One field that the British will always be leagues ahead of the rest of the world in is the ancient art of tinkering. Up and down this green and pleasant land, as you read this, there are bearded men in woolly jumpers and sensible shoes pottering away in their sheds, creating things that to some – those without the capacity to appreciate great tinkering - would seem utterly pointless.
One shining example of British tinkering comes in shape of fast moving furniture. The compulsion amongst some of the lets say ‘wackier’ British inventors to add motors to things that usually would be very much static has existed now for some time. With events throughout the country that see inventors, scrapheap warriors and amateur tinkerers competing against each other on their home built wacky racers – from motorised leather sofas to dining tables powered by motor bike engines, these races are a brilliant celebration of British eccentricity.
The undisputed king of fast furniture is Buckinghamshire inventor Perry Watkins. Watkins has been responsible for many unique vehicles over the years, created under the banner of Perrywinkle Customs. These include such record breaking machines as the Flatmobile, the ‘world’s lowest street legal car’ and the Wind-Up, ‘the worlds smallest street legal car’ – an achievement that has been recognised by the Guinness Book of Records.
It is although in the field of motorised furniture that Perry really excels. The pinnacle of his achievements in this area took place in September of 2010, when Watkin’s ‘FastFood’ vehicle sped to a World Record breaking speed to become the world’s fastest piece of furniture. FastFood consists of a dining table, completely set for dinner with tables, plates and champagne on ice – but it is the Nitrous oxide injected V8 engine that powers the table (which is based around the chassis of a 1994 Reliant Scimitar Sabre) which is its most impressive feature.
It was this engine that took FastFood to an astonishing 130 miles per hour at Santa Pod raceway in Nottinghamshire, smashing the previous record set by a Mr Edward China in 2007 which saw Mr China reach a still very impressive 92 mph on a motorised sofa. The only question is what will Perry convert next? A washing machine that flies? A laptop on wheels? Only time will tell.