Fun Buggies are not exotic flamenco-dancing mosquitoes! They are the latest fun-machine to hit the Pigeon Forge Parkway. Fun Buggies are small electric autos that make driving in Pigeon Forge traffic almost fun. Driving in traffic is, generally, not my favorite pastime but cruising in one of these colorful cars is cool!
These are not just ‘hopped up’ golf carts, but are fully street-legal, electric-powered automobiles manufactured by Chrysler Corporation. Re-chargeable batteries give them their get-up-and-go and one charge will last for 30 to 60 miles. They do not contribute to air pollution because gasoline is not required to fuel the Buggies.
Since opening in May, the Buggies have traveled over 14,000 miles, saving the environment 14,600 pounds of greenhouse gases and 13,900 pounds of carbon dioxide.
Ed Baldwin, Kreis French and Duke Blevins introduced Fun Buggies to Pigeon Forge and recently opened a branch in Gatlinburg. “We have had a fantastic response from the public. They are easy to drive and easy to park,” stated Baldwin.
The Peter’s family from Houston, TX returned from an hour-long ride in the ‘Shase Me Baby’ Buggy and enthusiastically declared the ride was lots of fun. The young passengers in the back seat loved waving to passers-by and getting Dad to blow the horn.
You have to take a buggy ride to describe a buggy ride, so ‘Moe’ got behind the wheel and I jumped in the passenger’s seat. Kreis gave us operating instructions and a map indicating where we could legally drive. After a quick spin around the parking lot to familiarize ourselves with the buggy, we were off heading east on 441 toward the Pigeon Forge Welcome Center.
The buggies have a top but no doors; so, the cooling system is air hitting you at 25 mph. Be sure and check out the rain clouds before hopping aboard. Even in a light rain, you will get wet. But if you don’t mind a windblown coiffeur, it will be a fun ride. ‘Moe’ especially liked the gutsy acceleration and driving a car that resembled a striped zebra.
When you drive a Fun Buggy you are definitely visible to other drivers. The Buggies are higher than an average car and with the bright and amusing paint jobs, you stick out in traffic like a huge purple bear claw!
Both Federal and State laws permit driving approved low-speed electric vehicles on streets with speed limits of 35 mph or less. French stated, “When we reach 50 cars, we will have the largest fleet of electric cars of any company in Tennessee.”
Two-seater Buggies rent for $35 per hour; four-seaters rent for $40 per hour. The Buggies can be rented hourly, daily or weekly. The price per hour decreases as the rental time increases. The Buggies can be reserved in advance, and you can reserve special cars.
Some, but not all auto insurance companies cover rides in Fun Buggies. Additional insurance is available for $10 to cover any mishap. To date, there have been no accidents. Buggy renters receive operating instructions, a map showing approved driving areas, and a rental agreement stating responsibilities of both parties.
For more information on renting a Fun Buggy call 428-3500 Pigeon Forge or 436-8501 Gatlinburg.
Faye Greenwood is retired from the UT Extension Service and her features have been published in Sevier County for more than 30 years. She and her husband, ‘Moe’, operate MoeFaye Travel Inc.... read the rest of the story by Subscribing now.