Don, “Father Time” Crabtree
by John Wayland

Hello to All, On the morning of December 14th, I got the sad news that my close friend, Don ‘Father Time’ Crabtree, had passed. The EV racing world has lost one of our most unique pioneers. Whether leading NEDRA through tough times, teaching us new tricks, amazing us with his creativity, or simply being a good friend in very dark times – FT never let us down, and when it mattered most to me, he didn’t let me down either. I have circulated a picture I took of him from a few years ago – the two of us were out on my back deck running ideas back and forth and we so often did – I think my daughter’s response pretty much sums up how we felt about him, “Thanks for the picture Dad, it is nice to remember our long time family friend.”

I can say with absolute certainty, Don was one of a kind – an off-the-wall, crazy dude who was at the same time, brilliant! To be honest, nothing was normal about him, that’s why we all loved him so much! Our first meeting is a perfect example of Don’s unique style. It was an electric hydro meet at Silver Lake, Washington in the mid-nineties, where I met up with Rich Rudman (another zany guy) to be introduced to the man who would forever after, be known as Father Time and become both an inspiration and dear friend. It was a treat to see the electric hydros run, but I was there to meet this fellow I’d heard so much about. I was asking where he was, when I heard “Oh, here he comes now”(pointing to the lake). I am looking at a scene from ‘The Creature from the Black Lagoon’ as this long-haired bearded man is walking (not swimming) out from his submersion in the water. From my first grasp of his wet hand, we bonded as if we’d known each other forever. In fairness, I suppose it felt that way to all he encountered… that was Father Time. Drying off on that warm day, his long flowing white hair and sweeping beard made me think I was hanging with a reject from ZZ Top! I was taken to the back of his hydro tow rig that was filled with a collection of lead batteries connected in series at high voltage, where he proceeded to spark-together a Crabtree-crafted mating device that ‘dump-charged’ his already over-heated boat batteries in minutes! Who was this guy?

FT was, as Dave Cloud put it, ‘a great thinker’ – always scheming up new creations and different ways of doing things. I suppose he and Steve Jobs would have gotten along just fine. Ordinary was boring, tried and true was usually avoided, but taking his own path resulted in some of the most magical electric creations the EV world has ever seen! At an early NEDRA EVent, he showed up with his ‘FrankenBike’, a rad-looking raked motorcycle with a huge meat on back, over-stressed lead acid batteries, an electric motor he had massaged, and with a very special center piece – a 500 amp analog panel meter with a bent needle from hard-pegging too many times! Another amazing electric motorcycle FT created was ‘Dragon Parade’ with its twin battery packs that were reminiscent of the Enterprise’s warp drive engines.

With a machinist background tempered by his love of modern art, the metal pieces on his wacky but oh-so-cool machines would have been at home in a museum. I was always filled with excitement and ready to be amazed when FT and his wife Jessica – aka ‘The Time Keeper’, were scheduled for a visit to the Wayland home. One time he unloaded a wonderful ultra light three-wheeled moped / electric contraption he made, with a wide bench seat constructed from a pair of aluminum and stretched strips of vinyl patio chairs. With twin pedal sets we moved away and got up to a good clip, then he hit the electric assist and away we glided up to beard-blowing speeds! It wasn’t long before we had a line formed at my house of neighbors and passer-byes who wanted to get in on the fun – getting in on the ‘fun’, is what FT was all about! In fact, I had a major battery exec at my home to check out the Zombie, but all he wanted to do was ride in Don’s elegant trike and talk with the crazy character he had just met 🙂

Electric Legend cars, chopped and narrowed drag cars with twin monster motors, electric hydros, electric drag motorcycles, vanilla daily drivers, and even motorized furniture were all designed, hand-crafted and pushed to limits by this nut case! In recent years he was clocked approaching 50 mph on his electric LazyBoy! Fantasticly artful while pushing some kind of boundary, it was mind boggling to see what emerged from his cramped and cluttered backyard garage. Inside, it was strewn with tortured motors who’s commutators looked more like copper mushrooms, metal shrapnel that was once some electrical device, fractured gears, melted cables – all around was evidence that this guy played on the edge!

Over the near two decades I hung with FT, he was always featured on the many videos, TV shows, and news casts about anything EV. It went like this…film crews and reporters from all around the world were arriving in town to meet the renegade AmpHeads breaking all the stereotypes about stodgy EVs. It never failed, much like a magnet pulling at ferrous metal, they’d look over at FT with his snow-white long hair and wild beard, wrenches flying and sparks snapping while doing last minute wizardry on one of his creations, with a look on their faces of ‘What the hell?’… usually followed with, “Who’s that?” Roderick Wilde has already written about the German video where Don’s powerful drag bike took off and slammed into a big Lincoln Town Car… I was there when it happened. After the accidental full power launch and the impact that sent him over the handlebars, as he un-crumpled himself FT immediately quipped to the videographer, “Did you get that?” I remember the camera man looking over at me, absolutely stunned and astonished at the old fart who shrugged it off as just another day at the laboratory! A few weeks later at a Woodburn drag race EVent, there he was in shorts, tie-dyed shirt and suspenders, with his bandaged, bruised and scabbed-up leg looking like a survivor of a brutal street brawl – our poster child for all things bizarre and demented 🙂

Then there were those l-o-n-g road trips to far away racing EVents with FT and company – man, too many stories to tell! Whatever went sideways, got screwed up, or otherwise freaked us out – it never fazed FT – never! In fact, he liked it! The odder it was, the scarier it got, the more insane it became – it all just fueled him. I used to get grilled by ‘The Time Keeper’ when we’d prepare to go off on a road trip, “Do your best to keep him out of trouble.”

It’s already been reported that Don was a big fan of the Douglas Adams series ‘Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy’, and I too, knew this well. I’m fairly convinced that FT really did think the earth was a supercomputer commissioned and paid for by a race of “hyper-intelligent,” “pan-dimensional” beings. Maybe he was actually one of them? In any EVent, he’s no longer in this dimension, or at least it appears that way…

I’ll miss you, my friend!

See Ya…John Wayland





Article Written by: AUDREY MARTIN
Appearing in the EcoMall ( dot com).


We met VICKI WOODS… 92 year old who back in 1960 ran the FASTEST One Way Run in the History of Daytona Beach – 150.375 mph !!

( I know… I know.. . NASCAR GAS>>>>>>>>>>>>>)….

What an incredible person at 92 .. to come out to the GO CART races that Steve and I Mentor for the Middle Schools here in Fort Pierce, FL

Our Hats off to Ms. Vicki Woods !!!

Electric car drivers urge others to plug in at Fort Pierce Rally
Saturday, April 23, 2011

FORT PIERCE – Edward Ellyatt asked the same question again and again at the Electric
Car Rally in Fort Pierce on Saturday.
“My electric car costs $1.40 to drive 40 miles. How much does your car cost?”
The Fort Myers resident and owner of a 2011electric Chevrolet Volt came to the rally to extol
the virtues of his electric car – drivers in gasoline-powered cars getting 20 miles to the
gallon are going to pay $8 to go that same 40 miles.
Ellyatt is part of a growing effort across the area to promote converting gas cars to electric
cars. This effort comes·to fruition every year at the annual Electric Car Rally sponsored by
Advanced Auto, 4158 Okeechobee Road.
Electric car rally hosts Steve Clunn and Audrey Martin of Fort Pierce say the rally brings
hundreds of electric car enthusiasts from across the state to appreciate the electric pickups.
sports cars, motorcycles, hybrids and dragsters on display. Yet there are only four electric
car owners known in Fort Pierce.
“People come here and learn that they do indeed have a choice between using foreign oil or
domestic electric power, and to choose electric saves money and reduces our dependence
on 011,” Martin said.
During the daylong event, electric car owners try diligently to explain how electric cars work
and how used cars can be easily converted from gas power to electric power using lithium
-I used $360 per month on my gas card running short errands around town in a gas car.
Now that I drive an electric car, my gasoline bill dropped to $45 dollars per month and my
electric bill increased only to 18 dollars,” said Martin.
Andrew McClary of Boca Raton built his 1968 Fiberfab Valkyrie Lotus-look-a-like sports car
from a kit and then converted to electric power to show at the rally. “I want to inspire young
kids to get into electric car technology,” he said.
Dan and Patty Bowker of Fort Pierce displayed their recentJy built all-electric Chevrolet S-10
pick-up truck at the rally because they wanted to inspire peopfe to save.
~We’re trying to help folks beat the system and take a major step toward a more green





GEAR BOX MAGAZINE Article about Steve Clunn


This Article was submitted by: Larry Gales

My main interest in electric cars lies in their role in moving us toward a sustainable way of life. The biggest barrier to this goal is its perceived cost. Yet my back-of-the-envelope calculations below indicate that a net-zero energy house and net-zero energy automobile combination would be much cheaper over 35 years for a household than our current use of energy.


Specifically, a typical household today will spend over $150,000 in energy over the next 35 years for house and cars, whereas a net-zero energy house and car combination would cost less than $100,000 for the same time period. Below are the calculations, references, and data for such a conclusion. I would appreciate it if others would examine my data, assumptions, and calculations to determine the extent of their validity.


Here is the list of my estimates for various costs, as well as references (using the “tiny URL” facility) that I use in my calculations.


o Assumed dates when this calculation should be valid: 2012. This is when a sizable number of electric vehicles should be available (Nissan, Aptera, TH!NK, iMiev, Chevy Volt, Tesla White Star, …)o My (conservative) estimate for household energy costs: $2000/yr. – Ref: $2350/yr according to: My (conservative) estimate for current MPG: 25. – Ref: 19.8 MPG according to: o My estimate for household miles driven per year: 20,000 (based on usually more than one car per household). – Ref: 21,000 miles according to: o The European passive house: my estimate is that building to this standard would increase the cost of a house by an average of 8%.Thousands of these houses have been built across Europe. They look like ordinary houses, apartments, condominiums, etc. They tend to be more comfortable, much quieter, have healthier indoor air quality, require less maintenance, reduce heating/cooling costs by a factor of 5 or 10, eliminate the need for a central

heating/cooling system, and use 4 times less energy overall.Here are various other estimates: – Ref: 5-7% in Germany : – Ref: 4-5% : – Ref: up to 14% : – Ref: 75% less energy : My estimate for a home energy monitor: $500. – Ref: $200 – $600: o My estimate for solar hot water heating: $10,000. – Ref: 4000 Euro/$5600 :

– Ref: $10,000 – $18,000: – Ref: $9000 – $15,100 for *cold* Northern statesas per “Solar Today”, June 2009, page 40. Solar heaters in “average” locations in the US should be cheaper than in Northern states.o My estimate for *current* PV solar cost is $8/watt. – Ref: $7.6-$8.10: o My (conservative) estimate for PV solar in 2012 is $5.60/watt. Until 4 or 5 years ago, PV costs were declining until they hit a plateau determined by the supply of purified silicon (the supply was set by the electronics industry, not PV). But that has changed and the supply is growing so that the cost of purified silicon is dropping by a factor of ten. This, as well as many other reasons, is why the cost of PV will plunge. My estimate assumes a reduction of 30% by 2012, but others predict a steeper decline. – Ref: $1/watt cell ~ $4/watt for PV: o My (conservative) estimate for PV degradation is 1.00%/year. – Ref: appears to be less at 0.75%/yr: o My (conservative) estimate is that in an average location in the US, over a 35 year lifetime, a 1 KW PV array will generate an average of 1100 KWH/yr. This is based on the average 1st year output of 1300 KWH/yr for a 1 KW PV array, degrading over 35 years at 1%/yr to 900 KWH/yr: (1300 + 900)/2 = 1100. – Ref: PV watts per state:


So, if we put this altogether we get these results:o Using current house, car, and energy data the average household in the US spends $154,000 for energy over 35 years. – $2000/yr * 35 years for house energy = $70,000. – 20,000 miles/yr, at 25 mpg = 800 Gallons. At $3/gallon that comes to $2400/yr, or $84,000 over 35 years.Total energy costs over 35 years: $70,000 + $84,000 = $154,000o For the net-zero energy house and net-zero energy car scenario we use this model: – The house is built according to the European passive house standard. The average cost of a house now is about $250,000, so an 8% increase is $20,000.- To this we add a solar hot water heater and an energy monitor: $10,500- This should reduce the total energy needs of the house to about 5000 KWH/yr, so a 5 KW PV array would easily make this a net-zero energy house. But instead we will use an 8 KW PV array, at a cost of $5.60/watt * 8000 watts = $44,800. The extra 3 KW will be used to power the cars. So the total cost increase is: $20,000 + $10,500 + $44,800 = $75,300.


– We will give this family 3 electric cars: one full size full function 5-6 passenger, high performance electric car, and two tiny 8×5 foot 800 lbs. electric micro cars limited to 35 MPH.- The high performance family electric car is superior to a gas equivalent car in almost every way, except for range and recharging time, due to the qualities of electric motors and the architectural design freedom of electric drive trains. If designed from scratch it should get 5 miles/KWH. Ref: the 2850 lb. EV1 got 5.5 miles/KWH Ref: the 3000+ lb Chevy Volt gets 40 miles on 1/2 of its 16 KWH battery, and so gets 5 miles/KWH.- There are a number of cultural, safety and other reasons why Americans do not like micro cars, such as the SMART car. However, some of these reasons are due to the fact that downsizing a gas engine car makes it uglier, noisier, dirtier, less efficient, and much more cramped. This is because gas engines are such obnoxious devices that they must be surrounded by all sorts of other things to make them acceptable, such as mufflers, catalytic converters, variable speed transmissions, fuel, cooling, and oil distribution systems, pumps, belts, hoses, filters, etc. And it is these very things that get heavily compromised when the car is greatly downsized.But electric motors are always quiet, clean, smooth, and efficient regardless of their size; and limited performance (say, 35 MPH) lightweight cars can be designed where the drive train takes up zero space: the battery, charger, and inverter can be a long, wide, but thin pack that makes up the floor of the vehicle (taking up no space), and the 4 motors are inside the wheels. Thus a tiny 8×5 foot car that is 10 inches shorter than a SMART car and 1 inch narrower should still be able to hold 4 adults. So there is reason to believe that a tiny electric car may be more acceptable to the American public.Each of the two micro cars is assumed to get 15 miles/KWH (this compares with the Aptera which is twice as heavy and far more powerful and which gets 10 miles/KWH).- If the micro cars drive a combined total of 12,000 miles/year, and the full size car drives 8000 miles/year, then the theoretical annual KWH/year is 8000/5 + 12,000/15 = 2400 KWH/year.


However, there are various losses of efficiency, such as wall plug-to-battery and other losses. So we build in another 25% loss in efficiency, to get to 3000 KWH/year.Thus we end up with a net zero energy house and cars combination from the 8 KW PV array. So, the current energy scenario costs $154,000 over 35 years, versus only $75,300 for the net-zero energy approach.In order for this NOT to save a lot of money, the electric cars would have to cost $78,000 more than gas engine cars.- Note: all of these calculations are for an average house in an average location in the US. However, there is about a 35% variation, plus or minus, in solar intensity in the contiguous states. For example, in Tucson, a 1 KW PV array produces 1663 KWH/year, whereas in Seattle (where I live) it produces 970 KWH/year. So, looking at the cost of solar hot water and PV, the figure of $10,000 + $44,800 = $54,800 should be modified by up to +/- 35%. So in Seattle, the cost would be about $20,000 + 73,000 = $93,000, whereas in Phoenix it would be about $20,000 + $43,000 = $63,000.

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