Sunday, May 9, 2010

Automotive imagination!

I'm amused and impressed to read of one man's dedication to building his own fleet of street-legal 'bumper cars'.

Benchrace e-zine reports that the owner, Tom Wright, has built seven so far, all powered by 500cc. or 750cc. motorcycle liquid-cooled engines with six-speed gearboxes.

Chassis and bodies are all home-made.

Jalopnik reports:

Yes, you read that right, these little beasties are street legal. They run on either Kawasaki or Honda motorcycle engines and co-opt vintage bumper car bodies into the most awesome form of mini-car we've seen in too long. There's seven of these little monsters floating around California, and they're all the creation of one man, Tom Wright, a builder in the outskirts of San Diego who figured the leftovers of the Long Beach Pike amusement park needed a more dignified end than the trash heap.

They were originally powered by Harley motors but they rattled like hell and Tom replace them with Honda or Kawasaki 750's and a couple have been measured as capable of 160 MPH, which is terrifyingly fast in machines with such a short wheelbase. Doesn't mean we would totally rock one should the opportunity present itself.

There's more at the link, including larger photographs.

Congratulations to Mr. Wright for his vision and enthusiasm. I hope I get to see these in the flesh sometime!


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