This is the Fastest Car in the world. And it’s Green.
Upcoming segment from “The Power of One”

Alex visits Elco Welding in Venice, CA
Alex visits Elco Welding in Venice, CA
Bob Libow's father started Elco Welding in 1937
Bob Libow's father started Elco Welding in 1937
Repairing a cracked aluminum engine worth $7,000
Repairing a cracked aluminum engine worth $7,000
Elco doesn't stock parts - they make parts
Elco doesn't stock parts - they make parts
The carcas of a 1973 BMW soon to be a supecar
The carcas of a 1973 BMW soon to be a supecar
Bob Libow of Elco and Car builder Mike Pethel
Bob Libow of Elco and Car builder Mike Pethel

photos by Hugh Hamilton

 

Okay, strictly speaking, it’s not the fastest car in the world. But it has an arguable claim to being the quickest (zero-to-60: three seconds). And unlike hyper-Ferraris and Porsches, an atavist neighborhood tinkerer inspired by Thomas Alva Edison assembles this car.

Mike Pethel has driven fast cars for years, an interest afforded by his work as a color technologist who makes movies and commercials look more dazzling. Troubled by his own advertising campaigns for cars and trucks he came to see as wasteful, he sets out to build a ‘Green’ high-performance car. Starting with the carcass of an early 70’s BMW 3.0 CS, he is building a battery-powered car that is lighter and much quicker than the original. With an estimated 800 horsepower, it can beat any Ferrari ever built. Along the way, Mike learns how and why electric cars can be very good, very troublesome …and very, very fast. In one man’s obsessive quest for Green speed, we discover what lies ahead for those who hope electric cars might become a carbon salvation.