In the 2 and a half years since he built the thing, Dave Cloud says he can’t be on the highway five or 10 minutes before someone next to him slows down to gawk or take photos of it.
Sometimes, afterward, photos will appear online, speculating what exactly the thing is – with guesses hovering around something like a Geo Metro Limousine.
“Very few people have actually got a hold of me,” Cloud, of Woodinville says. “People just speculate on it.”
And for speculation, they’re damn close: It’s a 2000 Metro, with 8 feet of metal tubing and reinforced Kevlar sheeting in the middle of the vehicle to allow Cloud to haul small electric vehicles called Electrothons.
“We were racing these things all over the country and I was getting 15 miles per hour in the minivan and trailer – it was killing me on the gasoline,” Cloud says in explaining why he decided to retrofit the Metro.
Now, he’s getting 40 miles to the gallon when the car is loaded up with two of the Electrothons.
“I’m really happy with it,” he says. “There are no cracks. It’s not going to break in half. It’s safe than the original Metro.”
Is it street legal?
Well, he returned to the car one night after dining out to find it surrounded by four or five Washington State patrolmen, he says. They were all comparing notes on the tickets they were going to write on the vehicle.
“They were all questioning, ‘Did you get it certified?’ I told them I didn’t know I had to. They said they didn’t know if I did either,” he says.
They let him go.