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
JOIN

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.
 
boatingfun549 months ago
I love it!!!
nireves11 year 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
danstax3 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?
agis683 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
xtianman3 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_zilla3 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 =]
Culturespy3 years ago
Ha! First comment! Once again mind blowingly awesome. :)
jonsarriugarte (author)  Culturespy3 years ago
1st to see it too! Thanks!