I like to say that the strange and fun vehicles that we dredge up each week for the Awesomely Weird Alibaba Electric Vehicle of the Week column cover everything on land, sea and even in the air. But every now and again we go past mere wheels, wings and hulls to something truly category-defying. I’m not sure how to classify this electrically-powered backyard rollercoaster this week, but I sure am glad that it exists.
Technically this is probably not meant to be a backyard rollercoaster, at least not exclusively. It looks like the kind of thing that a local 19-year-old carnie gets paid cash under the table to occasionally keep an eye on as local kids puke out the side of a caterpillar, but that doesn’t mean you couldn’t set one up at your home.
In fact, that’s kind of the beauty of Alibaba, China’s largest shopping site and the place where weird electric vehicles seem to go to either be born or die, or both!
And yes, I’ve brought a few of these weirdmobiles home before, but I don’t think this caterpillar rollercoaster will be joining my Chinese boat, mini-truck or other fun things I’ve purchased. That doesn’t mean I can’t dream though, right?
Just imagine how cool this would be for your kids, or in my case, to get to play the fun uncle! Your very own rollercoaster zipping around your back yard. And forget that little carnival loop. If I’m already plopping down a strangely reasonable US $5,000 for this thing, you better believe I’m buying a boatload of extra track to turn this into a seriously awesome ride.
I know that caterpillar is designed to be fun and welcoming to kids so they don’t get scared, but it might just turn manically scary as it’s slowly climbing up a 100 ft hill to start a half mile of corkscrews and loop de loops.
With a 5 kW lift motor, it will certainly take a while to climb that big start hill, but that anticipation just adds to the scary effect. Though I should point at that the 5,000W motor runs off of a 380VAC power supply, so you might need to have your local electrician pay you a house visit before you’re fully up and running. This ain’t running off your dryer’s wall outlet.
Of course I highly recommend that no one actually tries to buy one of these things. Normally I say that if someone ignores my advice, as several of my readers have, then I’d be happy to show up for a test ride. But on this particular occasion, I think I’ll be happy to sit it out. I’ll just be satisfied to be the guy pushing the button instead!
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