Instructables
Picture of The Golden Zeppelini, art on wheels
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Please vote for me above left for the LED contest I entered!

"The Golden Zeppelini" a 1930's Zeppelin commissioned by Mussolini for the Italian war effort. I discovered this rare vehicle with help from the great granddaughter of Rommel. My team and I built it in my shop "Form & Reform" in West Oakland. This is how you can make your story into reality.

Following is the basic process by which we built this amazing vehicle. This is meant as a process guide for building any kind of wheelchair based vehicle and as a loose guide for building this one. There are far too many details in this project and each step could be broken into many different standalone Instructables. I hope by posting this you gather your own team and make your own dream car together. The sum of the parts makes wonderful things!

For more info see: Zeppelini
Other builds
The Golden Mean a Giant Iron Snail Car
Electrobite

There is now a fan club for the Golden Mean on Facebook
Keep track of the Boiler Bar events and news there
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My blog:
Oilpunk

 
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Step 1: Wheelchair Base

Picture of Wheelchair Base
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This is the 3rd wheelchair I have done and I love how much time I spend on the art part and how little time I need to work on motors, steering linkages, drive trains and general mechanics of a full car build.

After Building the Electrobite I was contacted by a few people that wanted to give us wheelchairs for future projects. Larry was nice enough to give me Quickie and help me out with some spare parts and programmers.

I checked out craigslist and found quite a few late models for under $500.
Make sure the batteries are good and everything works before purchasing.

Make sure to get the heavy duty ones. Most of these will hold 300-400 lbs. total including your chair. Keep this weight in mind as you design and build your vehicle. Dressed I'm 200 lb., plus the traction/batteries at 75 lb. meant I had to keep my shell weight under 125 lb.

Once you get it back to the work shop use it, play on it, take it to a party and drive it around the neighborhood. You will have a much better idea of what needs to be fixed, its range, how to drive and a very small appreciation for what it’s like to need one of these every day! It's quite an eye opener for how differently people treated me in one, even close friends.
 
I love it!!!
nireves12 years ago
very nice!
where do you get your wheelchairs?
dhardigree2 years ago
yeah, I had to say this.its a LED Zeppelin. ha
ilpug3 years ago
I saw this at maker faire last month! it was amazing, although i didnt get to see it running. great idea, process, and result.
wobbler3 years ago
The future of personal transport has arrived!
godscountry3 years ago
adapt a scooter driveline,check out this scooter/ google it / Fantastic Vetter Torpedo / designed and built by Craig Vetter // love the vehicle,great job
danstax4 years ago
This is the best Instructable I have seen. Everything from the design, planning, execution, documentation and finished product are truly impressive. The only thing that could make this better would be a picture of me driving it. Your copious pictures were extremely helpful to understand just how demanding a job like this is. You have a tremendous crew to be able to put together something that looks this good, and works. My tophat off to you! Also, a patch to you. And when will we see this model at the dealership?
agis684 years ago
EXCELLENT JOB! Well Done!

Just one observation note: At rear wheel you should add some kind of suspension or spring because it hears like a huge can when it fells back...

Another is the wind screen to protect the driver....


But i liked too much...how much did cost all the project?
Yes I remember seeing it drive by a few times while I was out there. Truly an amazing piece of work.
Thanks Lance
xtianman4 years ago
Unbelievable! One of the most inspiring things I have ever seen. I can't believe you made this in only 29 days. Wonderful! What more can I say? 
king_zilla4 years ago
Now the only thing that could make this better would be to, 1. Add solar panels, and 2. Take it to burning man.

In that order =]
Culturespy4 years ago
Ha! First comment! Once again mind blowingly awesome. :)
jonsarriugarte (author)  Culturespy4 years ago
1st to see it too! Thanks!