'Evie' focus of pool fundraiser

Taking a break from fine-tuning electric-vehicle 1957 Ford Fairlane ‘‘Evie‘‘ are (from left)...
Taking a break from fine-tuning electric-vehicle 1957 Ford Fairlane ‘‘Evie‘‘ are (from left) Control Focus Ltd industrial electrician James Hardisty, electrical engineer Hagen Bruggeman and Allan Grant, all of Dunedin, in the Valley Community Workshop in Northeast Valley last week. PHOTO: SHAWN MCAVINUE

A "celebrity'' car is back in Dunedin and will be the focus of an event tomorrow to raise money for the proposed aquatic facility in Mosgiel.

Allan Grant, of Fairfield, has arranged for Control Focus Ltd industrial electrician James Hardisty to talk about the car at the fundraiser at Orokonui Ecosanctuary from 9.30am.

Mr Hardisty, of Northeast Valley, said he would talk about converting the 1957 Ford Fairlane to an electric car, which he had named "Evie''.

After the conversion, Evie left Dunedin to star in a Mercury Energy advertisement featuring two elderly gentlemen sneaking out for a late-night drive and racing a young driver, before returning home and plugging in Evie for an overnight charge.

The car returned to Dunedin earlier this month for a six-week stay in the city.

Mr Hardisty said during the stay, he and electrical engineer Hagen Bruggeman had been fine-tuning the car in the Valley Community Workshop and planned to determine how far Evie could travel on a single charge.

The car had been driven from Hamilton to Auckland on a single charge but could go further, he said.

He had been driving Evie around Dunedin since the car returned to the city, he said.

Since the advertisement aired, the car had gained a celebrity-like status, he said.

"I was taking it for a blast around the block in Dunedin the other night and some girl randomly yelled `whoa, that's beautiful'.''

The car was owned by Mercury Energy and the electricity retailer had plans to tour with the car, he said.

Mr Grant said Mosgiel needed the proposed aquatic facility because the population in the town and surrounding suburbs was growing rapidly.

The fundraising event had capacity for 100 people. Tickets cost $50 and could be booked at www.poolingtogether.org.nz, he said.

Taieri Community Facilities Trust chairwoman Irene Mosley would also be speaking at the event about the pool project, Mr Grant said.

SHAWN.MCAVINUE @thestar.co.nz

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