Rogan with the disability accessible hotrod
Rogan McGilp, Ethan Dunbar-Baker and Stuart Chau, all students at Old Swinford Hospital school, Stourbridge, have been busy building a disability accessible hot rod and showcased their vehicle to more than 7500 people at The Big Bang Fair at the NEC, Birmingham.
Following the success of his half-scale ‘Teen Rod – Bad Attitude’ and the near completion of a 1939 Lanchester hot rod, Rogan decided that he would like to build a vehicle inspired by his brother.
David, aged 13, has Downs Syndrome and is a wheelchair user but enjoys accompanying Rogan to hot rod events around the country.
By building this fully operational and accessible vehicle for David, it would mean that he would have the freedom to enjoy getting involved in the hot rod community and it changes the public perception of what a disability car ‘is’ and ‘has’ to be.
The car is 14 feet long and seven feet wide at the rear tyres and has a 4.0-litre Lexus LS400 quad cam, fuel-injected V8 engine and an automatic transmission. It has a Jaguar limited slip rear axle and drag racing wheels on the back as well.
Rogan has also designed and built a unique and specialist set of electric gull wing doors so the disabled user has maximum access to the vehicle. To add to this the vehicle is having custom hand controls added so that a person who has limited or no use of their legs is able to drive it. The vehicle will weigh around 750kg when finished and have about 300 horsepower and 300lb/ft of torque.
The students have managed to obtain sponsorship from several businesses such as Makita Power Tools, SNG Barratt UK (Jaguar parts specialists) who have offered technical support, NSRA, Steel City Cruisers and DC Speed Shop to name a few. Any additional sponsorship would be very welcome.
Rogan, from Herefordshire, is 16 and a boarder in Year 12 at OSH and spent his work experience last summer at Morgan Motor Company for several weeks as well as his brother’s special school.
He hopes to go on to Morgan for an apprenticeship when he leaves school and then move to the US to run his own hot rod and custom car business, which he has already started to set up.
The National Science and Engineering Competition is open to anyone aged 11-18 living in the UK and in full-time education.The competition aims to recognise and reward young people’s achievements in all areas of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). Follow their progress on @stemprojectosh or their build thread on www.rodsnsods.co.uk