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MAX Update No. 17: No Business Like Show Business

11/19/2008 4:53:29 PM

Tags: MAX, Auto X Prize, Brink, gas mileage, 100 mpg

Wow, I'll tell you, the only people crazier than camera people are stunt performers ... and that's not by much.

Last week, we had a crew from the Science Channel at the shop (which is why you're not getting the promised wind-tunnel-without-a-wind-tunnel update 'till next week), shooting a piece for Brink.


MAX on Brink TV 


What's Brink? Beats me, I've never seen it. I don't get cable and besides, the series isn't on yet. From what they tell me, it's about people and things on the brink of scientific achievement. MAX is just the sort of thing they're looking for, so they ended up on our doorstep.

It appears the show is rather personality-driven, and the ideal personality for Brink is a low-budget mad scientist. I'm good for two out of three (I'm still a little weak on the 'scientist' part), so I fit right in.

Plus, I'm game and cooperative. So when they told me to stand by the car and look “seriously cool,” I gave it my best and didn't laugh. I was a fully poseable action figure, and in exchange, they let me talk about MAX and why we’re building it.

And then we went off to show how much fun MAX is to drive, with the camera woman in the passenger's seat. We hit some back roads and went zipping around in fine sports car style, until she decided she could shoot better from on top of the car. I agreed, but refused to zip, which is why those particular shots are going to look a tad reserved.

Next, she wanted highway shots from the front, which she took by sitting on the trunk of Dave's Miata while I tailgated in MAX. She took it all in stride, but I was sweating, hoping Dave hadn't waxed his car recently and wondering how quickly I could hit the brakes if she started sliding my way. Apparently this is the norm in show biz, but if a police officer had wandered by we would all have been written up for Acting Stupid in or About a Motor Vehicle. Need I add, kids, don't try this at home?

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Jack McCornack
12/2/2008 12:28:36 PM
Plans, probably, components, probably not. The components will be available from Kinetic Vehicles ( and indeed the plans and components are on the Kinetic Vehicles site already if the Lotus 7 look suits you and you can get by with 60 to 70 mpg. However, there's still body work to do before we hit super high mileage numbers, so stay tuned.

Tom Boscher
11/28/2008 4:03:59 PM
Max is great. Will components be made available through Mother Earth News? The chassis looks very similar to a circa 1970s kit car based on Lotus 7 which was to have a Pinto 2000cc engine versus the diesel in Max.

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