I'm wondering if any of you have heard of the red 1972 Honda N600 Pippa Garner converted to bicycle power. Ever since 16 year old me read an anecdotal account of it in the March 2007 Car and Driver feature of Burning Man, I was enthralled. I drew plans of it on my Biology homework, obsessed with the concept. I thought about it for months and still can't get it out of my mind. Here's the article.
I can't find a picture of it online, but I could probably scan the photo in the magazine if there's interest.Artist Pippa Garner, whose cerebral pencil drawings have appeared in C/D since 1996, stimulating many and perplexing others, arrived at Burning Man from Santa Fe in a U-Haul stuffed with a traditional bicycle, a recumbent one, the "World's Most Fuel-Efficient Car," a big box of MREs (meals ready to eat), and two off-the-shoulder tank tops that would reveal a tattoo of a Post-it. And others. The car is a '72 Honda 600, acquired for $350. Ms. Goodwench then did her magic on it (she once spent 250 hours reversing the body of a '59 Chevy, featured in Esquire going "backward" on the Golden Gate Bridge), tossing the tiny two-cylinder engine and drivetrain, removing the floor and fire wall, and fitting a pair of mountain-bike drivetrains turned upside down, which drive the left-front axle and CV joint via a jackshaft and sprockets with a 2:1 reduction, whatever that means. On our maiden voyage at BM, Garner, using her feet to back up the 600-pound Honda, slipped, and the sharp edge of a pedal cut her shin to the bone, blood everywhere, fear and loathing. She was concerned the tattooed wood-grain on her calf might not line up when healed. She got 14 stitches at the medical tent.
The thing that really brought this to my mind is that I am planning on buying a Geo Metro beater. After aero-modding and graffiti tagging the whole thing I'd drive it until it blew up, and then get started on the real project. I'd strip it down and insert two recumbent bicycle frames into the passenger and driver spots, routing the power back to a rear differential (or maybe just fwd). Reverse gear could be tricky. The struts would be removed and springs cut liberally to get ride height as low as possible, since it'll only be going ~20mph max anyway. Space saver spares would reduce rolling resistance. The engine bay would be converted into a new "trunk".
A guy in Minneapolis I contacted through vwvortex a few years ago was doing this to a Fiat 600, though I lost his contact info since then. There's a 1986 Buick Regal art car floating around the internet (and YouTube), but can't find too much info on them in general. Does anyone know anything about the Honda, Fiat, Buick or other pedal cars?