Michel de Broin's Shared Propulsion Car

Fred Flintstone Vs. The Man


Faithful blogTO readers will remember this video we posted back in December of the Shared Propulsion Car being pulled over by Metro's finest back on October 25, 2007 alleging the driver, Dean Baldwin, was operating an unsafe vehicle.

Brainchild of Montreal artist Michel de Broin, the 1986 Buick Regal had been stripped of its engine, suspension and transmission so that occupants could propel the car using pedals. Think of it as a hard shelled luxury cycle built for four. As an added touch, de Broin had replaced the car's headlights with votive candles (no word on whether or not they were scented, but they did stay lit for the entire trip).

The car had been on exhibition at the Mercer Union art gallery (37 Lisgar Street) when Baldwin and three others decided it was time to hit the road and see just what the old gal had in her. They managed to get it up to a top speed of 15 km/h before they were pulled over by the police.

Attorney Terry L. Fox took the case pro bono, arguing that "Automobiles are inherently dangerous because of their big powerful motors .... I'd like to ask the officer how many people have been killed by a muscular powered vehicle." He added that perhaps the officers went a little "overboard" when they laid charges.

Earlier today, de Broin and Baldwin had their day in court, and at the end of it all the judge ruled that they were not guilty of operating an unsafe vehicle.

The Shared Propulsion Car has been on the road two other times in total. Nothing happened when it was pedaled around the streets of New York City. Montreal police did pullover the pedal-car however, but no charges were laid in that incident.

Photo from the National Post


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