11.26.2009

                   
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Your Own Motorized Steampunk Tank- The JL421 Badonkadonk Land Cruiser!




OMG! A product that Jules Verne would die for (again).
This is a real motorized product that you can actually purchase from Amazon. It's not new, but it's the first time I've seen it available for purchase. The JL421 Badonkadonk Land Cruiser is nicknamed "The Donk" and the friggen thing even throws fire.



To look at it, one might think it to be a hovercraft, but in fact it runs on four off-road wheels, concealed by a unique industrial-strength rubberized flexible skirt that shields and protects the wheels to within an inch of the ground, while still allowing for enough flex to give clearance over bumpy and uneven terrain.



The roof of the Donk features a guard rail and durable rubber matting, making it the ideal place to carry up to 3 friends or several hundred pounds of cargo:



Slide open the roof hatch and you'll find the interior fully carped and cozy, with accent lighting, glove box, controls and room to seat up to 4 people, or 2 comfortably:



The Donk was designed to be as versatile as possible, and that includes the ability of the craft to be piloted from either a seated position within the armored shell, or from an exposed, standing position out the hatch, thanks to a pivoting control stick and special one-way armored windows.



The control stick is topped by the throttle handle, and steers the Donk left to right. But it also pivots up and down- up for when the driver is standing, down for when he's seated inside.



Above: The armored windows consist of stainless steel with a fine mesh of holes that allows occupants to see out without outsiders seeing in, and still protects the occupants from flying debris without risk of shattering.



The exterior of the vehicle is light-armor steel with a rust patina- providing plenty of protection against paintballs, pneumatic cannons, and flamethrowers.






Specs
Drive power comes from an air-cooled, 6hp Tecumseh gasoline engine, with centrifugal clutch, giving the Donk a top speed of 40 mph unladen. Total weight is 900 pounds. Wheelbase is 72", total length is 108", height 54", and width 53". This width is slightly narrower than a standard golf cart, which allows the Donk to fit through many narrow spaces and pylons that would restrict a full size vehicle.

Electrical
The sound system consists of a 1000 watt amplifier and 4 channels, each with a speaker mounted behind a window to project sound primarily outward from the Donk, but of course into the cabin as well. Exterior lighting consists of rope lighting, underbody lighting, custom sequenced 12-channel window strobes, head and tail lights, turn signals, and brake lights.

Power for all these electronics comes from a high-capacity 12V deep-cycle battery array that is charged either from a wall outlet or by the engine and alternator, and has the capacity to supply power for a full day's worth of driving, music, and lights. Lights, power, stereo, battery monitoring, charging, and ignition are all controlled from a single switchboard to the left of the driver, accessible from both the seated and standing positions.




The Donk was designed and built in 2002 by NAO Design of Palo Alto, CA. It was originally conceived as something which was at once both malevolent and benevolent, being battle-ready and armored, yet cozy on the inside and irresistible to people with its lights and sounds.

In the years since it's invention, the Donk has appeared in the desert of Nevada for the yearly Burning Man festival. And now you can own one of your own.

In the dark, with lights and fire spouting capabilities, the Donk transforms into party-mode. The Donk has also been featured in several television and film features, including MTV's Wildboyz and Discovery Channel's Monster Garage.





Designed by NAO Design, the awesome looking JL421 Badonkadonk Land Cruiser/Tank will ship in 3 to 5 weeks directly from NAO design if ordered through Amazon, although you are advised to contact NAO first as there are many options that can affect total cost. Engine, chassis, interior, and lighting, and other elements can vary, and as such Donks are built on an individual basis. Be advised also that this vehicle is not street legal in most areas, and may be a tempting but ill-advised replacement for your regular car . . . and it'll set you back $19,999.00 USD (without shipping).



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