The Horseless Carriage, pictured below with the Bay Bridge, is currently on display at the Murphy Auto Museum, promoting the Ventura Kinetic Sculpture Race.
I had conceived of the idea for Horseless Carriage 2.0 shortly following my first Kinetic Race in Eureka. ATV tires are not well suited for such an extremely long course, so I began thinking about what wheels would be good for long road distances - and be something I hadn't already seen. I also decided to leverage my extensive wood working experience for this vehicle.
It took about 2 years to complete the vehicle (over a 3 year period due to the 'distraction' of my fire zoetrope "When Dove's Fry").
In October 2012, the Horseless Carriage finally ACED a kinetic race, the 15th Ventura Kinetic Race - and was also awarded First Place Art and Spectator's Choice! The ACE came with some difficulty. The steel ribs on the latest sand tread design buckled under the weight of the vehicle. However, these rubber and steel treads would not crumble, and with the assistance of the pit crew we were able to complete the sand portion of the race. The vehicle's first run in the mud was an incredible success, utilizing large rope wrapped around the drive wheels as cleets.
Horseless Carriage 2.0 was first raced in Eureka in 2010 prior to the addition of the canopy top. Many problems prevented our ACE and we towed most of the course. Main drive chain was constantly being thrown off, including 3 times in the water!! We opted to be towed at that point. The riding geometry was also 'too recumbent' and we would lose feeling in our legs. The front axle needed redesign, too, since it bent several times before the race even began!When attempting the sand, the suspension design allowed the rear axle to pull forward enough to apply the brakes = we couldn't go anywhere. I had a year of re-engineering to do...
I mounted my fire-breathing zoetrope "When Dove's Fry" atop Horseless Carriage 2.0 for Burning Man 2010. I did not bring my sand treads, which turned out to be problematic as can be seen in the photo. I also participated (as much I could, without sand treads) with the feature camp Kinetic Cab Company.
In 2011 I took the Horseless Carriage up to the Eureka Kinetic Grand Championship again. This time, with dozen's of engineering improvements, it performed well - until the sand treads fell apart about 1/2 way through the day 1 beach ride. Dissappointed, and for logistical reasons, we trailered to the finish line and didn't attempt the water portion of the course. In the lower right photo (courtesy of Tina Kerrigan), the left rear sand tread had busted apart and the wheel sand deep in the sand. The other rear sand tread failed shortly later. The front treads survived and showed no signs of fatigue.