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fordtc gif caseygrind Sneak Peek of the Hackmobile, the First Ultimate Maker Vehicle

powered by Movers & MakersThe Hackmobile is envisaged as a ‘makerspace on wheels.’ Winner of the first Ultimate Maker Vehicle challenge, the vehicle is currently being fabricated at CGS Motorsports in Chino, California. The deadline is near: the Hackmobile will be unveiled this Saturday morning at the 9th annual Maker Faire Bay Area in San Mateo, California. Everyone on-site producing the Greatest Show (and Tell) on Earth has yet to see this vehicle, and we hope you are as excited as we are to see it!

You can literally drive it to your location, think of an idea, pull over at that spot, and start making stuff.

We caught up with Casey Scranton from CGS to get his thoughts on the build progress, and of course to get a sneak peek of the fabrication ourselves.

fordtc sneakpeek01 Sneak Peek of the Hackmobile, the First Ultimate Maker Vehicle

fordtc sneakpeek06 Sneak Peek of the Hackmobile, the First Ultimate Maker Vehicle

The two sliding trays behind the driver seat take up the bulk of the space inside the cab. When asked about their progress and whether they feel the pressure of the deadline fast-approaching, Scranton responded,

We’re at least three quarters of the way done. It looks like it’s about a quarter of the way done but most of the major fabrication and manufacturing of different parts and products that we’re going to put in it [is done].

Speaking to that semblance of empty space — just some tools on a big sliding tray — Scranton said,

The [wagon] is a lot bigger than it looks. Once you start putting stuff where it goes there’s actually a ton of room inside these things. So it’s actually working out a lot better than we originally thought that it would. We’re looking right now for more equipment that we can fill up and that might be useful with this project.

fordtc sneakpeek03 Sneak Peek of the Hackmobile, the First Ultimate Maker Vehicle

fordtc sneakpeek04 Sneak Peek of the Hackmobile, the First Ultimate Maker Vehicle

Translating design elements to the real world always comes with challenges and surprises. Speaking broadly of the build process, Scranton said,

We custom-fabricated mounts and brackets and a full platform for it to mount to, but everything bolts to the factory seat bolts. There are no extra holes or any kind of welding done to the actual car in this design. Everything is bolted in so you can un-bolt it if you wanted to, put the seats back in it, and it’d be a stock [wagon].

The back of the seats, we’ve taken the leather off completely, re-sewed the back of the seats so they have all the different molle attachments which you can put pretty much put every little type of tool or mechanism into.

Detailing the sliding trays and other elements of the vehicle, Scranton continued,

On the back slide what we’re going to have is all your big machinery — drill press, welders, grinders, more metalworking stuff, fabrication type stuff. On the front slide that comes out the side it’ll have a soldering iron, digital multimeters, toolboxes that come out the side containing tools, nut and bolt trays, and compartments to hold all the hardware with smaller stuff on that side tray. Coming out the front doors there’ll be a MacBook Pro mount that swivels out the doors, so you can work on whatever 3D programs, fabricating programs, CAD programs you need. It’ll have GPS, 4G, WiFi hotspot. You’ll be able to do anything you want to do, just pull over and get to work.

All that and more inside a makerspace on the move! Look for the Hackmobile in the West Green at Maker Faire Bay Area and let us know what you think of this Ultimate Maker Vehicle.


Vehicle shown with after-market equipment. Pre-production vehicle shown.

Nick Normal

I’m an artist & maker. A lifelong biblioholic, and advocate for all-things geekathon. Home is Long Island City, Queens, which I consider the greatest place on Earth. 5-year former Resident of Flux Factory, co-organizer for World Maker Faire (NYC), and blogger all over the net. Howdy!


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