Allan Carver (allancarver.com) is a maker of many disciplines, from fine furniture to go carts to electronically controlled dinosaurs. He has a background in marketing and advertising, and is based in Hubbards, Nova Scotia.
The Casket Cart is an electric-motorized casket (yes, a coffin) driven by the one and only Grim Reaper. The cart was created from an electric scooter and foam. It was built to help promote the Haunted House – Fear the Darkness – at Alderney Landing. We’ve run it throughout Halifax and Dartmouth, and every time we take it out we get tons of smiles, laughs, and “WTFs”.
How did the idea originate?
I was having a conversation with the organizer of the Haunted House, Bea MacGregor, Executive Director of Alderney Landing, and after doing a walk-thru of the maze, I noticed an empty casket. I mentioned that it would be wicked to see it driving around town. She agreed. So I built it.
Most of the materials I use for any project is recycled, if possible. Someone threw out the scooter, and I picked it up. After sourcing some deep-cycle batteries, I tested it out and it worked fabulously. I had some square steel tubing that I bought from Metals R Us. And I also picked up some dense purple insulation board from Home Depot to create the casket. Gloss black paint came from Home Hardware, and the signs were printed at UPS in Tantallon.
The whole project took about 3 to 4 days to make. Cutting and welding the frame was straightforward. I used a spare piece of chipboard to make the floor. There were no real head-scratcher challenges, but the one area I had to redo was the steering geometry. To make the steering fit within the confines of the casket, I flipped the steering mechanism. But when I tested it, you would turn left and the wheels would go right… turn right and the wheels go left. FUN! To solve it, I had to change the tie rod ends from in front of the wheel to behind. That meant unbolted the spindles and putting them on the opposite sides. Simple fix. The casket was quick to make. I used spray foam to glue the foam boards together and secured it to the cart with Velcro.
The Casket Cart has literally stopped traffic. Any camera nearby is automatically pointed at it. People do double takes. Laugh. And smile. I’ve heard plenty of OMGs and WTFs. I’ve been challenged to race by other people in electric scooters. FYI, the Casket Cart goes a blistering 4 mph (I know, next stop… Bonneville Salt Flats). It’s been a hit wherever it goes. The best part of the Casket Cart is the electric scooter platform. Now that it’s been created, we can put anything on top of it, not just a casket.
Here’s an embed link to the short vid on Instagram: