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STEVE: Our client came to us with a problem. They
said, 'We’ve got two school busses but only one parking space. Can you help us?' We were
like, 'yes, we can.'
COMM: This topsy-turvy school bus is the handiwork
of art car fabricators ‘The Mutant Brothers’.
TOM: It’s 24 feet long and it’s 13 feet
1 inch high. And it’s 14,700 pounds.
TOM: I’d say right now the top speed is
about 50. But…
STEVE: Ooh, boy, that’s downhill with a
tail weight.
COMM: It was a commission from environmental
agency Hazon. It runs on bio-diesel, has a solar panel array, and is used as a mobile
classroom.
COMM: It started as two individual school
busses, and the build posed a few problems.
STEVE: You figure alright we will take 2 school
busses, cut the roof off of both of them, unbolt one of them from the frame, turn it
upside down and put it on top of the other one. And that sounds great until you actually
have to do that. And then you start thinking well how do you turn a school bus upside down.
So we had to make our own rotisserie. We got a big massive piece of pipe and we bolted
some huge pieces of bigger pieces of pipe in the school bus, and then ran this pipe
right the way down the centre, made some stands. We would then pull the whole thing up into
the air with block and tackle with chain falls in each corner, pull the whole thing up into
the air, then put these big stands at each end of this piece of pipe, and then lower
it down onto the stands, and then we could spin the entire bus.
TOM: Scariest thing I have ever done at work.
STEVE: It’s pretty nerve racking.
TOM: It was.
COMM: As unique as it might look this is actually
the second topsy-turvy bus that’s been built.
STEVE: The topsy-turvy bus was originally
the idea of Ben Cohen from Ben and Jerry’s ice-cream, and he wanted something that would
protest government spending, saying it was upside down. And so he had this artist, Tom
Kennedy, in California build the original topsy-turvy bus. It ended up in the hands
of this environmental organisation called Hazon, and they get such a fantastic reaction
from it that they decided they wanted another one. Unfortunately, Tom Kennedy was killed
in a surfing accident, so he was unable obviously to build it so they found us, The Mutant Brothers.
And got in touch, and we are like ‘Sure, we can build that’.
TOM: People at first just think it’s just
a bus but then they see the hood and the tyres up in the air and they are like, ‘What the
heck is that?’ And you get that a lot, it’s like people will say, ‘Well, what is it?
You know, what’s it for?
STEVE: I often wonder what it is that people
say when they go home after seeing one of these vehicles. You just know they are going
to go home and say to their wife or their husband or the family, whoever, ‘You will
never guess what I saw today.’ And I’d love to know what it is they, how they describe
it. Almost from the get-go, I think, we started talking about what next, and we love it when
people stop by, and they have ideas, and they tell us, ‘Oh you know what you should build,
you should build a huge watermelon car,’ or whatever it is.
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Topsy Turvy Bus: 'The Mutant Brothers' Build Wacky Upside-Down Vehicle

152 Folder Collection
rihrong published on September 6, 2017
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