Forget Ferraris And Koenigseggs – The Lunar Roving Vehicle Was The Most Expensive Car Ever

By on December 26, 2015 in ArticlesCelebrity Cars

When you think of the most expensive car in the world, what comes to mind? Over the years, many vehicles have been able to claim this title, which most recently belongs to the Koenigsegg CCXR Trevita. At an amazing $4.8 million, the most expensive car in the world is even owned by who else, but Floyd "Money" Mayweather.  In reality, the most expensive car ever produced was a limited production, four-wheel drive, electrically powered off-road vehicle which was actually used out of this world.

That "car" is the Lunar Roving Vehicle, which was used for the final three Apollo missions to the Moon (15, 16, and 17) in 1971 and 1972. The LRV was extremely limited, with only four examples produced. This "moon buggy" was definitely made for functionality and not for speed. The Lunar Roving Vehicle had a stop speed of about 8 miles per hour, although astronaut Eugene Cernan was able to get it up to about 11 mph, which set the unofficial lunar land speed record.

NASA/Central Press/Getty Images

NASA/Central Press/Getty Images

The LRV contained front and rear facing cameras and utilized satellite communication technology. The car did not have a steering wheel, just a hand controller, or joystick. The Rover was very light – it weighed just 450 pounds without a driver. Boeing assisted with the design and helped make the LRV out of the most lightweight materials available at the time. The Lunar Roving Vehicle spent 17 months in the design and development phase, and needed to be able to handle the physical stresses of driving on the rough and rocky surfaces of the moon. The LRV was necessary, because it could travel further than astronauts could as they "bounce around" on the moon's surface.

Only three of these bad boys were actually used on lunar missions, the fourth was strictly used for spare parts. Each wheel of the LRV had its own electric motor and the vehicle featured two non-rechargeable 36-volt batteries, which enabled it to travel up to 56 miles. The LRV was strong enough to carry more than twice its weight and came equipped with a navigation gyroscope, a hand-brake, and a television camera that was remotely operated by Mission Control. Astronauts described the Lunar Roving Vehicle as driving relatively well for a bouncy ride.

The Lunar Roving Vehicle is the most expensive car in the universe and cost NASA $38 million to develop, which is equal to about $225 million today. The next time you want to impress someone with your super expensive luxury cars, like the Bugatti Veyron, Lykan HyperSport, or LaFerrari, you might want to find out what happened to these vehicles and see if you can get your hands on one.

Articles Written by B. George Young
B. George Young is a freelance writer who was born and raised in Phoenix, Arizona. He graduated from the University of Northern Arizona with a degree in humanities. George is an amateur DJ who spends lots of time watching sports. Follow him on Twitter.
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