Thursday, September 05, 2013

They Went Bananas

What’s the strangest vehicle seen recently traveling through your neighborhood?  At our place it was a banana on wheels created by a couple of wild and crazy guys.

We were chatting with neighbors on Labor Day when the “Big Banana Car” drove by. Passengers waved and shouted, and we returned the recognition. The banana passed us another three times within a half hour. Promoter Tom Brown, the driver, apparently was selling rides to families looking for a unique holiday experience.

According to the Kalamazoo Gazette, Brown and friend Steve Braithwaite had the ideas for the mobile banana during a brainstorming session in which they were trying to come up with a novel project. Braithwaite, from Oxford, England, is a
The Big Banana Car gets attention wherever it goes
hot rod mechanic. He used a 1953 Ford F-150 truck frame and power train, fiberglass, foam, and other materials to build The Big Banana, which has been traveling area highways and byways for the past four years.

The car is 22 feet long and seats three passengers. It’s by no means a “green banana,” getting only 8 miles per gallon of gas, but it can travel long distances. Its zany creators have a goal of driving it around the world, however visa and other problems have interfered with that dream. The banana has visited Houston, Texas, where it won first place in an art car show. It has carried advertising messages by Del Monte, Chiquita, and Planet Smoothie, and Brown constantly solicits new business.

Aside from money-making goals, Brown says The Big Banana was built to “make people laugh, have a good time, and put smiles on their faces.” It surely met that goal for us last weekend.

What’s next for Brown and Braithwaite? If The Big Banana has enough commercial success to provide funding, they will build another vehicle. At the moment, the leading idea is to construct a Submarine Sandwich Car. We can hardly wait.

If you’re fascinated by nuttiness, you can get more info and view many photos at Among other useful things you can learn there is that the official name of The Big Banana is “The Braithwaite, Cavendish, Four Seat, Velos-a-Nana.” Wonder what they’ll name the submarine sandwich creation?


Tom Sightings said...

We have a hot dog truck that frequents our neighborhood (yes, in the shape of a hot dog, complete bun and mustard); but it's not nearly as, er, yellow as this. Anyway, so cool!

PiedType said...

I've seen the Oscar Meyer weinermobile many times, but the banana thing is certainly new. I'm surprised Chiquita hasn't bought permanent advertising space on it.

Kay said...

Good gracious! I have to admit I've never seen anything quite like it. What a lot of fun! said...

Boys and their toys. Where will it end? Dianne

Bob Lowry said...

I have seen the Oscar Mayer Wienermobile in person, but the banana car might top that.