- Battery-powered, world-speed record setter at 174.918 mph.
- 25-hp electric motor is powered by 32 12-volt batteries.
- Axles rigidly mounted to the frame with no springs.
The Battery Box is a home-built, semi-streamlined car created for the purpose of attacking the World Speed Record for electric-powered vehicles. Using the latest technology in both motor/battery combinations and vehicle design, Roger Hedlund of Sunnyvale, California, achieved his goal in 1974 at the Bonneville National Speed Trials. The car’s speed for a two-way average over a measured mile was 174.918 mph. This record held until 1997.
The car’s frame is a welded-steel tubing structure, called a “space frame.” No suspension is used so the tubular front axle is attached rigidly to the frame. Steering is by rack and pinion. The rear axle is also rigidly mounted, but runs in ball bearing races (metal rings on which ball bearings rotate). Frame and axles are made of “chrome moly” steel tubing.
A 25 hp General Electric motor, of the type used in forklifts, is located under the driver’s semi-reclining seat. The car was designed to use 32 12-volt batteries, hooked up in series, but the record run was made with 28 batteries. This still resulted in 336 volts available to turn the motor, which was cooled by a fan from a car heater drawing fresh air through the motor housing.