BOCA RATON — An
electric car that once moonlighted as Goldmember's get-away
car in the 2002 movie Austin Powers in Goldmember (*
see foot note) might be
garage-bound because of its insignia.
The city maintains
that the car, owned by science philanthropist Richard Newman,
is a commercial vehicle because of a Web site address
displayed on both sides. And city code prohibits commercial
vehicles from parking on residential streets — including a
person's driveway — where they can be seen.
"It has nothing to do with
the type of car or type of business he has," said Boca
Raton development services director Jorge Camejo.
he emblazoned HighTechScience.org,
the Web site address of his foundation, on both sides of his
2000 Sparrow electric car 2 1/2 years ago because gawkers kept
asking him questions about the vehicle — one of only 355
models manufactured in the nation.
about the Sparrow, including its specs and movie cameo, (*
see foot note) is located
on the Web site, he said.
single-passenger car is a novelty because of its compact
three-wheeled structure and curvaceous lines. It is powered by
13, 12-volt batteries. And it moves 35 to 45 mph with a top
speed of 75 to 80 mph.
insists his foundation is not a business. Rather, profits from
Productions, Newman's videotape and disk duplication
business, finance his science-related hobbies.
Newman has founded
science and technology centers on Indian reservations, schools
and Boy Scout camps.
include amassing space gear and organizing school science
With all he
has given to the community to promote science and technology,
Newman said, he does not understand why he is being hassled
now about his electric car.
ridiculous," he said. "This is a waste of taxpayer
compliance supervisor Kenneth Massalone said Monday the city
would be sending him this week a letter stating he has
violated the city code, according to Newman.
Newman is to face
the special master in an upcoming hearing if he does not
remove the signs or temporarily cover them, city officials
"This is not
a complicated situation," Camejo said. Newman could
either put a magnetized cover over the Web site address or put
the sign on a magnetic plate that could be tacked on or
removed from the car.
But Newman vowed
to fight the city. "My attitude is 'Bring it on.' "
does NOT sell Any Products or Services.
Our Sparrow Electric Vehicle was purchased from an
individual claiming that it was used in several
movies, however we have no way to confirm this. There
were several Sparrows used in the Austin Powers movie
"Goldmember" and ours may have very
well been seen in it since there were only a limited
number originally made. Sparrows have also been used
in other productions, but again, there is no way of
knowing exactly which vehicles were used.
of the above and other articles, we have received many
e-mails and letters from people that think that the
city of Boca Raton is dead wrong and that the vehicle
should NOT be classified as commercial.
Here to see what others have said.