This one was new to me when I saw it in August of 2019 at the Danish Museum of Science and Technology, but it does fit the mold of all the other attempts at car production in Denmark since the seventies.
This car does, of course, have electric power. This car does, of course, look odd. This car did, of course, never succeed in much of anything. This car is, of course, very interesting and alluring to us at CC.
See, in the late nineties when this car was introduced, our friends at Toyota had successfully developed the Prius – the poster child hybrid. The Prius is significant because it was a green car that you could live with and this was made possible by combining the greenness of the electric engine with the range of the petrol engine. Toyota realized that an electric car was simply not on the table. Back then, they were all too slow, had too little range and were simply just too weird as well. This once again got Danish engineers thinking. This time at the company Toria.
Toria basically took the Prius concept in a much more low tech version and added solar panels. Driving an electric car requires a ridiculous amount of solar power, so this was all about maximizing surface area. So where previous attempts were ridiculously small, this one is ridiculously big. It seats three in the front (and only) row – comfortably. Some sources claim it was a six-seater and perhaps it was intended as such.
It has lots of storage area in the back though actually utilizing this space would likely turn the shade of green relatively dark relatively quickly.
In another instance of Danish optimism the development of this car received funding from several public agencies.
The information available at the museum was limited, but this car relied on a biodiesel-powered engine rather than a petrol engine. Below 30 mph, the Connector 2001 would move under solar power and then when needed the biodiesel would power up and take the sun-yellow three-seater all the way to 80 mph. 0 to 60 would be over in less than 15 seconds and solar power range was actually not bad. It would be enough for 6 to 18 miles on most Danish days.
I am not sure this car was intended to make it to mass production, but surely a wider application of the technology would be the goal of an R&D project of this scale. Just looking at it, though, you can see why the proposition of carrying the equivalent of a sunflower field on the roof would just never make sense.
Danish Delights #1: 1950 Sommer S1
Danish Delights #2: 1960 Volvo Special
Danish Delights #3: 1972 Sommer Joker
Danish Delights #4: 1981 OScar
Danish Delights #5: 1967 SVJ 1000 GT
Danish Delights #6: 1987 Ellert
Danish Delights #7: 1998 Kewet
Danish Delights #8: 1888 Hammelvognen
Seeing that dashboard wiring mess brought back a vivid memory. Back in late 69, fresh back from Vietnam, just married, was smitten by the new Chevy Monte Carlo. Went to the Chevy dealer one evening and lo and behold, just off the truck was the Monte I wanted. It had just arrived that afternoon and was still in the shop. Remember, cars “just off the truck” needed some work before they were allowed in the showroom back then.
This one was exactly what I wanted, bench seat, 400 SB, auto, AC. Wife climbed in and I heard EW! Went to look inside and the dash looked just like the one in this story. It looked like someone had reached up under the dash and yanked all of the wiring, hoses, etc down on the floor.
We wound up buying an Olds Cutlass Supreme.
Nothing a handful (OK, it’s a BIG hand) of tie-wraps could’t have fixed…!!!
And NO, I AM NOT POSTING COMMENTS TOO FAST!!!
Yes, it does get irritating and tiresome to be told that I posted too fast. One trick is to click on the back arrow then repost. Keep on until it got posted.
The title pic was challenging enough, but then the rear end really sees that challenge and raises it to a new level.
That being said, the idea of making a wider car to accommodate all those solar panels is not a bad one, nor is the 3-abreast configuration. But if it needs a Diesel, I’m not sure it’s entirely thought though…
Rear visibility has to be challenging in that thing. Interesting concept though.
Form follows function!
Don’t you mean the Hammershark-i-Geoff or whatever they later called it?
Tesla clearly stole the dash center stack from this
It’s face looks like an upside-down emoticon of a fish.
Still better looking than new Toyotas…
Always fun reading about another unusual automobile.
The taillights are upside down Mazda MX-3 units, is that correct? Interesting car, sort of has a Disneyland ride or whatever vibe about it, probably the seats/body etc. The museum seems to have some very interesting stuff laying about judging by the visible snippets in the background!
That was my first thought. Then I revised it to those off a Nissan 100 NX, but now that I actually google the two. You’re correct.
Yes, lots of interesting stuff. Definitely a recommended destination for CC’ers. Unfortunately my wife and kids did not really agree so I spent some six or eight hours less than I would have liked.