Monday, July 2, 2012

New uses for old bumper cars!

My delightful friend, Jill Jackson, who's a great fan of my book, sent me this email and I was blown away by the creativity therein!  While on the Road Trip, I took a number of photos of old bumper cars, always wondering where the retired ones went.  To the trash heap?  To the park's museum (only a few parks actually have museums.  Arnolds Park and Knoebels come to mind; Coney Island has a museum but I don't know if they'd have the space for ride vehicles).

Anyway - I've never copied an email into a blog post, but I couldn't pass this one up.  Kudos to the brilliant Tom Wright who found a wonderful way to repurpose these vintage beauties.  Enjoy!

The ones in Coney Island and Rockaway Park back in the 20’s thru to the 50;s ran on electric . Had a pole on the back going to a metal electrical charged overhead plate.

Remember driving the bumper cars at amusement parks or
a fair, don't you? They were so much fun.
 Well, now what do you do with old Bumper Cars? (and check out the license plates!) 


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 are 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 two cylinder Harley Davidson
Motorcycle engines but they rattled like heck because of the two cylinder
 vibration and Tom replaces them with four cylinder 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.
By the way, they are almost indestructible in accidents!

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