DEARBORN – Ford Motor Company and MAKE magazine are asking for the public’s help in deciding among 10 innovative proposals for a one-of-a-kind Ford Transit Connect Wagon as part of the Ultimate Maker Vehicle Challenge.
Voting, which began Nov. 18, is open until 11:59 p.m. PST, Dec. 12. The public will choose who wins the Ultimate Maker Vehicle Challenge, casting ballots via the contest’s website (http://bit.ly/17htfD8) for entries that take Ford Transit Connect into some very different and creative territories.
“Meeting an unmet need is key to making,” said Mike Senese, executive editor of MAKE magazine. “The Ford Transit Connect Challenge is a great platform for our community to showcase their imagination and DIY skills.
“The versatility of Transit Connect opens up nearly limitless configuration options and uses,” he added, “and its uniqueness fits perfectly with the diverse interests of the members of the maker movement.”
From the Robot Ambulance that serves as a mobile toy robot factory for children to the Urban Photography Response Vehicle for the film and production industry, entrants were given a budget and specific design and build criteria. They also were encouraged to define their vision for the ultimate Transit Connect Wagon.
The grand prize winner will be given $10,000, and the runner-up will be awarded $2,500.
The public can vote once a day for as few or as many entries as they like. The contestants will be judged on overall design and customization, as well as maker spirit.
Ford Transit Connect first launched in North America in 2009, primarily as a commercial vehicle, and has been a smart choice for small business owners ever since. The compact van earned 2010 North American Truck of the Year honors, adding to its global reputation for durability and toughness that dates back to its debut in Europe in 2003.
The all-new 2014 Transit Connect van, which features class-leading configuration options, has been named International Van of the Year 2014. Its versatility has sparked the creativity of owners in what Ford has coined to be their moment of Vandemonium.
The 2014 Ford Transit Connect is offered in two distinct models – the traditional, hard-working, panel-side hauler cargo van; and an all-new wagon model, a stylish, spacious and fuel-efficient people mover. Transit Connect Wagon features sliding doors and flexible, fold-flat seating for up to seven.
The DIY challenge is part of Ford’s Makers and Movers campaign with MAKE magazine involving Transit Connect Wagon. As part of the campaign, owners have used their talents to customize the vehicle, and have been showcased in stories and videos on Makezine.com. The profiles show how Ford has manufactured a vehicle that can be modified for an individual’s tastes and passions.
Meet the makers of the Ultimate Maker Vehicle Challenge
• Ben Light of New York has turned Transit Connect into the Robot Ambulance, a mobile toy robot fabrication lab for children
• Game of Drones has created the LandLab Transit Connect, turning the vehicle into an all-terrain, modular base station for disaster relief, scientific research and living off the grid
• Milwaukee Makerspace has given personalized styling to Transit Connect, turning it into a vehicle that can show off inventions or products created by members at special events
• The Hackmobile, designed by members of Twin Cities Maker, is a Transit Connect designed around The Fabber, a three-axis CNC machine with multiple tool heads and build platforms that can be swapped out for various fabrication jobs
• Jimmy Diresta, a self-proclaimed hunter-gatherer in New York, created a Transit Connect that allows him to bring any tool he needs into the field to repair or dismantle objects
• Transit Connect Disaster Relief Vehicle, a collaboration between Fixers Collective, MakerBar and Xtreme Heat, is designed to provide sustained relief to disaster areas with warm food, clean water, shelter and communication devices
• Video Sans-Video Game Transit Connect by Michael Newman turns the vehicle into a giant video game without the video, with players side-scrolling their way through hand-drawn game levels
• The Transit Connect designed by Gerald Beranek is intended to be the ultimate mobile tool box, with a large storage system, as well as mechanical and electrical hardware
• The MakeIt Labs Transit Connect is designed to deploy a compact but functional workshop at the push of a button
• The Urban Photography Response Vehicle is designed by Mike and Pat Murray to be the ultimate Transit Connect for the film and production industry, with the space and tools needed for shooting video and photography
For more information about Ford Transit Connect Wagon, or the cargo van, including pricing, visit www.ford.com/2014tcbuild&price.