Jan 9, 2011

The Basic Platform Car idea...

I think that this is the first document that I’m going to put the idea of a open source, open idea car down. I’m sure that this will morph over time, but if I don’t write it down, it might not ever happen.

Let me tell you a little about who I am, and where I think these ideas came from. :)
I’m a kid who’s parents left their Michigan roots to find their fame and fortune out on the California Coast. As such, I never knew how much damage that rust did to cars where the roads were salted regularly in the winter over the course of a few years. To me, an old car that was a rust bucket had an entirely different meaning then to my counterparts in the northern part of the US. I never knew that rust could so completely destroy a 12 year old car. - Out west, a 12 year old pickup might have a lot more life left in it, so long as the engine and interior were still ok.

“A rough draft idea for a community created Copyleft Ten Year car. Most likely most updates and improvements would be done in people's garage's or small shops. But not limited to only them. People could create a better seat for the car, or dashboard. They could also resell their seats and or dashboards knowing that they'd fit on the "new" cars for 10 years. The VW Bug was a great example of a car that was simple and easy to work on. But in 2011 we need something new in today's marketplace to replace it. But only better.

Better Then a VW Bug?

Yes. I think that it can be done. I don’t have the plans or a CAD drawing to offer on this, as I’m hoping to find someone with CAD skills or drawing skills, to get a prototype on paper.

Lets me try to get my points of importance out here and I do hope it will invoke some discussions.

Design points:

It must be easy to work on. - IT MUST BE EASY TO WORK ON!

If we can standardize most of the nuts, bolts and screws down to 5 or six sizes.

Salt resistant products. Use of Aluminum and Stainless Steel. Plain iron and salty roads are a sure fire way to make sure that your gorgeous car is a rust bucket in 5 years. This practice and mind set that we NEED a new car every 3 years isn’t helping the working poor mans bottom line in the least. It does help out the automakers and the bankers a lot. The idea behind the 10k car is that it will be a basic platform to build off of. A platform that I would like to see last for at least 20 to 30 years. Maybe longer.

Imagine this: A 19 or 20 year old young man or woman purchases the Basic Platform car while in collage, it doesn’t have a lot of frills or bells and whistles but it’s a basic car that will safely get her from here to there. It has basic safety features, it’s a two seater with a small pickup type bed in the back, or a mini-van style passenger compartment.

I imagine the frame and body style to be a scaled down and modified frame akin to that of a Class 8 truck. Like the Class 8 truck, the engine compartments and transmission area’s are easy to get to. And like a Class 8 truck, the engine’s can be of varying size and displacement as well as accept a power plants that are easily modified or swapped out. An owner might purchase his Basic Platform Car with a diesel engine, and decide that maybe he’d rather convert the engine to natural gas or a hybrid. He or she might want to go from a Mini-Van style body to a Pickup truck style, and get a larger engine and newer transmission.

I guess what’s needed now is some kind of a picture or CAD drawing to sort these things out. I’ve not used any CAD before, so... Anyone else have some input on this?

How to get some basic plans drawn up?
Cost to actually try to DO something like this?

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