LOCAL STUDENTS WORKING TO RESTORE AN ICON
The mentoring scheme conducted at the SAPPHIRE COAST HISTORIC VEHICLE CLUB has been under way for over 10 years now having provided experience to around 45 year 10 students.
Attending the club in pairs on a Monday, students from the Eden Marine High School receive instruction in most aspects of vehicle restoration and maintenance while working on a genuine car rebuild. Club members act as mentors giving guidance and encouragement to students. Often the resulting cars are sold to members or as in the case of “BEV” the Battery Electric Morris Minor it has been retained by the Club being a unique vehicle. On occasions local businesses and banks have assisted financially with the cost of these restorations.
This year the challenging project being undertaken by the students is the complete rebuild of a 1924 Citroen 5CV donated in dismantled condition by Club member Frank Rodwell of Cooma. The car will be a replica of the one that became the first car to completely circumnavigate Australia in 1925. The car that achieved that feat is now fully restored and on display in the foyer of the National History Museum in Canberra, ACT. It is hoped when the Clubs replica is completed it will be an Icon and used as a display vehicle for activities such as street parades like the Eden Whale Festival, Merimbula Jazz Parade and the Bermagui Seaside Fair.
The cost of restoring the Citroen 5 CV will be significant, the price of a set of genuine “beaded edge”tyres and tubes alone being $2,650. The Club will be looking for sponsors to help achieve this worthwhile project.
A photo of the car during its epic journey around Australia is shown below and photos of this year’s (2015) students working at the Club. Any business or person wishing to assist financially with this year’s project should contact Alex McQueen 0419527757.
BEV The Battery Electric Morris Minor 1000.
The Sapphire Coast Historic Vehicle Club Inc. conducts a Mentoring Scheme where year 10 students from the local Eden High School attend our club workshop to learn about restoration and repairs of older motor vehicles. Four students are selected each year and two attend on alternate Mondays to work on a project vehicle under the guidance of older (retired) club members. Since inception some 30 students have participated and worked on a variety of old cars. For the 2009 academic year we decided on a ‘green theme’ and to convert an historic vehicle to battery electric operation. We chose a Morris Minor as they are light, simple and furthermore we had one donated! We have several Morris Minors in the club including my wife Bev’s. A programme was developed aimed at having the conversion completed by the end of the school year. As the motor and gearbox were missing the work involved the following: –
Overhauling the suspension and brakes including fitting larger Morris Major front brakes.
Re-upholstering with eco-themed cloth.
Re-wiring lights, wipers etc…
Design, manufacture/purchase items and install electric drive.
Obtain batteries and install in retaining frames.
Repair body and repaint in a shade of Bright Green.
Not as simple as it appears, however the boys worked on all the above tasks and were able to drive BEV around our premises on completion.
Completion was achieved in seven months and BEV was displayed and driven in the Eden Annual Whale Festival street parade in October 2009.
BEV started life as a 1955 Morris Minor 1000 4-door saloon and now her vital statistics are as follows:
Electric Drive Motor – Advanced DC Motor X 91-4001, max. HP 43, Torque 130 ft. lbs at 72v/450amps.approx.4100rpm
Power Pack 6@ Trojan 12volt *150amp hour Lead Acid Deep Cycle batteries (weighing 38 kg each)
Major Controls, Alltrax Model AXE 7245 Programmable Controller, 3-72v contactors.
Transmission, direct drive via short line shaft to existing front universal coupling to 5.3: 1 differential. (1000rpm= 21kph)
The expected performance should be 36-50 kms at 50-75 kph, but sadly it has only achieved 6-10 kms at 30-50 kph. The lack of performance, we believe, is due to low output from the batteries which were donated after 13 years service in golf carts. We are currently attempting to raise funds to purchase new batteries and if sufficient funds are raised (approx. AU $4000) we will purchase Lithium-ion giving more power, faster charging and a 160kg weight reduction. If only AU$2000 is achieved we will buy new LA.Abs Glass Mat batteries and will suffer the weight penalty.
We were able to keep the weight front / rear distribution the same as the original specifications, which avoided adjusting suspension. In round figures we spent about AU$6,700 on the conversion but most of that came from donations from the local community. Alltrax USA donated the Controller saving us some US$1000 as well as giving us some excellent advice.
If you started with a car in top condition and have cheap labour like us you should be able to do a conversion for around an estimated price of AU$ 5000, then there’s the batteries!
BEV is a hit wherever we take her as many people have fond memories of Morris Minors and are drawn to this unique version.