Let me start by saying the Ford GT-40 has always been one of my favorite cars since I was a kid. I just love the design. So when I decided to build my first electric car for myself, a GT-40 replica was my first choice. I chose this design for a couple of reasons. One was that the aerodynamics of the car are excellent so there would be less drag. Two was that as a mid-engine car and tilt up back end I could easily get to the battery pack and components. Three…well it just looks cool. Note that in this list, speed was not really the determining factor. The EVGT-40 was really designed for efficiency. The fact that its a pretty fast car was just a by product. But that speed is really in the 0-50 mph range. Once you get over 50 the acceleration begins to slow. This is primarily because the pack is only 180 volts. On hard acceleration there is a pretty good sag in voltage.
That said, I wasn’t going to miss at a chance to line up alongside one of my all time favorite cars for a friendly race when the owner of the GT-40 offered. I was at the track with the car just to show off the technology and not to race, but I wasn’t going to pass up this chance. The only real problem was my pack was already more than 50 down from driving the 55 miles out to the track on the highway. (The EVGT has a range of between 90-120 miles depending on how I drive it. I hadn’t driven it paying much attention to range. I was told there was 220 amp plugs at the track. ) But I couldn’t pass up the photo op.
This was my first time in a drag race on a real track and against a FORD GT-40! What a thrill. In the end, as I clearly expected, I got dusted by 550 hp of fire breathing Ford engineering. The car got off the line good and I was pinned back in my seat. As I approached 50mph the voltage began to sag and the acceleration declined. At this point I could see him rapidly pulling away from me as expected. But I looked good and I made it down the track without breaking anything in the car for a 17.5 sec and 76 mph. I got dusted but it was worth it.
Besides the EVGT-40 racing, the other NEDRA (National Electric Drag Racing Association) cars at the event had some pretty good runs. There was even a Tesla Model S which made a number of great passes. (The Model S is a 12 second car.) The Black Pearl, a 944 Porsche conversion with dual motors and dual speed controllers did a 14 with a very small test pack. Shawn Lawless was there with “Lemon Juice” his electric Drag pickup truck and did some really fast runs despite some gearing issues.
If you are interested in getting into electric drag racing, High Voltage Hot Rods can help. We are dealers for Netgain Motors which makes some of the best electric racing motors out there. We also have the CNC equipment and knowledge to design and make the custom brackets and motor mounts needed for hooking up multiple motor setups for real drag racing speed. Brant Cohen, our Vice President has over 30 years of experience building and setting up conventional drag cars and let me say he is really itchin’ to make an electric one.
If anyone out there is interested in sponsoring a new EVGT40-B build, I would really love to build another GT-40 replica that could take on and beat the Ford GT-40.