And hey, what songs did YOU have? I used to carry about six different casettes to school...
But first, a back story. I have always wanted a morris minor. Ever since I was old enough to walk down the road and hear them tootle past in the 1980s, I've wanted one. And I've always been into electric cars, after seeing one in a book when I was about 5.
Back when we first met in 1999 through a mutual friend, Kate owned a lovely blue Morris Minor called "Rebecca." She has owned Rebecca since she was thirteen, when she rescued her from what I assume would have been a very early death. She was in a complete state. Since then, she's restored her (twice, because the first one wasn't carried out properly by a local garage) and she's driven her many many miles.
And when we met in 1999, I was so excited to finally ride in a Morris Minor, I literally screamed and shouted "RAAAAAAAA!" all the way around the little country lanes she took me along.
Verily, I say, It was embarrassing for her, and exciting for me. To that day, our family nickname for the woman I like to call my 'evil twin' (we have a lot in common besides cars) is "Ra."
What follows is a little backstory -- partly to explain why and where this is important to me.
Fast forward a few years, and I ended up with not one, but two Morris Minors. Hebe, a rose taupe (poo-coloured) two-door who I purchased in 2004, was my first real car. Carrie, a monstrous 1.8-litre hot-rod traveller, was my second, purchased because Hebe was getting a little tired and I needed a motorway capable car for my job.
For a short while, I even planned to emigrate to the U.S. with my wife , and the name "AminorJourney" was born. Partly because I was a musician, but partly because such a journey was a bit thing for a 40-year old car. It didn't happen (visa woes) but nevertheless, we had some fun....
All that time, and I went to local meetups, helped each other on the cars, and even (nearly) got a TV show together. (We filmed a promo with the lovely folks at Granada, but it never made it to screen. It was good fun)
And in 2006, I decided that I wanted an electric morris minor. I'd just sold Carrie for reasons I won't go into here, and I started to strip Hebe down.
I stripped her bare, down to a rolling chassis. And every time I removed a panel or component, I found more rust. She was a bucket of rust with shiny metal on top. To get her back to sound metal would have taken more money and more skill than I had. I sent her to the big scrap heap in the sky.
Rebecca, and -- who I'm going to call @Pyoor from now on since that's her online name -- carried on. Rebecca drove Pyoor around. I got my Morris minor fix. And when Rebecca was restored in 2010/11, I got to watch as she was stripped back to bare metal, restored, and put back on the road. This time, as a left-hand drive car, because like us, Pyoor eventually plans on emigrating to a left-hand drive world.
And it was time for me to repay the favor. Just like Pyoor had encouraged my Morris Minor fanaticism (she'd disagree and say I didn't need any encouragement) I got her hooked on EVs.
By the time Rebecca was restored, Pyoor had already ridden in a plethora of EVs. She'd even owned a G-Wiz for a while, one passed onto her having had it given to me. I'm guessing the ride in the Tesla Roadster back in 2011 helped too...
Then in 2012, I got the call. Pyoor wanted to know if she should get an EV. Namely, a Mitsubishi -i-Miev she'd seen on ebay. I agreed to go and help her look at it, and sure enough, it became her second family car.
Since then, Pyoor and her wife have pretty much fallen for EVs. Rebecca is loved still, but her engine, despite being older than most cars on the road today and going strong, reminds them that she's still running on DiNO juice. (DNO is in her license plate by coincidence)
So, Pyoor is finally making the steps she needs to make Rebecca Electric. For the past two years, she's owned a suitable electric motor. And a controller. Now she's getting serious, and has launched the ElectricMinorProject.co.uk
You should go and visit it now, and watch the video too, which is very good. And if you're an EV converter, or EV expert, why not follow her on here or twitter, and give her your tips, advice? I think she's possibly even open to contact from companies wanting to help.
And eventually, we're going to even do a podcast. Or rather, Transport Evolved and Pyoor :)
Tell her Nikki sent you ;)
Oh, and Happy Birthday !!!
I feel... so... dirty... but I just had to write this one.
I'll go and sit on my own somewhere now.
- Freelancer2013 - present
- LittleCollie LtdDirector, 2010 - 2012
Helps spread the word about plug-in cars, and how to give up oil.
Host of Transport Evolved podacst.
Total Mac geek, Classic car nut and tech fan. Early adopter. Of everything.
Trained as a classical musician, went to the dark side for the cookies and venti soya late.
Mom to two wonderful kids, married to Kate. Half Canadian. Live in Bristol, UK. Hates being put in boxes.
Thinks that technology, and human ingenuity, is often underrated.
- Guildhall School of Music and DramaOboe, (BMus), 1998 - 2002