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Author Topic: World's Fastest Couches  (Read 7088 times)

Jay Sadie

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World's Fastest Couches
« on: January 21, 2010, 06:42:03 PM »

[float=left][smg id=63 caption="Fastest Couch"][/float][float=right][smg id=64 caption="Couch Potato"][/float]At some point, someone apparently decided that they wanted to leave home without leaving the couch. The result was the first couch car, and since its inception dozens more have shown up, many of them street legal. These are seen at "Art Car" shows more often than on the street, but more exist than you'd think.

Run out of beer? Run out of pizza? Can't even be bothered to walk to the takeaway? No problem.

In fact, no need to get off this leopardskin sofa. You just drive it down to the shops. Indeed, its 87mph top speed has earned it a place in the Guinness Book of Records as the fastest piece of furniture on the planet.

But, odd though this sofa is, it is not unique. Its speed record is about be smashed by a precocious new arrival in the bizarre world of motorised upholstery. The same eccentric British inventor who holds the current record has just created a sofa monster. With light cream covers and deep cushions, this is the three-piece suite's answer to Concorde.

Its creator, Edward China, 35 - known as Edd - has a simple target. He plans to send a piece of furniture through the 100mph barrier for the first time. What?s more, anyone can apply to be the record-breaking driver. The seat is up for grabs in a charity auction.

Beneath the cream upholstery lurks a 220 horsepower Rover V8 engine, the same workhorse that drives a Range Rover. It sounds like an aeroplane.

At King Edward?s School in Witley, Surrey, Edward China spent much of his time in the technology department, where he built his own land yacht. Having studied engineering and product design at London?s South Bank University, where he lived in a converted double decker bus, he had landed a job with a motor racing team when he decided to build a motorised sofa for fun.

Using whatever parts he could find, it took him six weeks and £300 to construct a roadworthy, leopardskin sofa with a 1300cc Mini engine and some ingenious touches. "I didn?t want to build a car that looked like a sofa. I wanted to build a proper sofa that had an engine in it," he explains. "A sofa is all about being lazy, so it had to be very easy to drive."

It certainly is. Christened the Casual Lofa, it is an automatic with the brake controlled by an old beer can attached to the arm rest. Pull the can backwards and the sofa stops. The steering wheel is a real medium-crust pizza pan from the pizzeria where Edd used to work.

The accelerator is simply a knob jutting out at knee level. Squeeze the knob with your leg and you go faster. The front is protected by a coffee table which supports a fully-functional TV, two pot plants (which, fitted with lights, act as indicators) and an old clock housing the speedometer.

In the end, he decided to set up his own business, Cummfy Banana, and the barmy ideas kept on coming. He rents some of them out. His fourposter bed, The Street Sleeper, with an 1800cc VW engine, is very popular at weddings.

In 1998, during a demonstration at a motor racing circuit, Edd pushed the Casual Lofa to the limit and was officially clocked at 87mph. The time was authenticated by Guinness World Records and entered the record books for the world?s fastest furniture.

He has since acquired two further records. One for the world's fastest office (a 1400cc desk with four chairs, a computer and a watercooler which also reached 87 mph) and another for the world?s largest motorised shopping trolley (it's 12 feet tall).

Equally impressive is the fact that he has managed to steer his inventions past the joyless gaze of the health and safety brigade. They are all legal, insured and roadworthy.

"Sometimes the police are suspicious. I have been stopped 19 times in a week," he says. "When we drove the bed through France one summer, the police stopped us all the way. But all they wanted was a photo for their mates and then they sent us on our way."

He says the biggest danger is overtaking horses in the sofa. "Some of them freak out when they see the covering," he says. "I think they are genetically hardwired to be terrified of leopards."
"I do not think there is any thrill that can go through the human heart like that felt by the inventor as he sees some creation of the brain unfolding to success." - Nikola Tesla


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Re: World's Fastest Couches
« Reply #1 on: May 07, 2012, 09:00:48 PM »

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