John and Ted’s Excellent Adventure…Delivering the Mail!

Back in July I had written:

Sob….though I’ve been in, under, and all around GP, I’ve never had a ride :-(

That’s all been changed. With all the current talk about Gone Postal, instead of ‘talk’, I’ve been out driving it! Yeah, the rad postal van sits behind the locked gate here at the Wayland EV Juice Bar as I write this. What a beast it is!

I got to take it home after Saturday night’s racing, a calm and get-to-know-one-another 16 mile drive back home….just me and GP. It helped take my mind off the fact that I had just relinquished control and possession of White Zombie to FT and Roy to send it halfway across the country to the RPM trade show. Arriving at my backyard EV shop, I stuffed lots of juice back into all 40, yes, count ‘em, all 40 of the thirsty Exide Orbitals. I topped the twin-twenty 240V packs off the next morning before taking it out for a spin.

Going out the back door of my neighborhood onto a wide open road, with the front drive in 2nd gear and the rear drives kicked in, at around 20 mph I decided to stomp on it and see just what this machine had in it….OH MY GAWD!!! Instantly, I had my hands full, as the full fury of twin Zillas, twin 8s, a pissed off 9 in front, and 40 warmed up and rock’n Orbitals simply mauled me up to perhaps 50 mph in, what, maybe a second??? The torque was massive and it felt as if I was riding a bull trying to buck me off! Where White Zombie feels brutal, this thing feels possessed! If the forces behind this project ever get the planets all aligned in just the right order, I have no doubts that this 4300 lb. brick monster can run low12s (perhaps a high 11) and an easy 115 mph.

It was Sunday afternoon’s drive and ride sessions with Car and Driver’s Ted West, however, that was over the top…both of us had a Rod Wilde style EV grin plastered on our faces! Yeah, Ted and I finished up the final interviews, then we decided ‘he’ needed to do a test drive in GP. We even had an excuse, as we had time slips to make copies of and instead of using my FAX copier, we drove GP to the local Kinko’s copy center. I explained to Ted all the weird quirks of GP, explained the rear drive vs the front drive system, showed him what all the meters covered, and warned him that it took a real man to pilot the thing…and with that, we were off on John and Ted’s excellent adventure.

After he got used to the ‘very’ manual steering, the skull shifter knob with funky front drive shift linkage, the strange throttle-brake-clutch pedal positions, and the ‘very’ manual brakes…oh yeah, and driving with the slider doors open on the ‘right’ side of the vehicle, Ted started to get the hang of GP. I set him up to make the same 20-50 mph full throttle body-bruising trial when Ted put the pedal to the metal and just about planted us in the bushes from the excessive tire burn that ensued…..I ‘think’ the Orbitals were waking up from a deep slumber! Ted was astounded, perhaps more so than his White Zombie experiences, and the look on his face is hard to describe! He ‘did’ correct me, saying it didn’t take a mere ‘man’ to drive GP….it took a ‘Rod’ to drive it!

Perhaps the best part, was when we were stopped at a light and a couple of nice ladies in a Honda were checking GP out. It was another hot August Oregon day, so their windows were down and our slider doors were open. The looks on their faces were priceless as they scanned from front to back and front again, Gone Postal’s outrageousness. Chip Gribben’s pissed-off Eagle across the side was a big clue this wasn’t your average mail truck….or was it the monster wide tires and high mounted rear wing? I was in what is normally the driver’s seat, with Ted on my right, his right hand still gripping the skull shift knob. They were in the left lane, so I was face to face with the lady passenger when she said “What have you done to that mail truck…you aren’t real mailmen, ‘R’ you?” I responded in a matter of fact way, “Got any mail you want me to take care of?” With simultaneous laughter, they both said essentially the same, “Somehow, I don’t think that would be legal”. The light then changed and we motored away. Ted’s got way too much material!

Hmmm….I wonder if PIR is running Friday night drags this weekend?

See Ya……..
John ‘Plasma Boy’ Wayland

Having more fun than any EVer should be allowed to have!

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3 Responses to John and Ted’s Excellent Adventure…Delivering the Mail!

  1. Ian says:

    Hi John,

    I was totally amazed to see your car,not just because of its performance but that we also had a 1200 as a drag car in 1984-5.
    Two friends and myself worked in a Datsun dealership in Rugby,England in the 80′s and we were all into custom cars and drag racing,so we built ourselves a 1200 with a Rover(Buick)3.5 V8.We ran this car in 1984 at Santa Pod setting a best time of 14.5 @96 mph.We then got hold of an Olds 330 ci ,rebuilt and shoehorned it into the engine bay.We then ran a time of 13.75@100 mph.
    We didn’t think this was too bad considering we had little money and even less experience at dragging/car set-up etc.
    Sadly at the end of that year we had to sell it due to buying houses,getting married and kids ,and have never seen our car since.
    I still go to Test and tune days with my present car ,a 1995 Vauxhall Cavalier 2.5 V6.This has run a 15.1,but have now fitted a 3 litre and can’t wait to go again.
    I have some photos of our 1200 and would be happy to show you if like.


  2. Scot McCann says:

    Hi John,

    we recently saw you on ABC TV here in Australia in a story on the murder of the EV1. I’ve been following carsfor a couple of years now, and it was awesome to finally see one in action. A lot of my formerly sceptical work buddies are no longer so hung up on V8s as a result.

    I’m looking to convert my ’79 Mitsubishi Lancer coupe (Plymouth Arrow GT to you guys), and am looking for all the advice I can get. My aim is a hi performance vehicle that can pull a silent burnout or just do the daily commute to work. Trouble is, I’m useless with tools & electrics and will be paying my friendly local rallysport tweak shop to do most of the work, with little to no resource base in Australia.

    Have you got any words of wisdom for a gormless idiot with ideals? Or know of anyone who has converted one of these cars??



  3. David Ferris says:

    Where or how can I learn to convert my old dodge dart into an electric vehicle?