Photos by Carol Coles Brown
Out on the dragstrip, the last vehicle you’d expect to be crushing BMWs and Ferraris is a 1972 Datsun. But John Wayland’s White Zombie is anything but ordinary. The electrified Datsun 1200 does 0-60 in a jaw-dropping 1.8 seconds.
Battery pack designed exclusively for the Navy
The two-door coupe sports a dual-armature 9″ series-wound electric motor that was especially built for Wayland. Its battery pack is 192 lithium-polymer cells totaling to 355 Volts and 22.7 kWh of energy. The vehicle has a 90-mile range and it is even street legal. With over 500-plus horses, it’s no surprise the Zombie takes a quarter-mile in just ten seconds.
“I got the idea many, many years ago as a child while choking on big city air pollution and playing with battery-powered toy cars,” says Wayland who built his very first electrified Datsun–the Blue Meanie–back in 1980.
These are big changes for a 1200. While the stock vehicle has a planet-friendly fuel economy of 35 MPG, it only comes with 69 horses and takes 14.5 seconds to reach 60 MPH. You aren’t going to beat a Ferrari with that!
Drivers who have raced against the White Zombie are quick to decline a second chance, “While those not yet exposed to the Zombie are stunned,” says Wayland. They’re probably a little embarrassed too!
Wayland has been fortunate enough to receive major sponsorship, but keep in mind that these batteries are very, very expensive. They are a prototype designed especially for Navy hellicopters and cost around $100,000 or more.”If they were put into production, the Zombie’s battery pack would cost closer to $25K,” says Wayland.