The "Why Not?" EV Midget Build – Part 1

EV Midget

Why would you merge a 1979 EZ-GO electric golf cart with a late ’30s midget race car?

Why wouldn’t you?

Years ago, when my grandfather moved out of his big, old house, I was able to talk him into letting me drag the old midget race car out of his crawlspace and take it home.  Click here for more information about the history of the midget itself.

Previous to the day that I crawled under his house, I had never seen the car.  I had always thought it was a complete unit.  When I finally saw it, I learned that it was nothing more than a midget kit.  It was only a body shell and a frame.  Not only was it not assembled, it had never been assembled.  So, what I had was a N.O.S. midget body kit.

N.O.S (new, old stock) sounds great in online auction ads, but in the midget’s case, it was, unfortunately, not so sexy.  The years and the crawlspace had not treated it as well as sitting on a dusty shelf of some forgotten dealership warehouse might have.  The crawlspace was not very hospitable.  It had only a soft, white sandy floor where the midget body parts were scattered, sitting directly on the soil.  There was considerable rust on the steel frame and bracketry and corrosion on the aluminum body shell.

40s midget
This is everything (not counting the tire) that was in the crawlspace

A bit more about the crawlspace:  It was terrible.  Only about 18 inches from the earthen floor to the floor joists above your head.  You literally had to crawl.  Of course, there were thousands of spiders everywhere I looked (at least that’s how I remember it), there was no light, and only a tiny access point on the side of the house.  How the midget held up for all those years down there is beyond my comprehension.

My best estimate is that the midget was placed in the crawlspace in about 1948 or 1949.  There, in that hell, it waited until I again introduced it to the light of day in 2003.  While my prize wasn’t as complete as I had dreamed it would be, I was thrilled to have it.

Then I took it home and quickly realized that a faithful reproduction of the midget racers of grandpa’s day would be prohibitively expensive.  Flathead Ford engines aren’t exactly a dime-a-dozen these days.  Discouraged, I stuffed it up in the rafters of my garage and eight more years went by.

Stay tuned for part 2.

 

 Scott Ith is an Associate Editor with Hooniverse.com, but he also contributes to his own site NeedThatCar.com.  Head over there for more hooniganism.

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