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Sweet Chili Food Truck Asks Fans to Help Fund New Ride

By Alan Neuhauser | December 11, 2013 7:18am
 Sweet Chili NYC, the "Top Chef"-helmed food truck named a Vendy "Rookie of the Year" after debuting June 1, 2013, is looking to replace its 1968 Chevrolet Step Van.
Sweet Chili Food Truck Turns to Kickstarter for New Truck
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MIDTOWN — "Betty White" is rolling toward retirement.

Sweet Chili NYC, the "Thaietnamese" food truck helmed by "Top Chef" finalist Lisa Fernandes, is trying to replace its 45-year-old truck named for the "Golden Girls" star — and turning to customers for help.

Sweet Chili's 1968 silver-paneled Cherolet Step Van has suffered "continuous breakdowns and mechanical problems," making it "almost impossible to make it to our loyal, hungry fans every day," Fernandes said on the group's Kickstarter fundraising page.

"While our mechanics are miracle workers, there is only so much they can do at this point."

Fernandes and her team plan to "transfer" the truck's kitchen into a new vehicle, and she said she's found "a perfect vehicle," with a price tag of $25,000.

She hopes to raise $5,000 through the Kickstarter campaign, and as of Tuesday afternoon had raised $1,570 from 21 donors, with 22 days left in the fundraising push.

"We're asking for our loyal fans to help us with donations," she said in a video on the Kickstarter page, which includes footage of the truck's speedometer swinging wildly between 20 and 60 mph, as well as its engine refusing to start.

Donors who give certain amounts receive rewards in return — from a three-course meal in exhange for a donation of $25, to private cooking lessons for a $1,000, to one free lunch a week for an entire year, for $5,000.