Inventing an automotive vehicle in your garage or backyard may seem like an impossible feat, but with determination and a creative mind, there’s no limit to what you can build. Creativity has led to several important automotive inventions, so by exploring creative boundaries on your own, you could end up with the next invention or innovative piece that’s part of every car 10 years from now.
Here are several backyard auto inventions that will inspire you to try to build your own.
1. Electric Bike
Lennon Rodgers’ zero-emissions motorcycle runs on six 12-volt batteries, so he doesn’t have to worry about oil changes or gas fill-ups. Charging the bike is as easy as hooking it up to an outlet with an extension cord. On a full charge, the bike can run up to 27 miles. Its top speed is around 45 mph with no transmission, which in turn leads to a smooth and relatively silent ride.
2. Jet-Powered Go-Kart
Brian Midgley, a former assistant manager at a Mitsubishi dealership, built a custom go-kart frame and bought a power turbine jet engine online. He then tweaked the engine to decrease its RPMs from 62,000 to 3,250. With a built-in clutch system, the jet-powered go-kart has about 100 horsepower and a maximum speed of about 75 mph. It can go from 0 to 60 mph in about 8 seconds.
3. Hyper-Agile Car
Built from recycled parts, Robert Lange’s hyper-agile car is designed to make extremely sharp turns without losing speed. The steering gears are from old helicopter parts, which allow the front wheel axle to pivot. The car leans to the left or right to improve the turning radius. Sharp turns can be managed easily since the body leans at about a 45-degree angle. The car can make U-turns at 25 mph without losing speed.
4. The Waterbike
Designed by James Garlitz, the Waterbike uses a motorcycle frame that sits on three floats made of aluminum and urethane. A pedal system that transmits power to a 9.9-horsepower Nissan outboard motor powers the Waterbike. The bike frame and floats are even light enough to allow the Waterbike to slightly hover over the water once it exceeds 5 mph.
5. The Submariner
Alaska resident Cal Giordano created a 32-foot semi sub—semi meaning that it doesn’t completely submerge. However, by fitting 4-foot bow planes on the sub and pitching them forward, the front end of the sub can dip 8 feet below the surface, while the back end, where the motor is, stays above water. A video camera mounted on the top allows the driver to see in front of him in murky water, and a fixated blade on the bow can push through the Alaskan ice.
Passion and creativity drives backyard inventions such as these so they function properly. Those two traits are what every aspiring automotive technician should have, as they will take you far in the automotive industry.