By Bunmi Adigun @Bunmi_Adigun
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Videographer / director: Shopper Chopper LLC
Producer: Bunmi Adigun, Ellie Winstanley
Editor: Marcus Cooper
The custom creation, made by US patent office clerk Calvin VanSant, 52, from Pennsylvania, is also the world’s only street legal drivable shopping trolley.
The current official record for the ‘world’s fastest shopping trolley’ is 45mph (72kph), set by British-based petrolhead Matt McKeown in 2013, but Calvin’s cart does 50mph on the motorway and he says it has a high speed of 80mph.
The cart started as bonding project between Calvin and his son-in-law, Brent, 31 - and is the first car either of them have ever built.
At a height of 10ft, the trolley is surprisingly lightweight, weighing in at just 1.3 tonnes - the same weight as a small family car - and has a V8 engine.
Calvin said: “He owns a grocery business and asked me to help him build something crazy to promote his stores.
"I have an engineering background and I work at the US Patent Office so a chance to build an unusual hot rod was intriguing.”
Calvin had to rely heavily on his background in engineering as this was his first ever hot rod build.
Despite both Calvin and Brent having no experience building a car before they started working on the Shopper Chopper, the pair jumped in full throttle to complete it.
He added: “Building a hot rod grocery cart from scratch has given us the confidence to take on other projects. I’d love to build an even more outrageous version of the Shopper Chopper.”
Completed in 2012, the car was initially built to help promote Brent’s grocery business however it soon garnered widespread attention with many companies wanting to use the Shopper Chopper to promote their business.
Through the use of his website http://shopperchopper.com/, businesses can use the vehicle to promote their brand, and the unique car is also used at events and festivals.
Calvin said: “Our unusual appeal lets us travel around the US to parades, charity events, trade shows and television appearances.”
Boasting a powerful V8 Chervolet engine the Shopper Chopper is capable of reaching speeds of more than 80 mph, making it easily the world’s fastest shopping trolley.
Using conventional car parts on what effectively is a giant shopping cart proved quite challenging for the duo, who had to come up with ingenious ways of getting the car built.
Calvin said: “All the mechanical bits that a car needs are hidden low in the frame, except of course the giant Chevrolet V-8 engine. The radiator lies flat on top of the transmission and drive shaft, that was one of the bigger engineering challenges.”
However building the car was not the most difficult part of the process, with the pair having to go through reams of red tape to even get it on the road.
He added: “Building it was easy, getting the State to license it for the street and getting an insurance policy were much more difficult. Paperwork is ofter harder than metalwork.”