“I really want to know what those guys smoked,” says a message from a reader named Nick, whose email – eloquently titled “uhhh what” – contains a link to one of the craziest (ish) car models, I’ve ever seen on Craigslist. It consists of a number of vehicle parts that are bolted, welded and probably taped together. Let’s see if you can guess which vehicles these parts are from.
I don’t have a full answer to this, although I know where some of the parts come from. But before I go into that, I’ll tell you about the short conversation with the seller Avrom, who lives in the tri-city region of the US state of Washington.
He said he picked up the vehicle on site because it looked like fun. “I had a lot of time in my hands. I wanted to get it back on the road, ”said Avrom. Ultimately, he has since given up the machine, which he says has a broken engine block because water gets into the engine and freezes. Still, he said to me, “There was no way to throw it away because it is.” He has two people who appear to be interested in buying the trike, which sells outside of Richland for $ 500.
I asked Avrom for some information on how the thing is put together. He said the drive of the vehicle is a Honda Gold Wing in the rear, although it should probably be replaced with another bike because the engine is cracked. “The front wheel forks on the Gold Wing have been removed and there is a pin where the forks hold them together,” he says of how the motorcycle is connected to the rest of the device.
All of the front suspension and steering is from a VW Beetle, and Avrom says the radiator, which comes from the Goldwing, is under the grille, which he says came from a Ford Ranger (though I think this is is not a Ranger grille – can you guess where it comes from?):
The craziest thing is the fact that everyone who built this tricycle decided to use a tailgate as a windshield. I have never seen anything like this and although the windshield is missing, this would not really be the safest vehicle since tailgate windows are not as safe as windshields.
I turned to reader Matthew Koppey, who works for high-tech electronics company Gentex, a company that makes electrochromic mirrors, digital displays, dimmable airplane windows, cameras, and the list goes on. Matthew knows everything about glass and I asked him to explain why you don’t want to use a tailgate as a windshield.
“Tailgate glass would not be a safe windshield, at least in terms of DOT certification,” he told me. “The rear window, side windows and sunroofs are usually (but not always) made of tempered glass. The stuff that bursts into millions of tiny pieces when it’s broken. “
“Basically, they bend thick glass into shape, then run it through an annealing oven where it gets hot, and then cool it down with blown air as quickly as possible. This compresses the outside of the glass while the inside is under tension. This increases the strength of the thin outer layer of glass when squeezed, but once you’re over, it releases all of the tension stored in the middle glass – hence the exploding shards of glass when you finally break through. “
Windshields are a little different.
“Windshields are made of laminated glass. These are usually two layers of approx. 2 mm thick glass with a layer of laminating material in between, “he explained. “The laminating material is almost always (polyvinyl butyral) (PVB), but it can also be (ethylene vinyl acetate) (EVA) or (thermoplastic polyurethane) (TPU). Think of them as hot glue sheets, although they are processed a little differently. “
“You make a sandwich that is made of glass hot glue glass. Then you throw this thing in an autoclave or oven so it gets hot enough to melt the adhesive and either suck the air out or squeeze the jar with the pressure in the autoclave. What is left is an optically clear laminated stack and the most important point in this foray. “
Koppey then discussed how windshields have to pass impact tests, which vary from region to region. “They usually drop a steel ball or arrow from a height of x meters above it. Object cannot penetrate,” he told me. “Laminating two pieces of glass together can break the outer glass (and even the inside) and absorb the energy of the impact while the lamination material prevents the projectile and glass fragments from flying in the vehicle. “
In the end, he summarized: “If you lift the rear window off a tailgate, which includes a windshield, you run the risk of stone, baseball, walnut, etc. breaking through and hitting your face at a speed of 100 km / h.”
The most important thing is that this “trike” with or without a windshield is absurd and unsafe, and the fact that someone – everyone – actually thought of buying it like this confuses me.
Let’s see if you can find out where the grille, seats and tailgate come from. Because I have no idea.