I got to see it, by chance, when it was visiting Vita. Manuela called me in my office and told me to meet her downstairs. There was real excitement in her voice. I pulled out through the door and into the parking lot to find this amazingly beautiful kinda van, kinda car. It was like a London Cab on steroids. I spoke to the fellow from the dealership who was showing this to the both of us. It is the first vehicle that was purpose built for people with physical disabilities. It made access beautiful. The guy told me that instead of sticking a ramp onto a vehicle, where it was never intended to go, this design built the vehicle around the ramp. And it showed.
The ramp deploys differently to a curb than it does to the ground, both deployments keep the same gentle gradient up into the vehicle. There is a space, right up front, for a wheelchair user to sit and look directly out of the front window. I've never ridden in a vehicle, in my wheelchair, in the front. The idea gave me chills. But even more, the idea of designing something for those of us with disabilities instead of adapting something to us which was not designed for us in the first place, well, now, that is just plain radical thinking.
I get asked all the time to promote various products here on this blog. I don't. Ever. This time, I am, only because no one asked me to. Only because, this is the vehicle I'd buy if I could. I don't think I've ever had a visceral, "I WANT THAT" reaction to a car. I'm not a car guy. Sometimes Joe will say, while looking at a passing car, "was that a 'here put in a name of a car'". Then he realizes who he is talking too ... someone who's conversation about a car is limited to 'I like that colour'. When I was a kid I first called any vehicle from a car to a logging truck a 'car car' and I've never really advance much beyond that point. But this thing. Man. It's beautiful. So check it out, and let me know what you think.
As a side note, Vita is holding a motorcycle rally to raise funds for the purchase of the MV-1. It's on September 25. If you'd like you can help in one of two ways. First, if you are a ‘biker’ … consider registering for the day. You’ll have fun. Not only a great ride through the countryside, not only a bar-b-que, not only a chance for your bike to win prizes … you also get to, in the spirit of community, make community more possible for our members. Second, if you aren’t a ‘biker’ but know people who are. Pass the website along to them. Put the Rally on your Facebook page. (I don’t even know what that means, but I’m guessing most of you do.) Again, I don't typically use my blog for this purpose but I'm excited about the day - I will be speaking at the end of the rally - and about the idea of having the opportunity to, maybe one day, get a ride in this thing!