Lessons from a Motorized Metal Shark

A drive down the road in Englewood, Florida might yield you a fairly monotonous view of strip malls, gas stations, and flat, straight roads through semi-tropical, over-developed, sand-land. Indeed, were on our way to a Home Depot, for a small arts & crafts project.

As we drove, we came across a motorized metal shark driving down the sidewalk, music blaring…..

Driving back and forth we followed the shiny cartoon-esque shark until finally, the shark came to us. Turning around in an Autozone parking lot, the “Wildmman” rolled up to us. “That’s sooo Cool!” Natalie said as he stopped.

Brian, or Wildmman, as he goes by on his website, has been making art since way back in the day, but only recently has he started making prone position motorized wheelchairs. He found that with some modification and innovation, a motorized wheelchair could be turned into a rolling piece of art; a new localized means of travel; something for people to look at, appreciate, and be interested in.

Natalie listens to stories from the Wildmman

Brian, who was motivated to make these machines after  losing the use of his legs in an automobile accident, found that people often have a difficult time relating to, or interacting with, people with different abilities. With his new, artsy, distinct form of transportation, people are either unable to see the driver’s legs or are distracted enough to be able to see past any ‘disability,’ making it easier to start conversations.

Unwilling to settle for “It can’t be done”, Brian has set off to change the world of mobility, one art-cart at a time. He started the Igma Carts company and has created designs for more than 150 carts, the metal shark being the most recently completed model.

This year, at the Daytona 500, the Wildmman will be sharing his talent on a larger scale, donating one of his Igma Carts to a recently returned disabled Veteran, and hopes to make a few laps with the soldier at the event.

We spoke with Brian for a solid 45 minutes that day, reminding us that even on the strip mall streets of Englewood Florida you can find innovations in art, culture, technology. His compassion and determination were contagious, and we left feeling inspired and light-hearted. Hopefully, as he drove away in his motorized metal shark, with onlookers smiling as they passed, having shared his story with us, he too felt a continued inspiration to work for a more equitable, accepting, and able-minded world.

For more information on Igma Carts click HERE

For more information on Brian click HERE

 

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One Response to “Lessons from a Motorized Metal Shark”
  1. Jeanne says:

    We, too, drove through Englewood today and were fascinated by the motorized shark on the side of the road. We coulddn’t help but pull over and wait to meet the person inside. Brian is truly an inspiration, and I’ll always remember today and the lessons I learned from a chance meeting with the wildmman. 🙂

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