Energy & Sustainability Technology
If you can’t buy it, build it: Wanky the safety cat

00-Winky The White Cat 475

18-Lights Installed In Winky
Mike sent in this awesome Wanky the safety cat project –

When I got my first beater car as a proto-hoon of 16, my dad had some excellent advice, straight from the Midwestern heartland where he learned about wrenching: “Son,” he said, squinting at my barely-running Corona, popping the top on his can of Old Milwaukee, and taking a mighty swig, “You need to get yourself a JC Whitney catalog!” He knew the address by heart: JC Whitney, Chicago, Illinois, so that’s what I wrote on the postcard requesting my first catalog. Soon the first of many wonderful pulp-paper treasures appeared in my mailbox, straight from the City Of The Big Shoulders…

…and the thing that caught my attention, each time I scanned its wondrous pages, was the Winky The White Cat listing. Soft, Fluffy… and Safe! Red Eyes Flash Warning!

I wanted Winky for my car, to keep me safe with his soft fluffiness and his acrylon-like fur. But I was young and foolish, worried about image. What would my friends think? Could I blast Fresh Fruit For Rotting Vegetables on the cassette and still sport Winky in the back window, all the while keeping some semblance of coolness? Sadly, a victim of teenage peer pressure, I couldn’t bring myself to buy Winky. A few years later, JC Whitney stopped carrying him. Winky was no more.
Now, 25 years later, I realize that all is not lost. Yeah, I can’t buy Winky (not a real one, anyway), but I can make my own!

If You Can’t Buy It, Build It: Wanky The Safety Cat – Link.

16 thoughts on “If you can’t buy it, build it: Wanky the safety cat

  1. Wow, as soon as I saw that I thought to myself “This looks like something out of a JC Whitney catalog”.

    Lol, you could have Winky for the rear deck and an angel hood ornament with light-up wings for the front of the car. Don’t forget your curb feelers and fake hood scoops also.

    I remember getting the JC catalogs from the time shortly before I could drive, until they finally realized that sending me a catalog every few months in exchange for no orders wasn’t exactly a good deal. If it lit up, or could be applied to your vehicle with double-stick tape, JC Whitney carried it.

  2. When you put it in the back shelf, be sure to get some fuzzy fake fur to cover the shelf. You can’t have just the fuzzy cat without the fuzzy fur.

    Note also that the brown version just does not cut it — you need a white one with fur about 3 inches long to really make the scene, man.

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