The Big Banana Car was built by Steve Braithwaite and a close group of friends over a 2 -1/2 year period beginning in 2009. Working mostly on Sundays and occasional weeknight the original 1993 Ford pick up was converted into a rolling banana.
The build was started in Bowling Green Ohio, continued in Quakertown Pennsylvania and completed in Coopersburg PA.
It has been on the road since 2011 and in that time has driven coast to coast and north to south.
Steve Braithwaite, Radio DJ - Internet Explorer - Adventurer and owner of GalaxyGig.com Webhosting, was born at a very early age in the picturesque town of Woodstock in Oxfordshire, England, under the inauspicious sign of Taurus. As a youngster, like a moth to the flame, he was attracted to all things yellow. The movie "American Graffiti" channeled his attraction toward yellow hotrods and then a chance meeting with a basket of fruit in a gas station narrowed his focus even further and an idea was born.
Ron is the owner of a small part-time welding company located in Sellersville, PA called RK Services, with the dreams of one day turning this vision into his full-time business. The birth of RK Services was in 1996 and Ron is a 3rd generation welder who believes in doing the job right and at a reasonable price. He is A Kutt Above the Rest.
Contact Ron at (267) 718-8604.
Liz was amazing. She took to the project straight away and wanted to help in any way she could. She offered her large workshop for the build and had many great ideas and input.
Videographer, web designer and all around useful guy.
Steve shot most of the video for the early stages of the movie in Michigan and also some in Ohio. He has been instrumental in getting the project off the ground and moving it forward.
He owns his own internet radio station at FlintTalkRadio.com along with many other websites.
Auto body expert and general automotive expert.
Mark has his own body shop in Bowling Green, Ohio. He has an astounding knowledge of all things automotive and the skills needed to repair and restore vintage automobiles.
The banana car project was started at Marks Bowling Green location and with his help progressed very quickly.
Glen is not only a very skilled auto mechanic but he is someone who doesn't need much direction. Give him the basic outline of a job and he goes non stop, working quietly until suddenly you look over and it's finished.
Unfortunately Glen is no longer with us.
Rick Willens (Airbrush Artist)
Rick writes: "I first saw the BBC (Big Banana Car) in a news article and thought, " This is something, I'd like to be a part of"...SO...I volunteered my airbrushing ability after contacting Steve and introduced him to Jim Lacey of J&L Auto Body to do the Base coating. I got my chance to "work my magic", and I Airbrushed the BBC to look, Just Like a REAL Banana. The Airbrushing took about 5 hours with Steve directing and Liz Filming and Jim mixing the colors. I think it looks GREAT.... What a thrill to see the BBC go through this transformation from just a dream.....to a BIG BANANA CAR!!!! I'm GLAD I was a Part of it! Bon Voyage!".
And I must say that Rick did an excellent job! The most common comment I have heard since he airbrushed it is "Wow, it really does look like a banana with the green fading"
Phone: (267) 312-3817
(The Formally Unknown Mechanic)
I had heard stories of a mechanic in the area that sounded too unlikely to believe. Tall tales of a "Mechanics" mechanic. A guy that other auto repair shop owners go to when they are stumped.
With some vague verbal directions whispered in a hushed voice I set out on a quest to find this man and enroll him in the Big Banana Car project. After a winding twisting journey through the roads of Pennsylvania I found myself standing before the gate to his kingdom. However, it was after 5pm on a Friday and he had gone home for the weekend.
With a tear in my eye I turned and left, vowing to return on Monday.
When I went back on Monday I outlined the big banana car build and trip and the particular needs I had and stood back as he pondered my request and I nervously awaited his decision.
"I'll help you" he said "on one condition. That I stay in the shadows with no publicity"
"Certainly" I said "Not a problem"
I presumed that he wanted to help but was embarrassed about working on a huge banana and didn't want his friends to find out but it turns out that, unlike me, he is just a very humble guy and simply wants to avoid the lime light.
I'm hoping he will reconsider his anonymity and will at some point agree to letting me release his name. (He now has)
Mike Hinkle - The Formally Unknown Mechanic
Phone (616) UNK-NOWN
Gene Toner (The elder)
I needed some Fiero seats and had been driving past a house that had a couple of Fiero's in the yard. I stopped to enquire about them having no notion that the home owner was a huge car nut. We got chatting about the big banana car and Gene was hooked.
Gene Toner (The younger)
Gene is a very skilled auto mechanic and sees solutions before I have even noticed the problem.
They are my favourite pair of Genes.
I have bought a lot of supplies from Keystone Automotive in Bethlehem PA and while I was there one day I casually asked if anyone knows of someone who would like to help out with the big banana car body work.
A few days later I received a call from Tim who has now spent quite a few hours filling and sanding, filling and sanding.
Matt Kelly and
Lindsey Joy Delozier
We were working on the Big Banana Car outside the workshop and a little black car pulled in the driveway with strange writing all over it. The owner is Matt Kelly and he had driven it all across Canada and Russia and he listened to the details of our project with great enthusiasm. He and his girlfriend Lindsay stopped by the next day and helped get the car ready for paint
Kelli and Rob
Kelli and Rob deserve a big thank you. They have helped the Big Banana Car project in many ways from filming to junkyard trips to heavy lifting when swapping the engine.
Custom Services Company. Sandblasting
Glenn Singer and Leo Moyer of Custom Services Company sandblasted the very rusty F150 frame. It was an extremely hot day and we all remarked on how hardworking Glenn was. He had to wear a lot of protective clothing and must have been absolutely boiling as he crawled around, over and under the big banana car frame spraying every inch with a powerful blast of sand. The frame came out looking fantastic! Glenn not so much.
Custom Services Company Inc.
768 N. West End Blvd.
Phone: (215) 536-5339
Fax: (215) 536-6923
I called in the experts to plum the brakes. The team from Yerkes Auto in Quakertown ran all the brake lines, hooked up the master cylinder and booster and bled the system to give me a strong brake pedal.
1916 Quarry Road
Phone: (610) 346-7098
Ron buys a lot of his steel supplies at Hoover Steel in Schwenksville, PA and they provided him with some of his needs at no charge.
4841 Garges Road
Phone: (610) 287-8855
C & B Iron
Steve has bought a lot of the steel he used from C & B Iron in Quakertown
100 Richlandtown Pike
Phone: (215) 536-7162
Broadway Speed Shop
John and his crew did the "Specially Constructed Vehicle" inspection and the first Pennsylvania annual safety inspection.
Phone: (610) 865-1020
JL Auto Body
Jim Lacy and his team (Jim, Jim and Jim) did a really wonderful job of laying down the yellow base paint.
They were very nice to work with and Jim himself had an almost constant grin and kept shaking his head in mirth every few minutes.
JL Auto Body
825 Bethlehem Pike
Phone: (215) 822-0988
Keystone Automotive Bethlehem PA
Most of the fibreglass and bodywork supplies came from Keystone and because I was in there so often they got to hear all about the Big Banana Car.
Cathy mentioned it to her boss and they very kindly offered to provide the banana yellow paint.
3658 Route 378
Melody Lakes Tire and Auto.
Liz has been getting her vehicles worked on at Melody Lakes Auto on 309 in Quakertown for many years and when they heard about the Big Banana Car they offered us four brand new tires.
Melody Lakes Tire and Auto
1113 North West End Boulevard
Phone: (215) 536-8511