Glenn, I've gotta disagree with you on the need for a station wagon or a 4x4. You could easily fit an LB16 in a hatchback. I'll grant you that sedans are a toughie alright. I have only had my new LB16 in the car once and that session was clouded out but it was worth it just to see the look on the guys faces when I opened the boot/trunk to show them the new 16in scope
My car is a hatchback alright but eh not the usual kind
I found that while you can't fit any living thing bigger than a 6 year old in the back of an Audi TT, you can in fact fit a 16inch lightbridge with the back seats folded down!
It fits easier than my old Orion XT12i. That long solid tube only barely fit lengthwise with the front passenger seat pushed all the way forwards and tilted forward and the 30in base had to lay down on its side. These two parts alone took up 4/5ths of the loadspace so I couldn't take much more accessories than my eyepiece case never mind a passenger!. The truss arrangement of the LB16 helps out a lot but the 25in tall base can stand upright with the UTA sitting inside it and the LOTA on its side towards the back. I now have 1/3rd free for other gear [b]AND/b] the front passenger seat doesn't need to be tilted or pushed forwards so now I can take a passenger too!
That said I have been looking at solutions for tooless dismantling and flatpacking of the base to make even more room. Some nice ideas over on the LB yahoo group. However I am still not sure about what to do. I am trying to reconsile folding or hinging with the already bad base flex problems of the LB16's. It'll make flex worse. Am trying to think of ways where I get to have me cake and eat it too.
In terms of mods, I've transferred my Telrad with Dewshield+right angle mirror, Orion Raci with DIY Illuminated crosshairs, GLP with DIY On/Off and Moonlite focusser with rigel motofocus. I've also found that I seem to have a newer version LB16 than you. On the inside surface of the UTA truss attachment points I have a threaded hole for a bolt. Its like Meade redesigned the truss brackets with this hole to attach a UTA retainer but then backed out and decided to save the 50c retainer production costs after all. Well after a tip from a guy called Lyle over on CN I cam up with these attached to the truss brackets. Best mod ever. What was an absolute nightmare trying to mount the UTA on my own now can be done safely and quickly and without fuss on my own. If you replace your existing two bolts in each truss bracket, you could rig up something similar with longer bolts, a bit of plastic and some washers and nuts.
I am also half way through fitting an Orion Skyview Pro German Equatorial Mount Intelliscope kit purchased for 50 euros a few months ago in anticipation of an LB16 purchase. A little modding of the casings and rewiring and this kit can be made work on a dob. Luckily I learned about this just at the right time, while they were on an Orion stock clearance sale of a frankly ridiculous 80 us dollars. I got a US CN member to order me one cause Orion wouldn't ship internationally. He forwarded it to me in Ireland. DSC for 50 euros! Bargain or what!!
Lots of other mods in the offing, watch this space