Wacky Record Breakers – out in force at the National Motor Museum, Beaulieu.
By Chris Adamson.
Edd China, best known as the technical boffin half of television series Wheeler Dealers, returned to his roots, the world of weird car creations, when he helped to launch a new summer exhibition at the National Motor Museum, Beaulieu.
Edd was on hand to meet fans at the New Forest attraction and to demonstrate two of his craziest creations as part of the opening of the temporary Wacky Record Breakers display.
He entertained visitors as he drove around the grounds on Bog Standard, a complete bathroom suite that is taxed, insured and MoT’d and his road-legal sofa, Casual Loafer which he has previously driven to the south of France.
His passenger for the day was Wave 105 radio presenter Rick Jackson, who commentated as they careered around the special course, and Edd explained how he came to create these two wacky wonders.
He revealed that his career in curious cars began with a commission to build a prop for hit TV comedy Father Ted, which led to other television and film work.
With Edd sitting on the toilet seat of Bog Standard and gripping the sink handlebars, and Rick reclining in the bathtub, the pair achieved a heady 34 mph through the parkland of Beaulieu.
On board Casual Loafer they did even better, topping 37 mph, with Edd controlling the car using its pizza steering wheel, knee operated throttle, beer can brake lever and gear selector topped with a chocolate bar.
Inside the museum the Wacky Record Breakers exhibition (which runs until the end of August), features more off-the-wall automotive oddities created by Edd and fellow inventor Colin Furze.
Edd’s bizarre builds include Fast Asleep, a double bed that can whisk its restful occupants along at the national speed limit and Gone to Speed, a garden shed capable of a window box-wobbling 58 mph.
These are joined by the world’s fastest fairground dodgem, the world’s fastest pram and a mobility scooter that also once held its own speed record, all put together by Colin Furze.
Driven by Top Gear’s The Stig for a record-breaking run, the customised 1960s dodgem topped over 100 mph; far quicker than the 5mph it would have seen when working at a fairground. A 600cc Honda motorcycle engine provides the get-up-and-go for this madcap machine.
The automotive oddities continue with the high-speed mobility scooter, capable of over 80 mph thanks to its 125cc Honda motorcycle engine.
Equally incredible is the world’s fastest pram, built to exceed 53 mph with a petrol engine mounted in a custom-built frame.
The Wacky Record Breakers exhibition is included in the Beaulieu admission ticket, which also allows entry to the rest of the National Motor Museum, with its collection of more than 250 vehicles, the newly relaunched World of Top Gear, On Screen Cars, Beaulieu Abbey, the Montagu ancestral family home of Palace House and the grounds and gardens. Tickets can be bought in advance online at www.beaulieu.co.uk or for more information call 01590 612345.