In the 16 years since first electrifying a 1972 Datsun1200, John "Plasma Boy" Wayland has steadily made improvements to his street-legal machine, helping him set drag strip records on a relatively regular basis. This year is no exception and having only recently made the leap from lead to lithium batteries (finally) – he had previously run with a lithium pack of A123 cells temporarily borrowed from the Killacycle crew – the Oregonian was eager to watch his White Zombie surpass its previous best.
The opportunity came, fittingly, at the fifth edition of an event the forklift technician organizes himself called the Wayland Invitational, held at Portland International Raceway (PIR). Despite some last minute glitches, our EV hero drove to the track in his antique sleeper sporting its new 22.7 kWh Dow/Kokam pack, ready to roll real quick like.
The first run produced a best-ever time of 11.111 @117.77 mph. The 2nd, 11.069 @ 117.70 mph. Aiming for a time in the 10s, the third go suffered from a shorted switch that filled the cabin with smoke. After some hectic repair and adjustments, the fourth and final run saw the Datsun matched up with a Nissan GT-R. When the lights went green, the 'Zombie launched abruptly, exploding down the track like a bee-stung chihuahua crossing the line in 10.40 seconds @ 117.21 mph. A new NEDRA record. Hit the jump to see the Godzilla-spanking run for yourself.
[Source: Tesla Motor Club / EV World]