Huge shopping cart vehicle drives crowds wild at Biloxi block party

Jay Ruelas' cart vehicle is street-legal and he has taken it for a spin on interstate highways.

BILOXI, Miss. — A popular Mississippi block party held a vintage car show on Wednesday, and one vehicle was a pushover for visitors.

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Visitors at the Cruisin’ the Coast block party in Biloxi oohed and ahhed over a vehicle that looks like a giant shopping cart, WLOX-TV reported.

The vehicle was built by San Antonio resident Jay Ruelas, who constructed it from the wrecked frame of a GMC Suburban, according to the television station.

“The vehicle was totaled. I told the guy I could repurpose the car and the guy asked me why,” Ruelas told WLOX. “There was a shopping cart nearby, and I told him I could build that. The guy said, ‘No way,’ and I said ‘OK, it’s a challenge.’ Two months later, here it is.”

Ruelas, 57, a former Army mechanic, built the 20-foot-long, 10-foot-tall vehicle with the idea of using at Christmas toy drives for the past 13 years, the San Antonio Express-News reported.

The cart has attracted so much attention, however, that Ruelas has taken it to other events, which is why it was parked in Biloxi on Wednesday.

Ruelas said he named the vehicle “Kinkade” after the artist, Thomas Kinkade, according to the newspaper. His son-in-law suggested the name, he said.

The cart is also street-legal, Ruelas told WLOX. Ruelas said he has revved up the motor and accelerated up to 75 mph on interstate highways. The cart also has headlights, tail lights, a parking brake, side mirrors and a horn, the Express-News reported.

“It has a windshield, it has all the correct lighting,” Ruelas told WLOX. “It passes all the DOT requirements.”

The shopping cart is not Ruelas’ only creation. According to his website, Ruelas’ custom vehicles include a 20-foot, drivable Radio Flyer wagon for the Alzafar Shriners of San Antonio and a hot rod Santa sleigh for Santa Express Central.

Ruelas’ oversized shopping cart also has plenty of room in case someone wants to go shopping.

“I’ve never checked, but I’ve had 21 people in it at a time and 13 policemen at a parade,” Ruelas told WLOX. “I enjoy talking to people and getting their reactions when they see it.”

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