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Auto Show:  2011 San Diego Auto Show

Mobility Zone - San Diego Auto Show

January 2011 author photo


January 5, 2011

“Transportation is an indispensable part of life for all people,” said Kevin Leap, director of the San Diego auto show. This philosophy is borne out by the event’s Mobility Zone. “We are extremely pleased to offer this exhibit, which shows that being disabled does not mean staying at home.”

Indeed, the Mobility Zone offers many different ways of going far from base. For example, there is the Sportmobile WAVE (Wheelchair Accessible Van for Expeditions), an off-roading van with plenty of ground clearance and also a ramp. Parked right next to it is a wheelchair without wheels. Instead, it has caterpillar tracks. Think of it as an all-terrain electric wheelchair controlled by a joystick.

Also in the zone are a 1970s Datsun set up for competition, its interior completely stripped out, and a Roush 427R Mustang fitted with hand controls whose owner regularly takes it racing. Both of these cars are run by members of the Cal-Diego Paralyzed Veterans Association whose aim is to “familiarize veterans with competitive driving.”

Inspiration is everywhere throughout the Mobility Zone. Eric Lazar, of Karting2Live, has this to say: “Having your life changed in an instant doesn’t get cured by doctors. It is cured from within and a chance to find your new confidence, purpose and life.” Lazar speaks from experience. He broke his back in 2003, yet started racing karts in 2006, to great success. His kart on display at the San Diego auto show has handlebars instead of the normal wheel and pedals. There’s a twist-grip throttle and, just like a bicycle, hand levers for the brakes. It’s simple yet ingenious. Lazar doesn’t have the copyright on this next quote, but he is a good illustration that “anything is possible.”

author photoCOLIN RYAN has driven hundreds of cars thousands of miles while writing for BBC Top Gear magazine, Popular Mechanics, the Los Angeles Times, European Car, Import Tuner and many other publications, websites, TV shows, etc.

This image is a stock photo and is not an exact representation of any vehicle offered for sale. Advertised vehicles of this model may have styling, trim levels, colors and optional equipment that differ from the stock photo.
Mobility Zone - San Diego Auto Show - Autotrader