Growing up in the '70s, I remember hearing a lot about the idea of "pyramid power" — the incredible ability of pyramids to do things like sharpen razor blades, trigger sexual urges, and preserve food. It was, of course, horseshit. But, like anything, it's even better in car form. Like this home-built pyramid car in Illinois.
I'm not exactly sure when this video was shot, but the first story about it I found is from around 2008, so it's at least that old. The car is a 12 HP electric, well, pyramid, built by this charmingly enthusiastic Sugar Grove, IL dad and his sons.
The man's name is Greg Zanis, and his car, the Zanis I, cost him about between $60,000 - $85,000 (estimates vary) to build. It uses 80 batteries and weighs a pretty alarming 8,000 lbs. It can do about 45 MPH and go around 40 or so miles on a full charge. Even better, it has a little electric heater and a boom box in there.
Oh, and, for some reason, it has bulletproof glass. And I think he did quite a nice job of integrating the various indicators and running lights.
According to a Kane County Chronicle interview, here's more details on the car:
Zanis envisions a pyramid car that could be parked in the base of a 65-foot-tall garage covered with solar panels with a cone-shaped windmill at the top.
Sun and wind power would charge the batteries that run the car.
His car would be safer, more energy efficient than others on the market, and would reduce the nation's dependence on fossil fuels, he said.
"They don't design cars to save a life, they just never have," Zanis said. "Build a car like a tank or a total road cage all the way around you. That's why it's a one-seater. It has pre-inflated air bags all around you. And also an air bubble in the nose cone ... It has half-inch thick bullet-proof glass that will withstand a freight train hitting it. So when you're in the car, you're already safer."
It seems like at some point Zanis was attempting to raise money for a larger-all metal pyramid car, though it's not clear how that went. His old URL doesn't seem to be in operation.
Sure, the car's an unaerodynamic, insanely heavy, and the product of a lot of strange pipe dreams and, frankly, some pretty questionable ideas, like six-story garages with windmills, but I really hope this guy is still working on these.
There's something great about seeing someone have an idea and carry it out, and I'm sure he and his sons are very proud of their crazy pyramid car.
And they should be.