Meet the Rubbernecks

October 4, 2015 at 6:50 pm Leave a comment

thefamilycar-Rubbernecks-Wyatt

Story and art copyright by Dean Adams Curtis

Young Wyatt Rubberneck is in his family’s car kitchen cooking up his formula for vehicles that reduce or eliminate greenhouse gas emissions from the transportation sector.

The Rubberneck family is traveling on the Lincoln Highway, one of America’s roadways that were almost forgotten after the interstate highway system was built. They are traveling in their hand-built EV mobile home.

His mother Jo, short for Joanne, was the first to bring up the idea of the family making their own electric vehicle. She was an electrical engineering professor at the local college near their home in Ohio. Wyatt immediately jumped at the idea.

So did Wyatt’s father No, short for Nolan, who was a mechanical engineering professor at the same local college, which is also the same place where No and Jo first met while students.

Wyatt proposed they simply use laptop batteries, like Tesla’s Elon Musk had done when he first designed his Model S. It was pretty complicated, and if it wasn’t for Wyatt’s brainy sister Sandy creating a battery management system, their EV may not have rolled.

Once they managed to get their electric vehicle chassis to power itself up and down their driveway, Wyatt and his father began framing the mobile home in lightweight honeycombed recycled aluminum. It was Wyatt’s idea to make it look like a house.

It was his father No’s idea to check with BMW for any carbon fiber they might have that didn’t pass their quality inspection at their Washington State carbon fiber factory that bakes sprayed carbon onto gauze bandage-like ribbon. BMW sent a roll.

Together, the entire Rubberneck family carefully wrapped the honeycombed recycled aluminum frame of their skeletal mobile home with the carbon fiber. It wasn’t long before they were painting their mobile home to look like a little house on wheels.

And soon afterward, the Rubberneck family dog Mocha, named after the color of his mother Jo’s coffee with cream, jumped into the backseat of the EV mobile home and barked something that sounded to the Rubbernecks like the words “Road trip.”

Amazingly, the Rubberneck family’s reclusive cat Tiger, climbed up to a perch in the small second story of the new EV mobile home and meowed something that also sounded to the Rubbernecks like the words “Road trip.”

A family meeting followed, at which it was decided by all, due to the low speed that their EV was able to roll (top speed 25 miles per hour, but with 750 miles of battery range) to travel only on the forgotten back roads and byways of America.

Jo and Sandy roofed the EV mobile home with high yield solar cells and early in the summer of 2015 the Rubberneck family got rolling, slowly.

With the EV’s Internet connection, brainpower, scrounged sensors and GPS, Sandy Rubberneck helped her brother Wyatt create an autonomous driving system. Though their father No still insisted on driving, the system still prevented many accidents.

As their travel along America’s nearly forgotten highways progressed, the Rubbernecks became correspondents for several websites, writing blogs from the EV mobile home for thefamilycar.com, then greenfamilycar.com, and also for greeninterstate.com.

After traveling the old Lincoln Highway through Oklahoma, where Wyatt cooked up for his family a spaghetti feast on the kitchen’s electric range with magnetic no-skid surface around the burners, the Rubbernecks decided on the next leg of their trip.

STAY TUNED FOR: The Rubbernecks Roll on Historic Route 12

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Entry filed under: Car Reviews.

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