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That's how contractors at this year's World of Concrete described the angular Phoenix 7500 slipform curbing machine, the vision of veteran concrete equipment designer Ed Taylor.

"It has a dark personality," admitted Taylor, who originally drew up the design on his garage floor in chalk. "That's how all my designs start out," adds Taylor, who is vice president of product development for Phoenix Curb Machines.

The 65-year-old Taylor showed the new rig in one of World of Concrete's busy outdoor spaces, where it got the attention of contractors entering and exiting the Las Vegas Convention Center.

"Someone called it a medieval torture device," Taylor said.

Built in Redding, Calif., and retailing for $147,000, the Phoenix is a small, all-purpose curb-and-gutter machine. It weighs less than 10,000 pounds and can build 5-ft-wide structures on a 3-ft radius. 

"We've sold four or five of them," noted Taylor, shown operating the nimble machine below.

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