Photo courtesy www.xof1.com
Da Luz, a flight attendant, mortgaged his home several times over, gave his credit cards a beating, and spent an estimated 50,000 hours building this thing. Naturally, Hair Balls's first question was: Why?
"I just didn't want to build a solar car for the sake of building a solar car," da Luz told Hair Balls. "I wanted to take on the challenge and hopefully inspire people. And for me, the greatest challenge on the planet for a solar car is to drive a solar car to the Arctic Circle."
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According to da Luz, that involved driving up and down mountains and crossing the Continental Divide three times, which sounds like it'd be a real pain in the ass in a Hummer, let alone a fiberglass Frisbee on wheels. (It weighs about 660 pounds and maxes out at 70 mph).
But he also wanted to demonstrate his belief in valid alternative fuels -- something he says we generally lack the "political will" to pursue.
Traveling on a shoestring budget, da Luz has been relying on the kindness of strangers for lodging and auto maintenance. He's also freaked at least one person out; in Alaska, he said, a person called the cops and reported a UFO after seeing his car. He said he was briefly detained while police officers made sure this was not a close encounter of the third kind.
If anyone's interested in sponsoring this weird behavior, they can go to www.xof1.com for information on donating cash or in-kind services. C'mon -- how often do you get the chance to help out a dude in a solar car?