Oregonian Reporter Gets Zombied!

There’s been a frenzy of media coverage lately over EV drag racing, and in particular, over White Zombie’s routine weekend drag racing runs against the gasser boys. A certain well known car magazine has been in contact (can’t release details right now), Dateline Australia was here, and last night a reporter from Oregon’s biggest newspaper ‘The Oregonian’ spent time with me and the little Datsun from Hell.

It seems that the battery problems we had at the Wayland Invitational a few weeks ago where we blew up a Hawker, are behind us now, and it was just one weak battery that let go. We had replaced it with a pre-cycled spare Hawker and had carefully worked the pack back up into equalization with numerous 10-15 mile road drives, long low amperage charging, then several high current discharges and heavy charge cycles. We raced this past weekend and got four 12 second runs in without a single battery problem. Following Friday night’s racing, I’ve been driving the Zombie every day and the 360V pack of Hawkers are beautifully equalized and sit at 392-393V. They’re rock’n hard and are performing at high levels of power.

Fast forward to the best part….Oregonian sports writer Doug Binder’s ride in White Zombie. So….I’d been trying to explain to him the way the car launches from rest and how even against really powerful gas cars known to run 0-60 in 4 seconds or so, my EV is 4-5 car lengths ahead of them at 60 mph. I told him the Zombie’s 0-60 time is estimated to be somewhere in the mid 3′s. He’s a nice guy, so no disrespect is intended, but I just don’t think he got it. He evidently, had no idea what the car would really be like.

Anyway…it was a hot day, so the recently repaved asphalt on Burnside was warm and sticky. We rounded a corner and just when I had straightened out the Zombie and was rolling at about 5 mph, I planted my right foot down hard! To my surprise, instead of the usual 100 feet of constant wheel spin and copious tire smoke, the damn thing simple stuck and did a wheel stand, instantly slamming the poor guy into his seat as both his eyes were big as saucers as he was now looking through the windshield at the sky instead of the road. When the front end came back down, it unloaded the rear tires a bit and they were breaking loose and squealing as we rushed up to speed. It was about the best power demo I could have hoped for! He was at the same time, in a state of shock, scared absolutely sh….tless, and yet, had the biggest EV grin I think I’ve ever seen…well, OK, Matt’s was pretty big, too! I almost felt bad, because he was shaking a bit afterwards. He told me he had never, ever been in a car that accelerated like that…ever! He said it was more like an amusement park ride :-)

The best news for the Late Night Nationals coming up the 25th & 26th next weekend, is that the article will be the lead feature on Thursday the 24th the day before the races, in the Oregonian’s sports section…great pre-race PR! An Oregonian camera man is scheduled to be at the Wayland EV juice bar this Sunday to take the photo that will appear. I think a line-locked full tire burn is in order.

I can hardly wait to read Doug Binder’s write-up.

See Ya…
John ‘Plasma Boy’ Wayland

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One Response to Oregonian Reporter Gets Zombied!

  1. Hello John Wayland and all the EV-ers out there. I have just seen on SBS tv Australia the Dateline article. I have always been interested in the idea of electric cars and am interested in converting an old petroleum vehicle. I saw on tv some small cars converted (as well as your Zombie race car) but I was thinking one of those tiny 3 or 4 cylinder panel vans which are available here. (original engine sizes of 360 cc to 1,000 cc) This gives a flat floor area at the rear for batteries, plus a false floor above them means luggage and junk etc can still be carried My first attempt would be for a super economy type model, (“The Gut-less Wonder” I’ve already named it, 70 kmh/44 mph is fast enough for me ! ) using only 25 to 35 KW at the very most, and using as many salvaged parts as possible…..such as old discarded golfcart and electric wheelchair batteries for free…..even though they’d be nearing the end of their lifespan. My first attempt especially would be intended as a “learning experience”. Earlier I learnt how to arc weld and built my own road-legal trailer. Now I’m wanting to say “bye-bye” to paying $1.43 for a litre of fuel at the pump !

    I’ve been learning as much as I can on the internet but I really need to make contact with people actually doing conversions in their backyard or workshop, to see things close up and question them (including things like “where do you buy those big DC mmotors ?”). Do you have any Western Australian contacts I could visit ? Thankyou. Cate. catherinejemma@myway.com