KEN & WANDA KOCH’S BATTERY–POWERED ’34 FORD ROADSTER
Conceived back in 1992, project is an all-electric, battery-powered roadster. After designing electric vehicle (EV) drive systems for many years as a self-employed engineer, I decided that someday in my retirement I would fulfill a 50-year-old dream by building up an early ‘30’s Ford roadster. I didn’t know in advance that it would be an EV, but I did know that it had to be a hot rod – quick and powerful – and also a show-condition car. That’s a pretty tall order for any car, especially for one that doesn’t even have an engine. After 5 years of planning and construction, it’s finally approaching completion. Many people would question the wisdom behind turning a perfectly good ’34 Ford into some kind of a “fancy golf cart.” Well….it’s got 800 hp, will be able to drive up to 100 miles on a single battery charge, plus accelerate to 60 mph in under 2 seconds. I guess that’s not exactly “your grandma’s golf cart.” The only thing that’ll be missing is the roar and rumble of a beefed-up engine.
Body: Fiberglass 1934 Ford roadster by Wescott Mfg. with 6-inch recessed firewall to accommodate a large engine.
Chassis: Pro Street model by Total Cost Involved Engineering with severe C-notch to accommodate 17” wide rear tires.
Suspension: Custom IFS, chrome-moly 4-link, anti-sway bar, rack and pinion steering, adjustable rear coil-over shocks.
Brakes: Wilwood polished 13” front and rear triple brake rotors, polished 6-piston brake calipers, stainless steel brake lines, master cylinder with 7” dual diaphragm booster, line lock proportional valve, electrical vacuum system.
Differential: Dana 60 E-Locker, 4.11:1 gears, Currie 35-spline forged alloy axles, billet yoke and pinion support.
Transmission: ATO 2-speed racing Powerflide. First gear is 2.18:1, second gear is 1:1.
Driveshaft: Custom by Inland Empire Driveline.
Wheels: Mickey Thompson #HR-2: 15 X 4.5” fronts, 18 X 1.15” rears.
Tires: Mickey Thompson Sportsman Street Radials: 26” X 6.00R18LT fronts, 29” X 18.00RLT rears.
Roll Bar and Funny Car Roll Cage: Custom by RJ Fabrication. Cage is NHRA certified to 8.5 sec. in the ¼-mile.
Motors: 2 ea. General Electric 12” dia. 4-pole series-wound, custom-blueprinted by Dennis Berube. 400 peak HP each, 1000 lb-ft peak torque each, 8000 RPM max., 400 VDC max., 2000 amps max. each, air-cooled, 230 lbs. each, dual-shafted, coupled inline with heavy chain coupler.
Motor Controllers: 2 ea. Café Electric #Z2K-EHV, 36-400 VDC, 2000 amps max. each, 15.7 kHz switching frequency, completely programmable for battery and motor voltage and current limits. 300 HP preprogrammed for street usage, 800 hp preprogrammed for drag racing.
Batteries: By Derek Barger of High Tech Systems. 2592 ea. Small A123 #26650 Lithium-Iron-Phosphate cells in a 4-series, 6-parallel configuration for 24 ea. Cells and 13.2 VDC per module, 108 modules total, 54 modules per battery box, 27 modules in parallel with another 27 in each of 2 battery boxes. Totals: 356.4 VDC, 2600 amps max., 917 peak HP for 10 to 15 seconds.
Fabricator: Most of custom fabrication by Brian Noppert of Ultimate Customs and Noppert Racing Engines.
Body and Paint: Starside Design, custom mix of very metallic “electric orange” with lots of gold fleck.
Chrome Plating and Polishing: Pacific Polishing, Temecula Valley Powder Coating, and USA Metal Polishing.
Powder Coating: Corsair and Temecula Valley Powder Coating.
Upholstery: Upcoming soon….TBD.
Weight: 2450 lbs. without driver.
Estimated Range Per-Charge: 100 miles with conservative mixed driving. Estimated recharge time is about 3 hrs. from 240 VAC/30 amps at a cost of about $3.50 for the electricity.
Estimated ¼-Mile Performance: 135-140 mph in 9.5 sec.
Estimated Completion Date: Late 2014.