Fate-Mobile 3: About Project-Fate

From the old blog:

Team Fate Racing Consortium

“Old fatemobile’s never die, they just blow smoke”

Project Fate is a blog dedicated to keeping track of the rebuild of Fate-mobile.

Back in the 1970’s, a certain Dr. Andrew Frank (now recognized as the god-father of plug-in hybrid electric vehicles) and his friends decided to take a late model Corvair turbo engine and put it on a frame that weighed like nothing. After many welded pieces of borrowed electrical conduit, recycled parts from the Corvair donor car, and lots of ingenious engineering with dirt cheap parts, fate-mobile 1.0 was born. Rumors has it that the original fate-mobile 1.0 was crashed, and many design revisions later, fate-mobile 2.0 came around. The original intent of the car was to build a vehicle that would break track records with the least amount of money spent. They succeeded.

Now, this all happened in Wisconsin.

Fast forward 30 years, Dr. Andrew Frank is now a professor at the University of California, Davis. He also happened to bring along his many innovations, such as a Ford Pinto hybrid flywheel car (this car was from the 70’s), an old Porsche, two Fiats, and of course, Fatemobile. Dr. Frank also brought along the name of his old team: Team-Fate.

Team-Fate was conceived by Dr. Andrew Frank in 1965. It is the name given to Frank’s vehicle design group for more than 25 years. The name was derived from the 1960’s feature film The Great Race, in which Professor Fate continuously strives to thwart his opposition, never giving up, never surrendering. Since its conception Team Fate has produced a number of advanced concept vehicles and control designs.

2007, this is where we come in. Besides working on our current plug-in hybrid (Trinity, a 2005 Chevy Equinox converted to Dr. Frank’s plug-in hybrid powertrain design), a few speed-junkie members decided to spend our normally-not-working-in-the-lab Sundays to once again, revive Fate-mobile.

Although the technology may be 30 years old, it still is a fast car.

One Response to “Fate-Mobile 3: About Project-Fate”

  1. copied from:http://digicoll.library.wisc.edu/cgi-bin/UW/UW-idx?type=div&did=UW.0025.1510.0004&isize=text

    Fate: the driving force

    by Rob Scheibe

    Engineering students have the op-
    tuort,1iiity to join a inultitilcde ojf or-
    ganizations here at the UW-Madison.
    Rob Scheibe, a senior in Mechanieal
    Engineering, is a ftbnding Member of’
    the newest, and certainl ‘ the most
    unique celb ever organ ized on the
    Engineering Campnus.

    Walking around the engineering
    campus, you may have noticed a
    number of black tee-shirts with a
    white skull and crossbones on the
    front and a bold white ‘Team Fate’
    on the back. You may have been
    puzzled as to what they meant. Is it
    the insignia of aI softball leaguLe. a
    bowling league, a club, or a motor-
    cycle gang? The answer is, a little of
    each. Perhaps the latest issue of Get-
    ting Arounid defined it best as, “Team
    Fate Timing Association: A social or-
    ganization open to all students inter-
    ested in high performance automo-
    tive engineering.”
    Usually referred to as simply
    ‘Team Fate’, the organization is com-
    prised of over seventy members, in-
    cluding several faculty. The govern-
    ing of Team Fate is handled collec-
    tively, as all members are automatic-
    ally elected president upon joining.
    It all began in the spring of 1971
    when Electrical Engineering Profes-
    sor Andy Frank earned the unoffi-
    cial title of ‘Professor Fate’, after a
    character in a late 1960’s movie, The
    Great Raee. It was then that he and
    several students (after a quick course
    in vehicle dynamics) built a race car
    out of scrap tubing and iron and an
    array of surplus Corvair parts.
    The car was built over a 4-month
    period during lunch hours and idle
    Friday nights over a few Point beers
    (the official beer of Team Fate). Be-

    neath its cardboard body was placed
    the heart of this incredible machine:
    a 180-horsepower turbocharged Cor-
    vair engine. In the truest of Team
    Fate tradition, it was shod with a
    set of old racing tires and painted in
    the distinctive Team Fate color
    scheme: flat black. Finally, it was
    christened ‘The Fatemobile’.
    The Fatemobile has always been a
    colorful addition to the slalom races
    around Madison and Milwaukee.
    When the local slalom “pros”,
    dressed in their silver glow-in-the-
    dark driving jackets, arrive in their
    gleaming cars they can be seen cau-
    tioLsly keeping their distance from
    the Fatemobile. They stand back
    snickering and looking condescend-
    ingly down their noses, past their de-
    signer sunglasses, at the Fatemobile.
    Often, though their pride is shat-

    tered when the Fatemobile leaves
    them in the dust fumbling for excus-
    es about how the sun was in their
    Currently, however, the Fatemo-
    bile engine is down for repairs. (One
    of its connecting rods chose to de-
    part from the crankshaft during the
    last race.) As of late, there has been
    talk of retiring this masterpiece to
    the Team Fate Memorial Museum in
    favor of a new car, Fatemobile 11.
    Team Fate is more than just an
    organization: it is a tradition, a by-
    word, and a way of life. And, al-
    though The Fatemobile may be
    ‘down for the COLInt’, there’s no
    doubt that Team Fate will make
    sure that the Fatemobile continues
    its great tradition. (That is, if the
    team’s supply of Point beer holds

    Team Fate’s pride and jol: ‘The Fatemiohile




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