Wednesday, April 1, 2009

TAA DAAAA!!!

And now, the blog post you've all been waiting for...

But first, a picture of the finished LH4. (Well, OK, it isn't running yet, so it technically isn't finished, but it is finished enough to show at the Denver Auto Show.)
Pictures cannot begin to do it justice.

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A very tired, but giddily happy crew rolled the LH4 into the Colorado Convention Center this morning for the Denver Auto Show.

The car came out of the paint booth at 6 p.m. on Tuesday after intensive painting sessions by our paint team, Matt and Brian, who have the blisters to prove it.

Dan and crew finished putting the car together at 4:30 a.m. There were a few dazed faces and cups of coffee to keep everyone going, and installing the dash almost made us throw in the towel, but Ken pulled out the original CAD designs and it all came together - every seam lined up, every bolt in place.

Delivery this morning meant two trips from Loveland to Denver (about an hour each way) since the car and the LH3 chassis/drivetrain only fit in the trailer we had to buy this week - but not at the same time... So Rich and Ed left at 5:30 to take the chassis down. (Thankfully the snow was supposed to hold off until the afternoon.) They had some trouble getting in to the convention center since it was early, but they were finally allowed access to the floor. After unloading the chassis they headed back to pick up the car.

The entire crew arrived with the car right after 11 - what a thrill to see it roll off that truck!! Even if it was two hours late. At that point we only had an hour before the floor opened for the pre-show to get the car cleaned up and to get the chassis on the display stand (picture below, if you are coming to the show be sure to check it out - it is a great way to see how the engine works with the hydraulics.) We also had to get our new video set up to loop in the 52" TVs. (As soon as we get a dub of the video that we can post we will post it.) It was such a relief when everything was done.

After we finished setting up, Shawn Patrick from Denver's 9News came out for a follow up interview to their February story. Check out the official "unveiling" here.

It started snowing about 4 and so we thought attendance would be light. Not so - our booth was packed the entire night. It was energizing to talk about the car and the technologies and to see people's reaction to it. The most asked question of the night: Where is the door? Some people didn't get it even after viewing the door opening on the video. But that's OK. Some people were very negative about the car. But most people were very encouraging and we heard time and again that the government should have given small companies like ours the auto bailout money. That's a nice vote of confidence! (Wouldn't that be nice... think what we would do with even $1 billion dollars...)

It was a great start to the show.

Next goal: a driveable car for our Open House in May.

But first we have to get through four more days at the Denver Auto Show. Come see us - we're in booth 417, right next to the Mazda booth and the Army booth and their huge Hummer and prairie dog shooting game. (Our car faces the Madza Miata - which is the car we cannibalized for the chassis was back at the beginning of the year. Remember this?)

3 comments:

Matt said...

Thanks for coming out to the Denver auto show last night. My wife and I really enjoyed learning about the LH4 and look forward to watching your progress. Keep up the great work!

Lightning Hybrids said...

Thanks for stopping by! It was great to have a chance to talk about what we are doing and to get so much positive feedback.

Duncan1800 said...

Was at the show today, and saw the LH4. And yes, I didn't know where the door was either (I do now). But the concept is awesome, and I have high hopes that Colorado will finally be able to grow a little bit of an auto industry for the first time since the 1920s. (Look up the Jarrett sometime.) I wish you guys nothing but the best of luck, and I will wear my T-shirt proudly!