After the long slog of building Moonbeam, my previous microcar (see http://home.myfairpoint.net/vze6omtd/jorysquibb/index.html) and spending 6 months of 40 hour weeks building a car from scratch; I knew that this time I wanted to buy an off-the shelf “rolling chassis” to begin the Sunbeam project. For a few weeks I had dithered about using two side-by-side mountain bikes with new cross framing, but I soon felt the project was getting bogged down with engineering that I just didn’t have the energy for. Being 70 feels different from being 65. Energy is running down. Time to substitute money for energy. But, if you take this de-personalization too far, and no longer add your own creativity; the project loses interest. In sum, I felt that electrification and body-building were enough challenges.
So I looked around and found that a company called Utah Trikes had converted a Terratrike recumbent trike into a quadricycle and I soon swallowed my pride, opened my checkbook and bought one. I got the extended chassis, for the extra length for the electric components; the additional rear brakes, since this baby will go from weighing 55 pounds to 105 pounds; the ‘big apple’ tires, and the pedals with straps. This chassis would give me a great head-start and allow the project to fit into my 5 month time frame. The quad cost about $4000. It helped a little to remember that many HPV’s, that is human-powered vehicles cost over $10,000.