That (thing) trike got a HEMI?
As a matter of fact, it does – thanks to Marcus Braun, Chrysler’s “What Can You HEMI?” grand-prize winner. Braun not only takes home a new car for his invention, but the satisfaction that his super-sized HEMI-powered tricycle – more fit for the freeway than the sidewalk – is no longer just a figment of his imagination.
Chrysler launched the contest earlier this year, asking consumers: “If you could put the 5.7-liter V-8 HEMI engine into anything, what would it be?”
To inspire would-be inventors, Chrysler concocted the HEMI-Grille. The oversized barbeque can cook 240 hotdogs in under three minutes. For added kicks, there’s a gas pedal that the gearhead chef can blip to hear the rumble of the V8.
Chrysler received more than 360 entries from budding “Tim ‘The Tool Man’ Taylors.” Entries included everything from a HEMI-powered player piano to possibly the world’s most powerful toilet. Chrysler then narrowed it down to five finalists, whose ideas (below) were turned into actual working prototypes by MSX International.
HEMI Snowblower – Belleville, Mich., resident Tim Flucht. – inspired by harsh Michigan winters – wanted a device to make snow removal easier and faster. He got it. To ensure that all 345 horses remain under control, the snowblower’s engine is mated to a one-speed transmission. Crowning touches include a saucer-sized tach and a rumbly Flowmaster exhaust.
HEMI-Go-Round – “The shrill carousel music is gone, replaced by the deep rumble of the HEMI’s exhaust, which resonates from eight muffler tips atop the center column,” wrote Jonathan Brzon of Topeka, Kan., in his contest entry. Brzon also replaced the carousel’s horses with junior-sized DaimlerChrysler products. The engine generates enough power to spin the turntable in a 22-foot circumference at 8 rpm (double most carousels).
HEMI Trike – Marcus Braun, of Vancouver, Canada, has such fond memories of his trike-riding days (like the time he and his friends convinced the neighbor to try to jump three trash cans on his Big Wheel) that he decided to super-size one for adults. The HEMI Trike features a 4-foot-tall front wheel, a reverse-mounted HEMI V8 with hot-rod style headers for each of the engine’s eight cylinders, a double-wishbone rear suspension and sticky Goodyear racing slicks.
HEMI on Ice – Dan Burg of Lindenhurst, Ill., wrote in his entry that a supped-up ice resurfacer is just what the National Hockey League needs to draw bigger crowds. So an aged Zamboni ice resurfacer got a new lease on life with a HEMI V8, complete with Mopar performance headers, Borla exhaust, a Viper seat and a Viper-esque paint job, just like the sketch submitted by Burg.
HEMI Shredder – Randy Fredner of Earlysville, Va., envisioned this industrial-strength paper-eating machine disguised as a plain office desk. Atop its tabletop is a feeding tray, large enough to fit full-size reams of paper, junk mail, CDs and credit cards. “Hit the switch and up pops an outlet port that can be aimed at the recycling bin – or those annoying dweebs in accounts payable,” Fredner wrote in his entry. For heavy-duty loads, the operator can pump the pedal to rev the engine. The sole option: a HEMI-driven, desk-mounted pencil sharpener.
The five finalists were shuttled to Detroit to see their wacky contraptions, and it was there that Big Wheel aficionado Marcus Braun was crowned the grand-prize winner and given the keys to a HEMI-powered Chrysler, Dodge or Jeep product of his choice (he chose the 300C luxury sedan).
Rumor has it, the five finalists then dined on 240 hot dogs cooked on the HEMI-Grille.
Writer Georgina K. Carson is editor of BodyShop Business and always wanted a Big Wheel growing up. She got Barbies instead.