My wife and I flew from San Luis Obispo to St. Louis on Wednesday, then a shuttle bus took us to the hotel in Cape Girardeau. I took a taxi over to Jack Rickard and Brian Noto's workshop for the reception party, getting there around 6 PM. I figured I would be one of the first, but there were 78 people already there, eating, talking and drinking. The attendees who could manage it somehow brought their cars, and everyone was pouring over the cars, talking about the component choices, build quality and general amazement at what a group of spirited people can do. Here are some pictures from that first evening.
Here we are in the eating and drinking area. Did I mention it was free liquor all week? Remember that anyone driving was stone cold sober - we're playing with high voltage and cars, so we don't mess around when it counts.
Then out in Jack's garage area we start to see the cars.
What's an electric car garage without a couple of chargers? The first is a stock Clipper Creek, the second is Jack's custom gas pump replica.
Now let's take a tour around. This is Tim Catellie's BMW Z3. A magnificent conversion and a marvel of engineering to shoehorn all of the batteries in there!
Next was the car that started it all - Jack and Brian's Speedster.
Next I spotted Jack's converted Porsche Spyder replica:
Next up was Daniel Yohannes' Porsche Cayenne, the first electric conversion of its type in the US and perhaps only the second in the world.
Next was Duane Ball's incredible Porsche 904 replica. This is likely a $100K car...
The fun continued with Jack and Brian's under-construction Cobra replica for Aptima Motors in Taiwan. A bunch of people chipped in to work on the car during the convention.
Near and dear to my heart is Fred Behning's 1960 Austin Healey "Bugeye" Sprite. I knew Fred from our days back at IBM in Austin. Fred ran the Executive Briefing Center and always opened his sessions with a picture and discussion of this car to break the ice. He completed the electric conversion just days before he put it on a trailer and drove from Austin to the convention. I got a ride to and from the hotel each day with Fred and let me tell you, that is a *little* car, but a blast to drive in. Fred's conversion is top-notch.
Next is Charlie and Tamera's Opel GT. Besides the electric conversion, they also gave it a great paint job to bring it into the future from the 70's factory disco orange.
Up next, in butterscotch, we have Sebastien Bourgeois' 911. This conversion has dual electric motors, and of course his own team's Evnetics Soliton 1 controller. Everywhere it went there was a lingering smell of burning clutch...
Then another of Jack and Brian's projects, the challenging Mini.
Next is James Edmonson's Ford Ranger. Pickups are great conversion platforms because you can hinge the truck bed and put the batteries underneath.
Finally, we wrap up with a true mixture of engineering, sweat, imagination and foam, the Illuminati Motor Works "Seven". It came in second for the $1M Progressive Automotive X Prize, achieving 207.5 mpge.
Well that wraps it up for Day 0. Day 1 coming next.