The Wall Street Journal has turned its attention to White Zombie. Not the band, but the 1972 Datsun 1200 that can run a sub-12 in the quarter mile and smoke a whole gaggle of V8-powered muscle cars while getting terrific gas mileage. Its secret? Electrons.
Owner, builder and racer John Wayland of Plasma Boy Racing Frankensteined the beast by putting two electric forklift motors and an array of 36 12-volt storage batteries into the diminutive doorslammer. Rather than a torque curve, zap-juice motors have a torque wall that goes instantly from zero to full blown, giving the Dat the ability to use all of its available lb-ft right off the line.
As a result, these cars were banned at many drag racing venues, deeming them too fast for safety. This prompted the formation of the National Electric Drag Racing Association, whose rules were eventually adopted by the NHRA.