Multi-Task Vehicles (MTV)

This Friday’s Museum of Possibilities offers ideas for specialized vehicles that fulfill a range of purposes not usually desired nor requested by the auto-buying public, at least not within a single vehicle. Not to be deterred by the clear lack of demand for such vehicles, I have designed a few. The impulse to add unasked-for capabilities to the ordinary automobile is not easily explained. Even the possibility that these capabilities will not work as I have suggested does not deter me.

Would I want to drive a 1990 model sports car while it was in Wash Cycle? Probably not. Would a drum dryer that rotated around the outside of the car muffler actually work? Maybe, but it might be so small as to be nearly useless. And if the car overheated while in traffic or on a long grade, the clothes inside the dryer might bake. That is, unless there was a thermostatically-activated muffler baffle installed.

Remember, the purpose of the Museum of Possibilities is to investigate possibilities, and not to get too hung up on practical matters!

(Images 5 through 10 originally appeared in Design Mind magazine)

Visit Steven M. Johnson at his website.

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The "Fun Car" is obviously (and probably consciously) inspired by minimizing a VW Westphalia pop-up camper bus, but the full length fold-up bed idea is downright inspired.

At least one large sedan from the 60s was built so the back of the front (bench) seats folded back flat, turning the entire passenger compartment into a king-size bed.

Also, you missed out on the chance to include an engine oven, and believe it or not, engine-bay cooking is a real hobby, complete with cookbooks.

Fun stuff.
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Kim: Sybann is on target mentioning that the Honda Element has been purchased predominately by an unintended buyer segment! The ads originally showed twenty-something folks with surfboards or mountaineering gear wearing dirty sandals, with feet stretched out on washable, fold-down seats and with hamburger wrappers tossed on the floor. The photos in the slick brochures made the interior look like a young guy's messy bedroom.
The car's designers and planners assumed the car would be perfect for young buyers, but the young-at-heart love it most of all.
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Sybann, I'm a middle-aged woman and I love to camp! It would make my life so much easier if I had a tent that just attached to the vehicle I was driving. Thanks for letting me know about the Honda Element tent attachment, even though I'm not a young man!
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Michaelpeets: A solar-paneled roof can power some appliances for a car or RV. Many motorhomes have them. As far as vehicles powered by solar panels, at the present level of efficiency of silicon-based photovoltaic cells (last I read it was around 19%) only extremely light, purposed-built vehicles can be powered by the sun. Marca de Luz has crossed the Continental Divide at least 8 times and reached the Arctic Circle in his little solar car, X of 1. There are Solar races where cramped, sweaty drivers, lying almost prone underneath a turtleshell of gleaming solar panels, compete using only the power from the sun. There is the World Solar Challenge, for example, from the northern city of Darwin to the southern city of Adelaide in Australia.
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Miss Cellenia, Paul, and Michael: Thanks for your supporting remarks. This Web site made an effort to spare those who are not so impressed with my work to avoid having to look at it. That should have told any reader that if you are not interested in looking at Steve Johnson's work you can simply choose to not click on "more..." Pretty simple, you would think.
There is the possibility that some folks enjoy the experience of disliking my work! People can get kicks out of so many different things!
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