Sometimes, a simple manual lever just doesn't cut it.

You might be familiar with a well-known phrase that says necessity is the mother of invention. Laws necessitate that automobiles must have some kind of handbrake – whether it's called a parking brake or an emergency brake – and it's often a simple, manually actuated handle located in a vehicle's center console. Pulling up the handle operates a cable that activates the rear brakes, thus holding the rear wheels in place.

That said, creativity is the father of invention, and for reasons that sometimes aren't clear, designers will ditch the simple method of handbrake functionality. The persistent march of technology means we're seeing more electronic handbrakes these days, but whether it's innovative, or clever, or just plain crazy, there plenty of vehicles that nix the simple handbrake concept for something different.

This slideshow takes a look at some specific vehicles with out-of-the-ordinary handbrakes, but it also showcases styles and locations that appear on many other models. With that said, jump into the slideshow to see some familiar and unfamiliar ways in which automakers keep cars from moving.