Wednesday, September 13, 2006

TAG, I'm hit.

My wife is a Veterinarian, and says that many dogs who get hit by cars come in with a full belly. It seems that they become a bit less observant while fat and happy. Well, that might be the case with people too. (No, my insurance agent, does not have this blog address- I admit nothing!) After a particularly satisfying breakfast on a beautiful sunny day, I decided to exorcise the Ghost Dancer, and brought 'er downtown. Crossing Broadway Avenue, the southbound lane was at a standstill, and some kindly drivers made space, waving me across. Now, I've seen this happen before, but visibility is always a challenge when nosing out of bumper-to-bumper traffic. Needless to say (so I'll write it), I got tagged by cross-traffic when the little Ghia emerged. Once I saw the Red (Dodge) Avenger approaching, I stomped on the gas, but couldn't get out of the way in time, and got solidly smacked in the rear passenger quarter. Sheetmetal damage was minimized because the Avenger hit my axle quite squarely. If I'd been hit two feet forward, the car would be totalled, and two feet aft, I'd be looking for an entire rear clip, and probably an engine as well.
Thank goodness for minor graces... Anybody need a used transaxle- cheap?

Monday, September 04, 2006

NEDRA Late Night Nationals

Now we come to Friday, August 24, 2006- the date that I had hoped to unveil the Karmann Eclectric before the amazed masses at Portland International Raceway. You see, for the first time EVer, the National Electric Drag Racing Association was holding it's national EVent under the lights at Oregon's premier track, and alongside some nasty gassers.
Well, though it's been a banner year for EV dEVelopments, the EVent was somewhat lackluster. No cars from outside the Northwest were able to make the long trip for this competition, and EVen our local ranks were somewhat thinned in comparison to years past. HowEVer, there was a fine shootout between White Zombie and Cal Poppy, Otmar's rolling testbed for Zilla Controller dEVelopment. Gone Postal made the trip down, and even made a couple of complete runs down the track (with others marred by blown components). To add to others' shame for not making it, Otmar piled on his record book entries by pulling a few batteries to get the Poppy down to 192V and claiming that record as well.
The much-anticipated return of Chris Paine of "Who Killed the Electric Car" fame was not to be, fortunately because his movie's widespread success extended the promotional tour.
But, we got an EVen bigger treat (sorry Chris). Car and Driver Magazine sent feature writer Ted West to get the skinny on this phenomenon of fast electric cars, and though he was fresh out of a Ferrarri feature, there was just no wiping that EV grin off his face after several drag duns at the wheel of White Zombie, and at par with it's recent record-breaking pace as well!

Here's Ted coming out of his first run- wouldn't that have been a great photo if I could shoot straight?

Next morning brough out the hungry masses for an all-EV Breakfast Show n Shine at the Village Inn Restaurant in NE Portland. I brought out the Karmann Eclectric, and fun was had by all.