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Put away your Corvettes, boys, your fancy new Camaros, your Shelby Mustangs, your Porsche 911s, and don’t even bring your daddy’s old Dodge Viper to the track, none of ‘em stand a chance against one Plum Quick Indian Land golf cart.
Golf cart? Yes, you read that right – golf cart.
Named the Spirit of Lancaster County, South Carolina, and known by its shorter nickname Tee Time, the nearly all stock DS model Club Car is the product of high-performance electric golf cart motor manufacturers Robby, Rick and dad Carson Steen of Plum Quick Motors in Indian Land.
Proud of its unique speed, the men are running the cart in a Guinness World Record record attempt for Fastest Electric Golf Cart on Saturday, July 7, at Mooresville Dragway in Mooresville, N.C.
So how fast is Tee Time?
Robby Steen said Tee Time will do 0-60 mph in about 3.2 seconds or less. Pretty impressive considering most electric golf carts can only do about 15-17 mph wide open.
“We already did a 93-mph eighth (of a) mile in 7 seconds flat with our first cart at Pageland Dragstrip in 2009,” Steen said. “We’re shooting for 98 mph in this one.
“This weekend (June 23), we hit 97 mph and were getting faster with each pass, but we stopped because we didn’t want to cause any damage,” Steen said. “So I’d really be surprised if we don’t hit 100 mph during the attempt.”
To give you an idea of how fast Tee Time moves, an eighth of a mile is just 660 feet, or a little more than the length of two football fields; its acceleration speed is about a tenth of a second faster than a Lamborghini Murciélago.
“The first time you go to a track, if they haven’t heard about it, somebody always wants to race,” Steen said. “But when you go out and beat a Z28 Camaro by a full second and 21 mph, people see that and they back off.”
Powering the little golf card that could is a 204-volt and 1,000-amp Plum Quick electric motor handmade by Rick Steen, producing 700 foot-pounds of torque. Though the measurements are different, that much torque is about the same amount of torque produced by a 700-horsepower conventional gas-powered engine, Robby Steen said.
But, wait a minute, you say, a golf cart that fast can’t be stock.
Well, pretty much, yes.
As Steen likes to put it, Tee Time is “80 percent stock:” Stock suspension, stock disc brakes, forward and reverse gears, stock golf cart tires in front, a golf club rack (complete with clubs) in the back, a ball washer and an ice chest (converted to help keep the motor cool.)
And even though the golf cart is longer than most, the 16-inch stretch making it so is a standard Club Car option called a “16-inch mini-stretch.”
That’s not to say there’s no customization, though.
For one, the driver’s seat is set lower and in front of a Club Car’s traditional seat for a lower center of gravity and a safer ride.
Tee Time also has a racing seat with a five point harness and neck protection nestled inside a National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) approved roll cage, and kill-switches to cut the engine in case of an accident.
The only other major differences are 14-inch drag slicks (tires) on the back end and a 7-foot parachute, since, in Steen’s words, “When you’re going that fast, you’d better make sure you can stop.”
“In order to qualify as a golf cart, it has to be a golf cart,” Robby Steen said. “I can do anything in this that a regular golf cart can do. Except I can play 18 holes with and then go out and drag race it.”
Which brings us to the record attempt.
Steen said he and his brother and father are running in a new Guinness World Records category with their record attempt since it’s never been done before.
Steen said he knows of only one other golf cart in the country that can touch theirs, a golf cart in Florida that is actually a gas-powered dragster with a golf cart body slapped on top.
To qualify for the new world record, Steen said Guinness officials require the cart to be driven up to the starting line under its own power, then driven back from the finish to the starting line for any subsequent runs – something not even regular dragsters do.
Steen said raceway officials have arranged it so that Plum Quick can run Tee Time several times throughout the night between races.
That’s a good thing since the cart’s electric motor runs better the more warmed up it is.
Steen said he feels good about the attempt, “as long as everything keeps running good and everything stays together.”
“It’s one of those things that you could get out there and break something or blow something up,” Steen said. “But I feel pretty confident that if we don’t hit 100 (mph), then we’ll be dancing all over the doorstep of it.
“The way I look at it is if it doesn’t happen, we’ll just back it up and try again sometime,” he said. “Lord willing, if it’s meant to happen, it’ll happen.”
Tee Time is set to run during the Mooresville Raceway’s Military Tribute event and night of drag racing, Saturday, July 7. Gates open at 1 p.m. with time trials beginning at 3 p.m. The night ends with fireworks at 11 p.m.
Admission is $15 with $1 from each sale going to the USO. Mooresville Raceway is located at 8415 West N.C. Highway 152, in Mooresville, N.C.