My story goes back awhile – 36 years and counting, to be exact.
It all started at our GMC Dealership in Seattle at the end of 1979 during the last gas crisis. I would catch little rumors in the automotive press about companies building electric cars, and “Wouldn’t you want to become an EV dealer?”
Took lots of arm twisting of my Dad, Mom, sister and the dealership principals, but in late 1980, we took on a line of converted Renault Le Car’s from a small company in Massachusetts called U.S. Electricar. The minimum order was four, and so on one grand day in December 1980, the convoy truck pulled up to our dealership…and I was hooked!
An auspicious day, December 5th is my birthday, Walt Disney’s birthday, the start of EV1 sales in California and Lectric Leopard’s at Lough Motors GMC Dealership in Seattle. It took two months to sell the first two cars (with a lot of help from local media), and it took four years to sell the remaining two at half our invoice cost…but I was hooked!!
They weren’t very sexy – and could barely hold 55 MPH on the highway – so I set out to convert a McLaren M6 kit car called the Manta Montage into a red-low-riding-DC-powered-70-mile-per-hour sports car. Now THIS turned heads wherever we went…and I was hooked!!!
Sold it 10 years later for half my investment – and it’s still humming around California to this day. It’s been 36 years since those exciting days, and now the Seattle EV Association is the second largest in the country. Proud to have been a part of it all.