Zombie History

---------------------------------------- 1994-FIRST VERSION ----------------------------------------
  • Motor:

    9 inch ADC (143 lbs.)

  • Drive type:

    Stock Datsun 4 speed tranny removed and replaced with a 5 speed tranny (from '81 Datsun 210 fastback). Stock 23 lb. flywheel (center photo) was turned down to smaller diameter and shaved at its outer perimeter. The smaller lightened flywheel is on the right. Flywheel was fitted with a heavy duty 'Nissan Competition' racing clutch.

  • Driveshaft:

    Stock Datsun driveshaft modified for the 5 speed (all USA 1200s were 4 speed only) and large case Datsun differential input flange.

  • Rear axle:

    Heavy duty Nissan from '67 Datsun SSS 411 sedan, narrowed so that 7 inch wide American Racing 4 spoke alloys could tuck under fender lips. Aluminum 3rd member. Stock 3:90 ratio gear set was pulled and replaced with a 4:88 gear set from a '66 Datsun pickup.

  • Wheels & tires:

    Front - 13 x 5.5 classic American Racing 4 spoke with 175/50/13 Pirelli P7.

    Rear - 13 x 7 classic American Racing 4 spoke with Firestone PTR-165A 8.5 inch slicks.

  • Batteries:

    Seven 25.2 volt Marathon aircraft NiCads @ 175V nominal, 420 lbs. total pack weight. Five of the seven batteries were obtained as 'used' from a local aircraft surplus place and were subsequently painted white. These five batteries were mounted where the rear seat used to be. You can see three of them facing into the trunk with the other two ahead of them closer to the backs of the front seats. You can see the tops of the sixth and seventh batteries at each rear corner of the trunk (behind each taillight) that were obtained 'as new' years before...they are painted in Marathon's blue finish. The pack ended up under-performing due to bad cells in the 5 used batteries.

  • Controller:

    Single 12V rated, 1000 amp diesel starter solenoid-contactor.

  • 12 volt system:

    Dual small rectangular shaped 7 ahr 12V batteries mounted in original SLI battery location. No DC-DC converter - external charging required.

  • Other Mods:

    Torque rod from early year fwd Honda Civic used to control bell housing twist.

  • Car weight:

    1850 lbs. (weighed on scales)

  • Races and EVents

    10-8-1994 Portland Electric Street Drags...White Zombie 1st place, no timeslip. All runs were down Portland's Front Street. Cars' speedos and hand-held stop watches were the only 'test instruments'. 'One-two-three-GO' and a chalk line at the far end were the official start-stop timing devices.

  • Carnage:

    Contactor welded closed (wasn't rated for high voltage). Could not power-down the car! Drove until batteries gave up.

  • Plasmaboy Quotes:

    (1) From the June 2009 Design News magazine: A little more than a decade ago, virtually all racers considered electric vehicles to be glorified golf carts. That began changing in 1994, however, when the Oregon Electric Vehicle Association decided to stage an electric drag race to show the public that environmentally-acceptable EVs could be "fun and exciting." The organization cordoned off a little street in downtown Portland, grabbed a few stop watches, and laid chalk lines on the cobblestone surface. Wayland, however, was not about to stand for the idea of a genteel, 30-mph drag race. He found the concept offensive; it was as if someone had tried to paint a smiley face on his soul. "I thought about the 72-volt cars that could barely get out of their own way, lumbering and wheezing uphill at 30 miles per hour," Wayland recalls. "And I said, we can't show this to the public." He didn't. Wayland used a helicopter battery and transformed his Datsun 1200 into a 175-volt race car. "They weren't expecting cars like mine," he says now. "Here I came with my Datsun, burning rubber in all five gears and smoking the tires. Women and children were running for cover!"

    (2) "The batteries 'did' in fact, have a 2000 amp cranking rating, but only two of the seven batteries I had were new and in great shape, the others were acquired as 'aircraft rejects'. The pack sagged like crazy, and fell to 90V under load."

    (3) "The motor was indeed, an ADC 9 inch, but no way, could it produce 225 hp with just 175V of the tired batteries I had to power it with...no way. It probably made closer to 70 hp."

    (4) "There was quite a bit of excitement though, when the white car's contactor welded shut on its last run of the day!"