Thursday, 28 June 2012

Jonny Smith's Flux Capacitor

Car journo, TV presenter and all-round good egg Jonny Smith is a man on a mission: to take an obscure and forgotten electric car and turn it into Europe's fastest street-legal EV. The car in question is an Enfield 8000 - don't be ashamed if you haven't heard of it, they only built 120-odd in the early- to mid-seventies, and very few survived. They were an expensive proposition, costing as much as two Minis (or SuckSqueezeBangBlow's preferred option, a well-specced 3.0 Capri), although they employed a lot of mainstream bits that make the build a little less befuddling: Reliant Robin rear axle, Hillman Imp front suspension and what-have-you. Most of this is being ripped out and replaced, however, as Jonny's ambitions are sky-high. The target of 'Europe's fastest EV' is an exciting one, shooting for 11-second quarter-miles and 0-60mph in around two seconds. Nailbiting, pant-troubling stuff.
The Enfield is in some ways the ideal base for a race car, being extremely light and consisting of a tubular spaceframe with an aluminium body. On the other hand, it's extremely short, and may well want to swap ends under harsh acceleration. Will he overcome this rather serious logistical hurdle? Will the Flux Capacitor live up to expectations? Will the whole thing just blow up? There are three ways to follow the progress:
  • Via the website, here.
  • On Twitter, here.
  • ...and, of course, in your favourite monthly window into the world of unusual old motors, Retro Cars magazine.

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