Plenty of backyard tinkerers have invented wonderful things. Henry Ford more or less worked in his bathroom, and Hewlett-Packard started in a shed. Great racing efforts have come from the backyard, too. John Britten’s composite motorcycles took on well-funded factory efforts, and Art Arfons set three Land Speed Records in his jet-engine Green Monster. Then there are those whose aims are not so sensible or directed. Or, you know, sane.
These brave souls are the dreamers. The nutcases. The speed merchants. There’s no way to quantify “who’s craziest,” or “who’s most likely to die.” They all are, confidently and with glory. Even in a world of YouTube fails and engineering marvels, these seven examples to the tinkering spirit stand out for their utter indifference to mortality. Burn on, you supernovas. Just keep the fire extinguisher handy.