First Factory Wheelchair-Ready Vehicle Built

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A new Miami-based company is working to make life easier for people who use wheelchairs.

Neither cars nor wheelchairs are exactly new inventions, but up until now, anybody wishing to buy a vehicle to transport a wheelchair had to buy one that had been converted for the task by a third party. Well, not anymore. A Miami-based company called VPG is now building vans specifically for use as wheelchair transport. The vehicle uses a Roush chassis, a Ford engine and transmission and costs $40,000, which is about $15,000 cheaper than buying a converted van.

The vehicle is called the MV-1, and the already more attractive price can be further reduced through government assistance. The CEO of VPG, Dave Schembri, said that he was inspired party by his late sister, who had needed a wheelchair. The MV-1 will be available from 40 existing US dealerships, and the first one has already been delivered. It went to the son of Hall of Fame Miami Dolphins linebacker Nick Buoniconti's son, Marc Buoniconti, who requires the use of a wheelchair following an injury during a 1985 college football game.

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