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Bob's EV · 1 May 06

Bob and his EV

A few days ago I posted a link to a story about Bob Hurst and the EV he made during the 1970’s oil crisis.

As chance would have it his son ran across another part of this site a few days later and sent an email suggesting I post something about his Dad’s story.

We exchanged emails and James sent a couple photos for our viewing pleasure.

Bob's EV under the hood

Bob’s EV uses a 1957 Citroen as the donor chassis. If you follow the link you’ll see that it was quite the looker in its day. It originally sported a six cylinder engine and his and her machine guns…oh, wait, wrong movie.

This is the main “engine” compartment. James thinks that the electric motor is a GE but no word on where Bob originally got it, or what it used to power. The blower fan cools the motor and cycles some of the heat into the cabin during the winter.

As for some of the more exotic parts, according to the article:

When I saw the thing (X-ray machine), I went out of my mind, all those diodes and relays,” he said.

The diodes and relays would have cost him hundreds of dollars if he had bought them new, but the junkyard owner sold them for $2.

Click to see larger versions and let me know which components you can identify! I can spot a monster fuse there towards the top (or is it a 1970’s diode?) and what looks like a couple wire wound power resistors.

Bob's EV trunk area

His son James says that it originally had twelve, twelve volt batteries along with a six volt battery to power the accessories. His been putting in long hours on the weekends to make a new frame and new floors. The article also mentions that the wheels and much of the rubber and hosing needed to be replaced after almost thirty years parked in the woods.

But even after all of that time the electric motor “fired” right up the first time.

For more details be sure to read the article.

Thanks to James and Bob for a glimpse back into a really early EV!

p.s. if you come across a schematic, James, we’d love to see it.

UPDATE 5/1/06: Jim sent a bunch of images and I picked out the following. Also, be sure to check out the Channel 4 TV news story featuring Bob and his EV.

(click images for larger versions)

Bob out for a drive

An EV action shot with what looks like the TV reporter along for a ride…

30 year old batteries

30 year old batteries looking a little worse for wear but not all that bad considering. I like the “tube and wire” routing of the power cables.

Old and New Tires

The tires also need to be replaced. It looks like the old tire on the right has some partially inflated tube sticking out.

Floor work in progress

The floor in some places had rusted out. This is one of the sections that Jim and his dad cut out, beefed up, and replaced the flooring in.

New Floor panel

Here’s the newly fabricated flooring before being welded into place.

Backend with new floor

And here’s what it looks like, along with new battery racks, put back in the EV. Nice work!

View of Electric Parts

A slightly different perspective on the main power electronics (well, some of them). The big (pink?) cylinder looking things in the metal plates with braided cable coming out of them are diodes. There’s an automotive relay and a power resistor on the right hand side.

Comments 12
  1. — Dan    Apr 24, 2006 21:20 PM    #

    There’s lot’s of stuff in those photos. In the first one, mounted on what must be one of the motor’s connections, I see an aluminum heatsink. It has a big red cable going to it. To the left of the hunormous fuse (or shunt) look to be a pair of stud-mount diodes or other semiconductors. To the right of that fuse, looks like a relay or two.

    To the right of the motor (the article calls an aircraft starter) looks like the adapter plate, flywheel, and old starter gear.

    On the drive shaft, there is a U-joint (in place of the now ubiquitous CV-joint), and what I think is an inboard brake drum. Above that, there’s a bar connected to some kind of lever, maybe part of the transmission linkage. Above that is a battery mount. There is also what looks like a pair of tie-rods at angles to the wheels. The front suspension is hard to make out…maybe some kind of trailing arm setup blocked from view from the gargantu-fuse. Running horizontally through the lower 1/3 of the photo seems to be a rod that may be that control for adjusting the headlights up and down.

    In the lower photo looks like another battery mount with some red cables going to a pair of starter solenoids. In front of that is maybe two more battery mounts. To the left is a pile of visegrips for holding welding work. To the right is a socket wrench and open-end wrench. Above that is a blue-handled pair of pliers. To the right of those looks like a ground buss.

    There’s a cutout for maybe a larger battery rack. That rear suspension definately has trailing arms of some kind, maybe with torsion springs.

    I still can’t find Waldo. ;)

  2. — jim hurst    May 01, 2006 07:32 AM    #

    Hi All,
    the folks from channel 4 were out and are doing a piece on the car. There is supposed to be a spot on the news tonight May 1, so if you get Boston area channels it should be on between 4-6 pm

  3. Jerry    May 01, 2006 09:20 AM    #

    That’s great, Jim. Thanks for the heads-up.

    BTW, thanks for the additional photos of the EV. I’ll hopefully be posting some of them this week.

  4. — jim hurst    May 01, 2006 19:57 PM    #

    Hi All,
    here is the link to the Channel 4 video. Looks like evconvert is listed in related links.

    here or here

  5. Jerry Halstead    May 01, 2006 20:03 PM    #

    Just noticed the sudden increase in traffic. Nice interview with your Dad!

  6. darin    May 02, 2006 21:27 PM    #

    Great video. Thanks for posting the link, Jim.

    It reminds me to add another comment to the Album page. Going there now…

  7. — jim hurst    May 14, 2006 23:25 PM    #

    we were kicking around some ideas for another electric car, and thought maybe one of the old 356 porsche shells we have kicking around might be interesting. I did a search for an electric 356 and found the following, and just had to share it with you folks.

    check out what looks like old selenium rectifiers

    Vintage ev or what?

  8. — Me    May 21, 2006 05:39 AM    #

    Great story, however, the link to an example of a pretty Citroen points to the wrong car. The vehicle in question is more of a VW Bug shape, with a two cylinder engine. It’s a model 2CV. Never a hugely popular car, but it, like other Citroens, had style like few others.

  9. — jim hurst    Sep 05, 2006 23:13 PM    #

    just thought I’d let you all know our 2CV is in the October issue of Hemmings Sports & Exotic Car.

  10. jerry Halstead    Dec 01, 2006 18:44 PM    #

    Also found a short entry on the Hemmings blog

  11. Proscriptus    Mar 28, 2007 07:28 AM    #

    The Hemmings story is online at http://www.hemmings.com/hsx/stories/2006/10/01/hmn_feature7.html

    It should be available in full text in a month or two

  12. Kustomatic    Feb 17, 2009 03:24 AM    #

    Can I asked you guys how hard to convert cars to EV? From that images I see so many wirings.