses and delivery vehicles.

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