Saturday, October 13, 2012


EVCCON is a four day event focused on Lithium battery powered Electric Vehicle conversions sponsored by Jack Rickard of EVTV. I attended last year with the eBugeye, and this year brought my newly minted evTD. What a thrill to meet and chat with the guys and gals who are making a difference and building their own alternative transportation, and also meeting the vendors who make it possible. It's an indescribably great weekend, but my friend Mike Brown did a great job of it on his blog, Scroll down a bit for the EVCCON coverage as life goes on and new posts are coming along. Also check out Andrew McClary's summary video here:

I will post some of the fun stuff we did during the course of the conference. The previous blog post showed a couple views of the evTD on the show floor at the Show Me Center. Of course there were presentations and instructional sessions throughout the three days of the conference. Dad says he learned things about electronics and motors he wished he'd known years ago.

The exhibit area was constantly busy. Dad has always had a way with the ladies, and here's one he picked up along the way:

She's Netgain President George Hamstra's grand-daughter, and her Mama said she took to Dad because he had silver hair like her Grandpa. A real doll!

Here's Dad posing with another beauty at the drag strip:

There was a weigh in area just before the entry to the drag strip. The evTD weighed in at just over 2000 pounds, about 200 more than the eBugeye, but still a very light car.
Photo Courtesy of Mike Brown
My first match was with the Sun Jag. Here we are in the staging area trying to psych each other out about how slow we'll be.
Photo courtesy of Stephen Lumpp
Moving into position:

Photo courtesy of Tim Catellier

Here's Mike Brown taking the helm:

The last day included a public car show in Capaha Park.

During the car show, we gathered all the father-son teams for a group photo with Jack Rickard:

Jack said he had pictured 37 year old fathers bonding with their 17 year old sons through projects like this, but he never imagined it would be the 60 year old guys bringing their 80 year old Dads. We just want to salute the "Greatest Generation".

The car show was followed by the Electric Vehicle Parade:

After the parade we all gathered for a group portrait:

The conference closed with a gala banquet featuring hand carved smoked prime rib and Jack's amazing wine selections and closing remarks. 

A huge thank you to Jack and his team for staging another fabulous conference. EVCCON recharges my personal battery pack and inspires the work we do.

Among the award winners was the evTD, which took home a trophy for "Best Paint"!

The first thing I did when I got home was present the trophy to Robert Juarez who actually did all the body work and paint. He deserves it for the fabulous job he did for me and for taking such a personal interest in my project.

The best prize of all was spending a week with the guy who gave me his name and staked his reputation on the notion I might turn out OK. The guy who let me "help" rebuild his 55 Chevy when I was 12 years old and who really helped me keep some pretty tattered old cars on the road in my younger days (rusty TR4 anyone?) Restored a real MG TD years ago and a handful of MGB's, uses the 56 Chevy he restored as his daily driver and is currently restoring a Model A Ford that was built the year he was born. 

Sharing this special time together was priceless.

Thanks, Dad!

On the Road Again

It's been over a month since I last updated this project, and what a month it's been! After receiving the car with mechanical, chassis, and body restoration complete, I had roughly three weeks to finish the conversion, wiring, interior, and trim. It was a full time effort to get it all done in time for EVCCON, so I confess that I failed to document what went on, and it was a lot. But I'm very pleased with the finished product!

Photo courtesy of Tim Catellier
My father flew in from North Carolina to attend the conference with me this year and I had every good intention of leaving Austin on Tuesday so we could have a relaxed trip up to Cape Girardeau. I discovered on Monday, though, that air cooling wouldn't do for the Soliton1 controller as it was installed directly in line with the motor's hot exhaust air stream, so Dad and I spent most of Tuesday installing a liquid cooling system. That meant a mad dash of 800 miles in one day on Wednesday. We loaded the evTD onto the U-Haul trailer and set out in the wee hours of the morning.

Barely an hour up the road, a tire blew out on the trailer! We pulled into a rest stop just south of Salado, TX and waited two hours for a service truck to bring a replacement tire up from Austin, but U-Haul came through and put us on the road again. The rest of the trip was uneventful and it was great having Dad share the driving load since I'd had precious little sleep the week before. I drove the last shift into Cape Girardeau and ran through a pounding thunderstorm. We arrived at Jack Rickard's EVTV shop at around 8:30 with a half inch of rainwater standing on the floor of the evTD. A bunch of guys pitched in to wheel it off the trailer...

 ... and find me a mop so I could swab the decks!

Happily, the conference was held at the Show Me Center, and that allowed room for the cars to be displayed inside. I parked next to another classic replica, the SunJag, and the room was filled with forty or so great looking conversions. 

 Several folks have commented that the build quality on this year's cars was up a notch from last year, and I was proud to count my evTD among them.