Electric Drag Racing

A buddy of mine sent me a link to an electric car that is entering in drag races. This is awesome. John Weyland gutted a 1972 Datsun 1200, converted it into an electric drive, named it White Zombie and has breaking records at his local drag strip. In this video he drops both a Corvette and a BMW M3. 2015 Edit: the video has been removed.

My favorite line from Weyland is “Its fun being the only [electric car] at the strip, but I wish it wasn’t so.” I’ve known that there were people working on things like this, but this is the first time I’m seeing it. I did a quick search and found a few others as well. Enough that there’s now a National Electric Drag Racing Association. Don’t you just love American gear heads trying new things?

Here’s my question. If garage mechanics can turn an old beater into a record breaking racer, then what is wrong with Detroit? This isn’t pie in the sky wishful thinking or a hypothetical what if, I mean this as a serious question. The White Zombie has no radical new technology, Weyland just found the parts that he needed and made them fit his car. I don’t mean to discount Weyland’s work, of course he’s accomplished something here. This demonstrates that an electric car is not only possible, it works. This is no longer an experiment. What I mean is that Detroit wants us to help them stay in business while they keep producing trucks and SUVs.

Like most Americans (all of them that I’ve spoken to, actually), the recent talk of bailouts pisses me off. If the knuckleheads that are running these companies can’t keep it together then let them fail. If management can’t see what people want and produce it, then why on earth would we want them running the company?

As a sidenote, if we help out Dodge, this will be the second time that the government has lent them a hand. Lee Iacocca coaxed the government to guarantee loans for them back in 1979. It blows my mind that amid all of the high gas prices, they’re still coming out with new muscle cars. I say this is not a company worth saving.

This practice of lending a hand to struggling companies is not good. At some point they’ll have to stand up on their own, apart from any assistance, otherwise we’ll end up with a country full of companies that aren’t sustainable apart from handouts. It just sends me through the roof.

Weyland shows us just one method of energy efficient transportation, and he does it by breaking records at the race track, which is brilliant. I love it that he’s killing Corvettes. I hope America is paying attention. While Detroit is working to fit navigation systems and DVD players in their trucks, there are guys in garages coming up with creative solutions to America’s energy prices.

5 replies on “Electric Drag Racing”

  1. The idea of bailouts doesn’t at first sit right with me, either. But then I think of the poor Joes working at all those auto plants. (I’m trying hard not to recycle any presidential-campaign cliches! 🙂 ) As I heard one person put it, why would we want to save jobs of people who shower before work but not the people who take a shower after work? I can see the point. No easy answers, though, I’m sure. But certainly, I’m totally with you that we’ve got to insist that these automakers start reforming their ways.

  2. You raise a good point. I’m certainly not excited about putting people out of work. I know first hand how painful that can be, and for an entire company to go under will definitely have a negative effect on the American economy. But, whether through their own work, or through the leadership of their company, they aren’t producing the cars that Americans want. Ford, Dodge and Chevy have been offering all kinds of crazy incentives for years to keep sales moving. Meanwhile, Honda and Toyota continue to post record sales without any incentives. The way I see it, the only remedy is to let them fail. If, in the process of falling, they make adjustments and recover then the company will be stronger and better poised for the market in the long run. And if they do ultimately fail then those jobs will go to whoever else is bringing quality cars at affordable prices to the market.

    At this point there will be (economic) bleeding no matter which way we turn, so what makes the most sense for the long run? IMHO, bailing them out is the wrong answer.

  3. Bailing them out and putting a government-appointee in charge is even worse! If Bush signs off on this terrible plan, then I hope John Weyland is on the short list for our new car czar!

  4. John Weyland has already proved it works with the White Zombie now add the self -charging wind generator on the roof and the alternators on the wheels to extend the life of the batteries. I have a 1980 Cadillac Seville I would love to have a clear solar coat of paint to energize the batteries with solar power as well as you can see it’s not feasible to be sitting waiting on a batch of batteries when all the cars have alternators now that keep the batteries going for 3-5 years! Of course the ones on the moon last 10 years!

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