Pedal-Pusher Buick Busted in Toronto

Frank Williams
by Frank Williams

When does art become a public menace? According to Toronto police, when it's driven on city streets. reports Dean Baldwin was pulled over whilst "driving" artist Michel de Broin's Shared Propulsion Car (SPC). The vehicle in question is a 1986 Buick Regal that's been stripped of engine, transmission and suspension (it uses votive candles to meet the Canadian requirement for daytime running lights). In case you're wondering, the pedal-powered Buick is part of a solo exhibition at the Mercer Union art gallery. No matter. Baldwin has been charged with driving an unsafe vehicle. It isn't the first time the art car has caught the attention of the po-po. In Montreal, the art car went all of two blocks before it was pulled over. However, it went unchallenged (and probably unnoticed) when it appeared in New York City. When Baldwin's case comes up, de Broin said he plans to have the car towed to court. After winning the case, he'll "drive it away 'slowly' and 'freely'."

[You can see the Shared Propulsion Car in action on YouTube]

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  • Confused1096 Confused1096 on Nov 27, 2007
    I’m still baffled as to why they chose a Buick regal. Perhaps for structural integrity? (anyone…anyone?) Because a lighter car would take the challenge out of the project? Besides, when restored, these are sharp looking cars.
  • Donal Donal on Nov 27, 2007

    Well, I've got a Buick Regal, but I got it for the V6 3.8, not for pedaling. I've had three cars with the 3.8 and it has always run like a champ. I think they've phased it out, though. Here's something that would have been a lot easier to pedal - a Fiat 500 made into an EV. The first photo is the best because the model is so tall she makes the 500 look like a toy:

  • David C. Holzman David C. Holzman on Nov 27, 2007

    well that beats the town. Put a big smile on my face. Looking at the profile, with the feet on the ground, shades of the Flintstones. The reaction of the policeman... some people get rigid as they age. They don't know how to deal with that which fails to conform to the norm. As for why a Buick Regal? Why not? Although I might have chosen a K-car for this, uh, exercise. Or maybe an old Rambler American.

  • 50merc 50merc on Nov 28, 2007

    This "Shared Propulsion Car" isn't really a new idea. Yugo produced thousands of examples years ago. The main difference is de Broin included pedals.