The Whippet


I don't know exactly what inspired this car. I've always enjoyed lightweight vehicles with middleweight horsepower--they're even more fun than middleweight cars with heavyweight horsepower--and for years I've wondered how Morgans would have developed if the management had discovered four wheels before discovering four cylinders.

It's definitely a path less taken, and it doesn't give everybody the warm fuzzies, but enough folks dig it to keep me encouraged. Also my back's not up to being a biker any more (a combination of plane crashes and road racing accidents; MRIs on request) so I've taken Colin Chapman's "four wheeled motorcycle" concept (it's what he called his Lotus Seven) to its logical conclusion: a Big Twin sportbike you sit down in.

As you can see, the styling is rather dominated by the powerplant. We'll keep the rest of the car as minimal as the law allows, it's going to be a no-frills flight. Thanks to the miracle of Photoshop, here's a computer generated styling exercise with a cut-down Seven look...

The body parts are real (and in stock--see our parts pages) but we placed photos of the parts onto the frame photo above. Folks with better styling concepts are invited to submit them to us.

The super low body does have its charm (the nose is about three inches lower than the nose of a Lotus Seven S2; which was not a car known for excess bulk) but I think I'd like my own personal Whippet to look more '30s than '60s, so...Whoa, I'm customizing before we even have a stock one built, no wonder we've been working on this project for four years already. But the truth is, the body may not end up looking much like this at all. For example, if we find during testing that it doesn't really need forced air cooling, we won't really need the catfish (pronounced KATE-fish) nose to hide the fan.

We have our work pretty well cut out for us, but once we have a Whippet running and registered and we put some miles under it, we'll make kits and components available. I must confess that lately MAX has been absorbing all my R&D time, but the Whippet still intrigues me...though it's unlikely I'll get back on the project before the Automotive X PRIZE runs its course.