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Mean Green Machine goes electric

Matt Kidd, Brent Elliott and Jeff Smith, engineering students who gave the Mean Green Machine an electric motor.The Mean Green Machine, a 1931 Model A seen at football games and spirit events, recently got a makeover thanks to a team of engineering technology students.

The team led by senior Brent Elliott worked for two semesters to convert the car, which had fallen into disrepair in recent years, to an electric vehicle. The Student Activities Department brought the idea to the Department of Engineering Technology, and Elliott and his five teammates agreed to tackle the assignment for their senior design project. Student Activities provided $6,500 for the conversion, and the team finished the project slightly under budget.

The team installed a NetGain Warp9 motor and a lead acid battery pack, and says the classic car will be able to exceed speeds of 30 miles an hour and have a range of about 30 miles. The team also made sure that the conversion was 100 percent restorable by building special mounts for the new components that could be easily removed without damaging the integrity of the car.

“We are mechanical engineers, not auto mechanics, so there were a few bumps along the way. Vehicles were built differently in the 1930s, so we had to do a lot of troubleshooting, but we learned a lot,” Elliott says.

Mean Green Machine Model AThe car needs a few more repairs before it’s back to cruising around Denton, but the Talons hope to have it fully operational by fall. The Talons Cannon Crew drives the Mean Green Machine at home football games, parades and other special occasions to promote UNT spirit.

The Mean Green Machine was donated to the university by alumnus Rex Cauble in 1974,

Above, from left Matt Kidd, Elliott and Jeff Smith.

- Alyssa Yancy, News Promotions

(Photo by Jonathan Reynolds)

Posted on: Tue 22 May 2012

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