Having a vehicle is a nearly essential part of life. The modern internal combustion engine (or ICE) has been around since 1876 and has been serving commuters, weekend warriors, and road trippers ever since. In that same time, cannabis-themed vehicles have been riffing on America’s primary mode of transportation since Ford proposed a car that could be grown from the soil.
In launching our own cannabis-centric road trip across the West this summer, we got inspired by cool cannabis vehicles from the past and popular culture. Check out the following list to see just a few of our favorites.
Henry Ford’s Hemp Car
There are a few different accounts regarding Henry Ford’s hemp-and-soybean car, and not all of them suggest that the car was made entirely from hemp, yet the car lives in cannabis infamy.
The gist of the project is that Ford wanted to grow crops that could be refined into the necessary materials to produce a bioplastic body of the vehicle, and that with the help of the diesel engine, Ford could run this fortified plant matter vehicle on vegetable and seed oils. In end, the vehicle never took shape and sadly, what started as a search for a biocomposite, plant-derived car was supplanted by the petroleum-driven automotive industry we know today.
The Merry Pranksters’ School Bus (aka Further)
This 1939 Intentional Harvest school bus was purchased by Ken Kesey in 1964. The artistically embellished vehicle was then used to convey the Merry Pranksters across the country while they consumed hallucinogenics and fought The Establishment.
The “Green Machine”
Bruce Dietzen, president of Renew Sports Cars, developed a hemp vehicle on a Mazda chassis with about 100 pounds of hemp fiber. The hemp fibers are coated in resin, creating a tough plastic-like surface that is lightweight and more dent resistant than steel. “It sets an example,” Dietzen says. “It’s really a symbolic product right now.”
Kestrel Hemp Biocomposite Electric Car
Kestrel is a biocomposite electric vehicle created by MII and Toronto Electric. The Canadian-made car creates zero emissions and is partially made from hemp-derived materials. These hemp materials are 10% lighter and 20% less expensive than fiberglass as well as being healthier to work with.
Harold and Kumar’s Cheetah
Though NPH wrecked the quality commuter vehicle that is the Toyota Camry in the film Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle, the cheetah was the real star of the show. What is the appropriate amount of cannabis needed to ride a cheetah? Only these men know.
Pineapple Express: Daewoo Lanos
Danny McBride has played a part in some of the funniest shows on television, but before he was Kenny Powers or a Vice Principal, he was Red, the drug-dealing, ashtray-throwing, neck-brace-wearing antihero we all love to hate. In one of Red’s final acts of heroism, he drives his yellow Daewoo Lanos into Matheson (Craig Robinson).
Cheech and Chong’s Up In Smoke Sweet & Low Upholstery Van
This classic cannabis vehicle pushed the boundaries on how cannabis could be smuggled. The Sweet & Low Upholstery van acted as the perfect disguise for Cheech, Chong, and the enormous quantity of contraband they were running.
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