One way to save on gasoline
Fred Bishop, Prairie Bluestem reader and internet friend, recently sent some interesting photos of golf carts used on the streets around Sun City, Arizona (northwest Phoenix.) Fred, who knows his old cars much better than I do, has identified the little buggy below as a "1932 Ford." In explanation, Fred wrote:
We followed this Golf cart into the Shopping Center to get these photos.
There are a lot of Golf Carts operating on the streets in the Sun City - Pop. 38k, Sun City West - Pop. 28k and Sun City Grande - Pop. 35k (and growing) communities. (Three communities alone, Sun City, Sun City Grand, and Sun City West, together have a population of approximately 100,000 residents who are 55 or older). >> AGS Newsletter :: 2007 First Quarter - Arizona Geriatrics Society
Wife's cousin lives in Sun City Grande. I have not seen coyotes in Sun City west, but they roam and hunt rabbits and house pets, especially in new area Sun City Grande. Coyotes will walk on the top of block fences peering into the backyards looking for lunch. Fences are not used to separate backyards. Fences are only on major streets or used to separate sub-divisions. Backyards are defined by landscaping.
(Back to Golf Carts). Golf Carts are legally State Licensed to operate on the streets in these and other close by retirement areas. Have been told insurance cost less than $100.00 per year. All but in the older area of Sun City are required to be Electric.
Most will only run maybe 25-28 miles per hour. Of course, some of those old guys have geared their cart up so they will run maybe 31-35 mph. Many Golf Carts are used as a 2nd car. Some are designed to be just transportation vehicles as the one [at left.] That's wife Chris at the drivers door.
Note the more conventional cart at top right of photo. Many carts will have canvas/clear plastic panels to keep rain and cold out. Lot's of women , singly and in pairs, run about the area in a cart. Have noticed a lot of women driving with a male companion along for the ride.
Source: Email, June 23, 2008
And regarding this six-seater, Fred writes,
Took the photo last week. Sales person said it would be about $14K out the door. Background is Sun City West looking across Bell Road. There are lots of Palm Trees in the Sun Cities.
Source: Email, June 30, 2008
What does a golf cart need to be legal on Arizona streets?
In Arizona, all street-legal golf carts must be registered with ADOT. Because some are intended for private use only, the ADOT golf cart registry is not an accurate representation of how many vehicles are in the state. ADOT spokeswoman Cydney DeModica said she believes the number is much higher.
To be street-legal, the carts must be equipped with the same safety features as cars: headlights, taillights, turn signals and windshields, DeModica said. They must have license plates, and operators must be licensed. The carts must stay on streets with speed limits of 35 mph or less.
Source: "Souped-up golf carts taking to the streets," by Erin Zlomek, The Arizona Republic, Nov. 30, 2006 12:00 AM
A golf cart isn't a viable solution for everyone, but I can certainly see some benefits -- they're economical to operate, easy to park, and fun to customize.