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Giant V-8 Powered Shopping Cart
Women imagine how many groceries it would hold. Men marvel at the Chevrolet 460 hp 396 V-8 big block engine that powers it. Kids love the loud noise it makes.
    This giant 13-ft. tall motorized shopping cart grabs people's attention every time it's used, says Jim Knight, media market manager for the North Carolina agriculture department.
    "It generates tremendous interest everywhere we take it," Knight says. "It's a great marketing tool for us, and it's used four days out of five."
    The stainless steel unit weighs about 2,500 lbs. and is used to promote everything from foods to cotton to Christmas trees. It shows up at grocery store promotions, business openings, tractor parades, state fairs and farm shows.
    With five sponsoring companies advertised on the cart, there is no cost to North Carolina taxpayers to cover the cost of the big cart.
    The "Big Cart" is one of eight built by NCC Motorsports. Robert Unnerstall, Sr., initially designed the cart to promote the National Cart Co. In 1986, the first big cart debuted at the grand opening of a Schnucks Market in St. Louis, Mo. All eight carts are leased by various companies throughout the U.S.
    The 8-ft. 6-in. by 15-ft. basket holds 1,000 9-in. balloons or 360 grocery bags. Four adults can fit in the baby seat.
    While it isn't meant to carry a lot of weight, it delivers a big message. Besides promoting products and businesses, it draws attention for fundraisers. It was parked at recent food drives, for example. A ton of food was donated in four hours during one event and two tons of food were donated at another.
    "As loud as it is, and as big as the engine is, it's not a high performance vehicle," Knight says. "We usually drive it at 5 to 10 mph with a top speed of about 30 mph."
    Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Got To Be NC Agriculture, NCDA&CS Public Affairs Division, 2 West Edenton Street, Raleigh, N.C. 27601 (ph 919 733-4216; www.GotToBeNC.com).

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2010 - Volume #34, Issue #1