Sparky? We Have an Electric Car?

White, orange, and yellow flames burst from the front of the car and fly to the back.

White, orange, and yellow flames burst from the front of the car and fly to the back.

Ryan Cantwell, Audio/Visual Editor

Manitou Springs High School owns an electric car, not just any, but a 1994 Volkswagen Bug. Dennis Korth created sparky the electric car in 1994. Sparky shimmers uniquely in the sun with her orange and yellow flames, yellow sides, and green top. The base is a 1994 Volkswagen Bug modified to run on electricity. It runs on the energy from any common house outlet. Being created in a single school year by the Manitou Springs High School (MSHS) woodshop class.

Sparky’s style imitates that of a burning fire that is ready to go. Korth said that he tends to try to make the whole style and color of the car match. Even the batteries and the charging cord imitate the bold green. The inside dashboard of the car has hand crafted wood elements made by Korth himself. The steering wheel is custom built. This car relates to many modern cars obtaining a speedometer, DC amps meter, a volts meter, and battery charge. The car has a gas pedal and a break just like any other car. The unique difference is this gas pedal is a wheel; simply for the reason that it is easier to put in than a modern gas pedal. It operates the same, you push down, it goes.

Charging the spark to run Sparky is simple, the charger works on any 110 watt plug-in which is any normal house plug-in. Spark’s power source originates from five car batteries. The run-time of the batteries depends on how the car is drove, it can go up to 50 miles without needing a recharge but normally only 10-15 miles. Korth said,”If you drive it like a race car then you will get 10 miles, there is a learning curve.” The batteries have to be replaced only every few years.

Over 30 supporters gave to the creation of the car including companies like Ford, Volkswagen, battery companies, and several tire companies. The workshop class worked one school year on the car, the students could either spend their class time working on wood projects or the car project.

Dennis Korth
Dennis Korth worked at MSHS as the wood-shop teacher for 31 years and now drives Sparky every year through the parade. He knew just about everyone he passed including police, teachers, and firemen.

Sparky drives through the parade every year and receives vast amounts of compliments. Korth says phrases like,”Do you even hear it?” and “It’s so quiet” referring to the car’s near silence. It only lets out a slight electric hum when the pedal is first pushed on. After that, it could sneak up on you in an instant.
The car hits every mark of a unique and gorgeous that it could. Along with the fact that it is an electric car, which are just now becoming for a trend. Look for it next year in the Manitou Parade.