Wednesday, June 11, 2014

A 50's bumper car revival for towncar use

With vanity license plates that read DMV OK, HOT IDEA, IS 2 LEGL, NOBUMPN, IBBUMPN, and etc., these fun house rides are one of the best ways to bring a custom green ride to reality. Image Credit: Tom Wright via email

 A 50's bumper car revival for towncar use

Nostalgia, art, and recycling combine in an efficient use of energy and resources to just get around ... locally.

Take a hulk of an electric-powered amusement park and traveling carnival bumper car and turn it into a head-turning conversation piece that can get one easily around for local errands in an artistic style that is more fun than a Smart car, mo-ped scooter, bicycle, or ... skateboard.

A man in San Diego got an idea to revive bumper car hulk bodies originally from a ride that use to operate at the infamous Long Beach PIKE Amusement Park and have them become motorized transportation on the go.

With how well this concept turns out, it is amazing that more folks and/or enterprises do not jump in and make more of these personal, recycled, and efficient towncars for local jumps and errands (more photos). Image Credit: Click Orlando

This excerpted and edited from Click Orlando -

Old bumper cars turned into street-legal beauties
San Diego man working on 10th project

Click Orlando Author: Patrick Santomauro - May 06 2014 08:27:51 AM EDT

For the past 15 years, San Diegan Tom Wright has turned old bumper cars into street-legal vehicles capable of driving alongside normal cars and SUVs on the highway.

Wright's original plan was to remodel one bumper car and put it in the middle of a room in his San Diego home as a piece of art. However, the rush and enjoyment he gained from the work was too much to stop.

"It's a fun hobby that got a little bit out of control," Wright told KFMB-TV.


Fifteen years later, Wright has fixed up nine bumper cars and is working on his 10th project.

Wright turned his first bumper car into a 1950s yellow hot rod with flames and chrome finish. He has since created several themed bumper cars, including a police car, a woody wagon and a military car with a survival knife as a gear shift and a machine gun hood ornament.

Wright's current project is a taxi-themed bumper car with an early-1900s meter.

The street-legal bumper cars are powered with Yamaha and Kawasaki engines, enabling Wright to drive up to 50-60 miles per hour. One of Wright's cars reached 132 miles per hour on a dynamometer. However, Wright prefers to drive much slower.

"Anything over 50 is beyond scary," Wright told San Diego's KFMB 8-TV.

Wright has received multiple offers to buy his bumper cars. However, he says he has no plans to sell them.

"Got too many hours and busted knuckles putting them together," Wright said. "It's a full-time job keeping them running but that's my hobby. In retirement, that's what I'll do -- keep them running."
[Reference Here]

The first one he created was powered by beefy and vibration-heavy two cylinder Harley Davidson Motorcycle engine. As time went on, Wright saw fit to replace the great sound in favor of smooth running four cylinder Honda or Kawasaki 750cc engine ... and a couple have been measured as capable of 160 MPH, which is terrifyingly fast in machines with such a short wheelbase.

If anyone in the Southern California area would like to see Tom's recycled and converted bumper cars, he will be taking all of them on the road July 4th, 2014. They'll be the featured attraction in Escondido near the corner of Broadway and Grand from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.

"Outta' My Way ... I'm Comin' Through"!

... notes from The EDJE

No comments: