Not looking good in PA
@Kukamojo, thanks for the links, very helpful.
After reading through the guides published by the PA DMV, it looks my hot rod shopping cart would be considered a "Specially Constructed Vehicle". I called several Enhanced Inspection Stations, the first said "there is just no way to make it legal", the second was much more helpful and gave me a few tips on what I could and could not do.
The first problem I faced was that the exceptions that are made for hot rods do not apply to Specially Constructed Vehicles, so my cart must pass the same inspection as a current passenger vehicle. Meaning that my cart has to have fenders. Not a big deal, I can put some fenders on it that will not wreck the look I am going for. I commented that I had seen street legal sand rails with no fenders and he said that, technically, a sand rail or dune buggy would need fenders.
The real kicker for me is the requirement that the "Hood completely cover the engine". I can put a floor on the bottom of the basket portion of my cart (that will "cover" the engine), but does the "completely cover" mean the sides cannot be exposed? Again, sand rails do not have enclosed engine compartments. Any ideas or experience out there? (I need to find a sand rail forum and cross-post)