Hugo in the Theater workshopMotor installedEngine bayHugo onstageAt the pump
OwnerMerlin Hanson
LocationWestminster, Maryland US map
Web/EmailWebPage email image
Vehicle1955 Hudson Metropolitan
MotorD&D Motor Systems, Inc. Series Wound DC
DrivetrainDrivetrain is from the 1500cc later model Metropolitan.
ControllerAlltrax
This company is great to work with!!
Batteries4, 12.00 Volt,
This system can be set up with any combination of batteries to reach 48 volts. Should I want more range I could use 6 or 8 volt batteries.
System Voltage48 Volts
HeaterNone. Car is open and will not be driven in winter.
InstrumentationOriginal with ammeter and Voltmeter installed in panel where glove box used to be.
Top Speed35 MPH (56 KPH)
48 volt system is basically good for whirring around the neighborhood. In my case I will use it for visiting places like Gettysburg battlefield when the car is not rented for stage use.
Accelerationprobably similar to original, except uphill.
Range20 Miles (32 Kilometers)
This is an estimate, I am still testing the car on roads.
Seating Capacity2.5 The backseat is really only good for people with no legs.
Curb Weight1,800 Pounds (818 Kilograms)
The batteries and motor have leveled the car off to where it would have sat with an engine in it. Thus I estimate 1800 lbs.
TiresKuhmo
Conversion TimeAbout five months of afternoons and sometimes two days a week over the summer. This includes restoring the car.
Conversion CostIncluding purchase of the car, restoration of the car and conversion to electric I estimate $9,000
Restoration notes are at www.Hansonmechanical.com WebPage the car's own site for rental is www.Theatercar.com WebPage

The initial concept for the car came from renting an electrified Metropolitan for the show Grease, which I was directing at Owings Mills High School. That car was electrified with a golf cart motor and was not roadworthy.

My students looked at that car with me and we decided we could do better and make one that is stageworthy and roadworthy. The rest of the story is at the Hanson Mechanical Collection site with a photo album coming soon.

The conversion was fairly simple, the Metropolitan is light and very easy to work on. Plus a couple companies provide a wide range of parts, so I was able to find everything I needed quickly and for very fair prices. If and when I do this again I will use a 72 volt system.

Major Kudos to two companies. First is Alltrax, their engineers spent time on the phone with me straightening out issues and cut me a real break when I blew up a controller. (sometimes I am not that bright) Also, The Metropolitan Pit Stop was a major supplier of restoration parts with really knowledgeable staff and an insane range of parts.

code by jerry