Found: Powerchair with chrome blingNov 10 04:06
Here, my fellow powerchair users, is the inspiration for my desire to want to look awesome…even in my wheelchair. It is a powerchair encased in chrome. Well not completely, but it covers about 25% of it, and on a wheelchair that usually looks like a wanna-be Tranformers, this makes for one heck of a makeover.
A lucky paraplegic has the honor of owning this bad boy. He also happens to be a wheelchair mechanic at one of the biggest wheelchair dealers in our city. He’s a quiet 40 something guy who received the chair from his employer, and his employer won it at a benefit (at least he gave it to someone who would appreciate it!). And the people behind this amazing creation? Orange County Choppers, the California motorheads who live and breath chrome.
It takes a whole lot of expertise unfortunately (because I’d really like to have my brother learn how to do this), so I’m not surprised the people behind this chrome are big-time motorcycles bling doctors. I hate to say it - but even the best wheelchair mechanic can’t do this, and it’s too bad. Think of how more ok with powerchairs new powerchair-users would be if they could have chrome on their chairs? As you can see from my pics, the chrome is around the legs and the base, and the contrast of the chrome with the rest of the chair looks awesome.
The paraplegic mechanic also did further enhancements to his wheelchair to make it look cooler. He lowered the backrest to mid-torso level (only safe for those with good trunk control), which gave it a sleek new vibe. Then he put a flat, nearly inconspicuous footrest on it. Basically - he created a paraplegic-friendly powerchair. Brilliant!
Ever since I’ve seen this wheelchair, I’ve wanted it for myself. But since that is out of the question unless he dies, I'm set on just pining away for it from afar. Question though: Why isn’t chrome an option on powerchairs? It’s always baffled me (and I’ve bitched about it on my blog before) why powerchairs, made for lifelong-users, don’t have more fabulous options.
They really should. At the very least, powerchairs should have more options than sportscars. We use them 10x more often (so they really are closely aligned with how others how perceive us). Chrome has a higher purpose, my friends. For the young to the just plain hip wheelchair-users, chrome can be the bridge to sparking conversation and getting people to see us in a different light.
I want it now.
Have you seen chrome on a powerchair before? Any tips on getting it?
Post a comment about this blog!
1. fridawrites | Nov 10 05:34
Tiff, write the companies. I wrote Pride about an ergonomics issue on my footrest, explaining how it compressed my hips and caused pain--tall women have wider pelvises than men. And now the footrests come with a wider option (I can change mine but don't have $400 or so it would take)! I highly recommend going to the product development people and others with any recommendations you have--and for several brands of chairs in case you need a different model. And then it may be available on your next chair. I've also contacted Amigo Mobility with a list of suggestions and they were also passed on--I think some of them were also implemented on new scooters. They've got to hear it from us firsthand, and preferably from many of us. Maybe we should have advocacy teams to help with development.
2. Chris Jordan | Nov 11 11:10
More chrome just brings back memories of Everest&Jenning wheelchairs for me. Glad people consider "bling". Custom (faded multi-color) paint, pinstripes, stickers, checkered flag to match checkered or flame tape, bicycle frame lighting, a small compass and clock all work for me!
3. Bob V | Nov 12 01:17
Chris--you hit the nail on the head. In manual chairs, chrome brings back memories to Everest & Jennings hospital chairs. On the powerchair it will be interesting to see if people think "custom chopper" or "Everest & Jennings hospital chair". It will be cool if people make the "custom chopper" or "custom car" link.
4. powerchairdude | Nov 24 06:48
nice but I'd stay far far away from anything that says INVACARE on it, partly do the fact that the compartment that holds the batteries is only allowing you to fit their crappy set of batteries that will not get you out and about for as long as I would like to be.
5. ex-Gooserider | Dec 06 06:01
Pretty much, If it's metal, it can be chromed... There are places that do custom chrome plating, many of them advertise in the biker magazines like Easy Rider... Get in your spare chair, take the parts off, prep per their directions and ship - when they come back bolt them back on. Of course this begs the question of WHY? I don't care what my chair looks like, I just wish it WORKED - something the mobility industry doesn't seem to be able to do - though it is certainly possible - see WheelChairDriver.com (and his chairs look nice to...)
Disability buzz, travel, fashion and dating — fun things to amp up everyday wheeling life.
Tiffiny Carlson is freelance writer and writes the “SCI Life” column for New Mobility. She's also a C6 quad from a diving accident that occurred when she was 14 years old. A lifelong resident of Minneapolis, Tiffiny has been a writer in the disability community for over 10 years and writes for several publications and blogs, as well as her personal blog BeautyAbility. Her work has also appeared in mainstream publications such as Nerve.com and Playgirl.