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$494 pledged of $74,600 goal
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By Steve Braithwaite
$494 pledged of $74,600 goal
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About this project

Most of the really great challenges fell at the hands of intrepid explorers in the last two centuries, but there still remains one unclaimed title that has eluded even the most daring of adventurers; One last, great, epic undertaking; A journey of such magnitude and scope that few have even contemplated the task.

It has therefore fallen to two unassuming brothers to be the ones to step forth from among the trembling masses and throw down the gauntlet (and then immediately pick it up) to become...

The first humans to circle the globe in a banana. 

Some people are born great, and some, as we know, have greatness thrust upon them. Steve and Spade Braithwaite have seen it from a distance many times, mostly in Bruce Willis movies or something like that.

"If you ask mountaineers why they do it," says Steve, the elder of the two siblings, "they always reply 'because it's there'.
Well that makes it easy in my opinion! When we first embarked upon the Big Banana Car World Trip there was no banana car! It didn't exist. So the first thing we had to do was build one. Of course you can climb a mountain if it's there! It's when it's not there that the difficulty arises."

When asked why he wanted to go on the adventure, Spade Braithwaite replied, "Of all the hundreds of planets in the entire universe, this one is my very fave' and I want to see it while it's still here."


The majority of the Big Banana Car was built in the quiet little hamlet of Coopersburg, Pennsylvania, in a workshop owned by Liz O'Neill.

Liz was born and raised in rural Pennsylvania and was often told that being a farmer’s wife was what life had in store for her, but after a fulfilling life as a wife and mother, Liz became somewhat restless. She knew there was a great big world out there, and not yet ready to fade gracefully into retirement, she was eager for a new kind of adventure.

In exchange for using her workshop to build the Big Banana Car, the Braithwaite brothers had a quiet discussion and decided to ask Liz if she would like to come on the trip and see the world. "But there are parts of Coopersburg I haven't even seen yet!" Liz exclaimed. However, after a few seconds of thought, she eagerly accepted the opportunity to live out the adventure that she had been yearning for her entire life.
“I'll have to get a new hat.” she proclaimed.

No Corporate Backers

It should be pointed out that the brothers have no corporate backers with deep pockets, and they are not, by any stretch of the imagination, wealthy themselves. They scraped together the money to build a banana car and have scraped together the money to drive it around the world. To keep their costs down, they will be sleeping in tents and using CouchSurfing.org as much as possible. This means that Kickstarter.com is their only hope of getting the trip filmed.
"To do something like this and not film it would be a crime to humanity" said Steve the more pompous and self aggrandizing of the two brothers. "It would be like spending a leisurely afternoon taking photos of the Loch Ness Monster only to find out later that you had no film in your camera. Or it would be like having dinner with Bigfoot only to ....." (at this point in the interview we turned off our tape recorder and walked away.) 

Our proposed route will be somewhere in the red area.

The Film Team.

Vince Clemente and Dan Billups studied film together in college years ago and have worked as a team on numerous projects since. Together they have produced the documentary "The World of Z" (zDocumentary.com) about the troubled Chicago artist Zbigniew Fiks. Their latest film details the world of high stakes Tetris called "Ecstasy of Order - The Tetris Masters" (EcstasyOfOrder.com).


While doing some research on the internet for a film he wanted to make about bananas, Vince stumbled upon the Big Banana Car website and knew instantly that he had to be involved. "For some strange reason, all through my childhood my Mom referred to me as Banana Boy," Vince admitted, "so, it's kind of like destiny that I've crossed paths with Steve. Living my life much like a cavalier, I have no doubt that this journey will be a giant success filled with millions of smiles and cinematic moments. As a filmmaker, how many times do you get the opportunity to follow a banana around the world?" 


The Working Title.

Most projects such as this have a "Working Title" and this one is "Around The World in The Big Banana Car." However, during the trip, the team will be seeking out and interviewing those often overlooked, and mostly harmless folk called "Eccentrics."

 There is a fine line between "eccentric" and "lunatic," and even though both those words end in "ic," it's often a distinction based solely on a person's means. The quirky owner of a stately home who shops the local village in his Pajamas, and has built a bomb shelter made of Legos, is regarded with a wry smile as "a little bit eccentric." Whereas Bob, who works at Walmart and behaves in a similar way, is simply "mad."Often, the only defining difference between the two is a few million dollars.

So, it is the contention of the Dirty Brothers that there are many wonderful eccentrics toiling away in relative obscurity because their annual budget amounts to the pittance that they can hide from their wife. It's quite possible, therefore, that the title of the finished project might become "Eccentricity on a Budget." 

It's also been suggested by close friends that we should entitle it "Plonkers On Parade," "The Halfwit Chronicles," and in a nod to those fantastic movies of the 1960s,  "Those Farcical Folks in their V8 Banana."

The team is filming this to be a documentary movie but will shoot enough footage that if a TV network becomes interested, they will have the material needed to turn it into a six part, or more, series.

RK Motors Charlotte Presents Cruise In
Episode 305  Big Banana Car

FAQs

What will you use the Kickstarter funds for?

To pay for the film crew and primarily their chase vehicle.
Fuel for the chase vehicle, the vehicle itself, their flights, tapes, visas, etc. All the costs associated with taking two professional filmmakers around the world and the post production costs of making the film.

What will your chase vehicle be? A pineapple?
Don't be silly. Now you're just being ridiculous!
It'll be something similar to a Land Rover, Chevy Suburban, or a Ford Expedition. Something that can carry a lot of equipment.

Can I increase my pledge or change my reward after it’s been made?
Yes, you can.
Log back into Kickstarter.com and click on the “Manage Your Donation” button.

What happens if you don't reach your goal?We smile a fake smile and pretend we're not heartbroken.
If we don't reach our goal amount we will still drive around the world in the Big Banana Car, we just won't be filming any of it.

Can you exceed your pledge goal?
Yes, and should that happen, it would be wonderful!
If we go above that we will be able to visit more countries and end up with a better movie.

Can you show us a photo of the pledge items?
Yes. Some of them anyway.


What is CouchSurfing.org?
Because we are doing this trip on a budget we will be relying on the good will of others for places to stay and shower. CouchSurfing.org is an online community that connects like-minded people who prefer to see their destination from the eyes of a local.  It's a great way to meet people with a similar sense of adventure, forge friendships and save a little cash along the way.  You should check it out!

If we invite you to our home will we have to check the silverware after you leave?
No. Not at all.
Quite the opposite in fact. You might want to search your house after we leave the next morning for a hidden special Big Banana Car secret gift.

Why is one crew member Unknown?
The Big Banana Car is a four seater and so when we get to China we have to have room for a Chinese guide who will accompany us at all times while in their country and they will ride in the 4th seat.
If we are able to raise the funds for a film crew and chase vehicle, the Chinese guide will be able to travel with them and so the 4th banana car seat will become available. 
However, we won't know if this is the case until we reach our funding goal above.
If we do reach our goal then the plan is to auction the 4th Banana Car seat online.

Pledge Guide

  • 1) Before you pledge on a reward that includes a personal appearance, please check the world map above and make sure that we will be passing through your region. If you are at all uncertain as too whether or not we will travel close enough to you to stop by, please contact us before pledging. (If we are not scheduled to travel through your area and you would like us to visit, all we ask is that our extra costs are covered.)
  • 2) We will give you as much prior notice as we can when we will be stopping by, but please understand that it might be somewhat "spur of the moment." Depending upon the Big Banana Car schedule, THE PERSONAL APPEARANCE COULD EITHER BE THIS YEAR OR NEXT YEAR.
  • 3) If the personal appearance is late afternoon or evening, we will need somewhere to stay for the night. A free or cheap place to pitch our tents and somewhere to take a morning shower will be fine.
  • 4) Make sure to let us know your t-shirt size needs. Kids sizes: Small, Medium, and Large. Adult sizes: Medium, Large, X-Large and 2X-Large.
  • 5) The sweatshirt sizes are Adult: Small, Medium, Large and X-Large.

If you have any questions, contact Steve Braithwaite in the USA by phone at (810) 444-2792 or email: steve@stevebraithwaite.com 

Questions about this project? Check out the FAQ

Support this project

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $3 or more About $3

    The BENGLE-HENCH Plan.

    Kids, if you can scrape together a measly $3 we will give you an honorable mention on the BigBananaCar.com website. (FYI: A Bengle-hench is what our dad called us as little kids.)

    P.S. Don't forget to check under the cushions on your couch. There is always money there....

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  2. Select this reward

    Pledge $6 or more About $6

    The BENGLE-HENCH - PLUS Plan.
    Everything in the Bengle-hench plan + we will include your photograph on the website.

    (For this to work you'll have to send us your photograph and don't forget to check your grandparents couch also)

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  3. Select this reward

    Pledge $9 or more About $9

    The BENGLE-HENCH - PLUS - PLUS Plan.
    All the above + A Special Edition Big Banana Car button. This button proudly identifies you as a Big Banana Car world trip backer and is only available through Kickstarter. It lets all your friends know that you are part of this historic event with the wording "Stop me before I pledge again."

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    Pledge $18 or more About $18

    The NOT A BENGLE-HENCH Plan. All the above + A signed Mini Big Banana Car.

    What could be more perfect than an actual oxy-moron for your mantle piece?
    This is a collectors item and NOT A TOY! It has sharp bits that will damage children. So, should you see a child playing with one, scold them severely (but then buy them ice cream and a bright yellow balloon.)

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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge $20 or more About $20

    The PRE-TEEN Plan. A signed Big Banana Car T-Shirt.
    Like most t-shirts, this stylish, 100% cotton shirt has holes for your head, body and arms to poke out. But, unlike similar items of apparel, this one sports a snazzy recreation of the Big Banana Car logo, along with the text, "I'm partly responsible for this lunacy!" This shirt is only available through this Kickstarter project. (BTW: It is not a requirement that you are between the ages of 13 and 19 to enjoy this pledge.)

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    Pledge $29 or more About $29

    The Last Minute SCRAMBLE Plan.
    For a measley $29 you'll receive a signed copy of the documentary which will enable you to host your very own official unofficial viewing party.

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  7. Select this reward

    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    The SNOTTY TEENAGER Plan. A Big Banana Car Sweatshirt and signed 11" X 17" Movie Poster. Parade around town wearing this handsome movie poster and hang our beautiful sweatshirt on your wall. This special edition sweatshirt is exclusive to Kickstarter and includes the wording "See the world. Drive a banana."

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  8. Select this reward

    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    The FAMILY Plan.
    This includes:
    1 poster,
    5 Buttons,
    5 T-Shirts, an honorable mention at BigBananaCar.com
    and a postcard sent by the Big Banana Car crew from somewhere in the world. If you were raised nicely you'll share these wonderful items with other members of your family. Otherwise wear them yourself all at the same time and keep the poster and postcard in a secret lock box at the bank. It's entirely up to you.

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    Pledge $1,000 or more About $1,000

    The FAMILY - PLUS Plan. Everything in the family plan +
    If you are within a few hundred miles of our route (see map on left), we will stop by your home in the Big Banana Car, hand deliver a signed poster, take you and your family for a spin around the block, and we'll take a photo to post at BigBananaCar.com. See Pledge Guide on left

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    Pledge $2,000 or more About $2,000

    The BUSINESS Plan.
    The Big Banana Car always draws a crowd and so we offer A day with the Big Banana Car at your business location (To us, a day means 6 hours)
    We will regale you with amazing stories of wondrous events.
    You must be within 500 miles of our proposed route (within the red area on the map to the left) and we will need a place to pitch our tents for the night. See Pledge Guide on left.

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  11. Select this reward

    Pledge $2,500 or more About $2,500

    The BUSINESS - PLUS plan.
    Everything in the BUSINESS Plan + We will include a permanent 2" X 3" plaque on the Big Banana Car rear bumper with whatever info you desire (subject to good taste of course). See Pledge Guide on left.

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  12. Select this reward

    Pledge $3,000 or more About $3,000

    The CORPORATE Plan.
    Everything in the Business plan + You will get your own page with your company name and logo on the BigBananaCar.com
    website with film and photos from the day we spent with you. See pledge guide on left.

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  13. Select this reward

    Pledge $5,000 or more About $5,000

    The CORPORATE - PLUS Plan.
    Everything in the Corporate plan + The day we spend with you will be featured in the finished
    documentary movie.

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  14. Select this reward

    Pledge $10,000 About $10,000

    START/FINISH LOCATION.
    Your location is our Start/Finish point, the most important part of the entire trip. Must be in the contiguous US.
    There will, of course, be just one of these rewards available, and we will want to be able to paint a line across part of your parking lot with the word "Start" next to it.

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Funding period

- (60 days)