Pennsylvania Man's Retirement Project Is This Street-Legal Giant Bumper Car Replica

Dan Hryhorcoff's giant bumper car replica 7 photos
Photo: Scranton Times-Tribune/ YouTube screenshot
Dan Hryhorcoff's giant bumper car replicaDan Hryhorcoff's giant bumper car replicaDan Hryhorcoff's giant bumper car replicaDan Hryhorcoff's giant bumper car replicaDan Hryhorcoff's giant bumper car replicaDan Hryhorcoff's giant bumper car replica
We all tried to keep busy with one project and another during the isolation of the pandemic to keep boredom at bay and ease anxieties. But while some of us dedicated the new-found free time and attention to mundane things like reading books, learning a new skill, or redecorating the house, a northeastern Pennsylvania retiree took on a much more ambitious project. He built a giant bumper car in his garage using an old Chevy Aveo and a motorcycle.
Dan Hryhorcoff is the mastermind behind the mammoth bumper car you see pictured here. The 72-year-old man's aim was to build a model big enough to fit an adult, and he took inspiration for the project from the bumper cars at an amusement park in Elysburg, Pennsylvania, called Knoebels.

The item he wanted to replicate was a 1953-model bumper car made by a company called Lusse. This particular model piqued his interest because it had a "Chevrolet pickup truck sorta look" from the 1950s. After an eight-hour-long visit to the amusement park and studying the vintage ride to gather as much information as possible for his project, Hryhorcoff put his engineering skills and his passion for mechanical innovation to good use and ended up creating this giant contraption that is not only unique and fully functional but also street-legal.

He first crafted a replica using styrofoam and then used it to create molds for the final body made of fiberglass. His bumper car is 13 feet long, 7 feet wide, and 5.5 feet high, which is twice the size of the original article.

The design skillfully combines elements of a Chevrolet Aveo and a motorcycle. The front of an Aveo is integrated into the rear, and a motorcycle wheel at the front, giving the bumper car a remarkably small turning radius. This setup makes the vehicle a tricycle in legal terms, which has contributed to its street-legal status.

Most of the exterior body parts are handmade from fiberglass, and the retiree also included a long, vertical electricity pole in the back of the automobile to make it look as similar to the original bumper cars as possible, but it's there just for aesthetic reasons.

Power for this larger-than-life vehicle comes from a repurposed Chevrolet engine. But the front-wheel-drive vehicle's mill and gear train were moved to the back, making Hryhorcoff's creation a rear-engine, rear-wheel-drive bumper car.

This colossal bumper car is not Dan Hryhorcoff's first automotive endeavor, which explains his ingenuity and engineering skills. Early into his retirement, he also made a replica of a vintage Murray General pedal car from the '50s. That particular project taught him a lot about working with fiberglass, which came in quite handy during the bumper car project. His impressive portfolio of past projects also includes a yellow submarine, go-karts, and more.

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About the author: Ancuta Iosub
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After spending a few years as a copy editor, Ancuta decided to put down the eraser and pick up the writer's pencil. Her favorites subjects are unusual car designs, travel trailers and everything related to the great outdoors.
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