Gooseberry Hill Lotus back in the race

Jarvis Broadley (9) tries out the restored electric-powered Lotus. Picture: Bruce Hunt
A press cutting of the original Lotus with Emma-Jo and Luke Mitchell in the car.
Charlie Mitchell (centre) with Emma-Jo Bradley (nee Mitchell) and daughter Keeva,  Luke Mitchell and (in the car) Jarvis and Nixon Broadley. Picture: Bruce Hunt
Jarvis Broadley (9) tries out the restored electric-powered Lotus. Picture: Bruce Hunt A press cutting of the original Lotus with Emma-Jo and Luke Mitchell in the car. Charlie Mitchell (centre) with Emma-Jo Bradley (nee Mitchell) and daughter Keeva, Luke Mitchell and (in the car) Jarvis and Nixon Broadley. Picture: Bruce Hunt

TWO cartons of beer, a clapped out golf buggy and a lot of work was all that was needed for Charlie Mitchell to electrify a Lotus 7 miniature sports car he first built in 1985.

Mr Mitchell originally built it for his children, who are now in their 30s, and decided to bring it into the 21st century, restoring it for his grandchildren with an electric motor.

It sat under a dust cover in a corner of his Gooseberry Hill shed for almost a quarter of a century before he decided to modify it during an almost total rebuild.

Originally built with a 125cc motorbike engine, it now sports a 48 volt three-and-a-half horsepower motor scavenged from a golf buggy bought for $100 from a scrap yard.

The other electrical bits were bought with a couple of cartons of beer.

Lots of parts from the buggy were also used in the rebuild, including the rack and pinion steering and the engine drive shafts, which meant the car body had to be lengthened by 80mm, but Mr Mitchell kept the original aluminium bonnet salvaged from a vintage Austin seven.

Mr Mitchell, who is a historic racecar driver and vintage car restorer, has put a governor on the car restricting it to 20km/h.