From the Decatur, Illinois Herald & Review:
SULLIVAN — If something is worth inventing, it’s worth inventing again.
Armed with that kind of reassurance, Sullivan entrepreneur Larry Yoder has gone ahead and reinvented the horseless carriage “because I had a ball doing it.”
And it really is a carriage: He’s taken a former Amish buggy and built solar panels into the roof to feed batteries that power an electric motor capable of whipping it along at 14 mph, flat out. The buggy has been lengthened and widened and now, measuring 10 feet long and 6½ feet wide, will hold six passengers in comfort in its green crushed velvet interior.
“Everybody is like, ‘Whoa,’ when they see this,” says Yoder’s wife, Pat. “And, oh yeah, everybody wants a ride. Everybody.”
Which includes the ever-curious Amish. The Yoders like to spend part of the winter in Florida, and they live in an area close by Amish families who have joined them to chase the shouting wind along in fun horseless carriage excursions. Pat Yoder even entertains ideas that her husband’s invention could be the perfect retirement vehicle for older Amish who don’t have the physical resources to corral live horses anymore for their transport needs.
This machine is powered by a one-horsepower motor and features cruise control and GPS. It has a range of 50 miles.
It’s true that some older Amish step away from hitching up a buggy and in special cases may even use limited motorized transport. Could a horseless buggy-like vehicle like this be one day widely used by older Amish folks? According to the article, Yoder “isn’t holding his breath on that one.”
Some months back reader Linda passed along a link for another one of Larry Yoder’s creations (also seen briefly in the above video). The clip below by Ernest Bontrager shows one of Yoder’s two-wheeled models in action.
This looks fun, as long as you aren’t a person who motions with your arms a lot when you talk: