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Unique Urbanna “golf cart” featured on History Channel

Darrell Sears (left) and Brandon Taylor with a highly modified “Dodgem” bumper car turned racing golf cart.

by Tom Chillemi

“The only difference between men and boys is the types of their toys.”

Local gear heads like Darrell Sears, Brandon Taylor, Billy Mayo and Jimmy Neal know that. Sears, of Locust Hill, has built a successful business in Urbanna called Unique Golf Carts. Over the past 12 years he has made all types of golf carts that are “stock, mild or wild, and everything in-between.”

Sears was invited to participate in History Channel’s “ToyMakerz,” Misfit Toys episode, which was filmed in October 2018. Sears, a Hopewell native and Marine Corps veteran went to Reidsville, N.C., where the show was videoed. Accompanying him was engine builder Brandon Taylor of Gloucester.

Besides the custom build there would be an invitation-only race among six teams at the filming. Sears bought a 1940s era Dodgem bumper car back in the summer, now he needed a performance engine. The first person he called was Taylor of Chandler’s Automotive Services in Urbanna. Taylor has a wealth of experience building monster performance engines and trucks for pulling  competitions. One of the trucks he helped build has won at a National Tractor Pullers Association event. 

The only difference now would be the machine’s size. And the engine? It would be anything but stock. The rules of ToyMakerz stated the only engine permitted was a 6.5-horsepower Predator engine from Harbor Freight. “They didn’t say it couldn’t be modified,” said Sears. The wheels were turning for Sears and Taylor as they devised a devious design for the engine. 

All this began in February 2018, when Billy Mayo of Urbanna told Sears about “ToyMakerz” on television, a different type automotive program that featured all kinds of really unusual “toyz.” A few days later Sears looked it up on the internet and saw they were having a photo contest where people would show off  their rides for a chance for their “toy” to appear on one of the episodes. 

“I kept thinking about it and a couple days later I submitted a picture of a 1959 Lussee bumper car that I had built for a customer from Prince George, Virginia,” said Sears. “I told my daughter Katy about it but I had no idea she would call ToyMakerz.”

On Saturday morning she called and left a message that she was inquiring about the photo contest and that her daddy had built the bumper car that was in the photo he had submitted.

A few minutes later, “The” ToyMakerz, David Ankin, returned Katy’s call and told her he really liked what her daddy had built. 

Read the rest of this story in this week’s Southside Sentinel at newsstands throughout the county, or sign up here to receive a print and/or electronic pdf subscription.

posted 04.19.2019

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