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Speedy Sinclair C5 set 150mph record.

They were the laughing-stock of the 1980s motor industry but did you know the Sinclair C5 broke a land speed record?

That's just one of the things visitors to a C5 exhibition at the Trevithick Visitor Centre in Merthyr Tydfil found out this weekend.

Adam Harper, the driver who broke the world land speed record for an electric vehicle by whipping along at a staggering 150mph, was on hand to recount the tale of daring.

Adam, 39, from Kent, was one of the first C5 salesman and is now the only world authorised dealer.

'Up to 100mph it's like you're running on rails, it's really stable,' said the dare-devil driver, who also performed the first electric vehicle stunt in a C5 by driving through a 70ft tunnel of fire.

'Then at about 110 to 120mph it starts getting tricky. At that point if a tyre blew up or something happened you would be surely dead.'

The exhibition, organised by Glyn Bowen, also featured a display chronicling the story of the C5, which first rolled off the production line at the Hoover factory in Merthyr 20 years ago next year.

And the weekend provided a great opportunity for former plant employees to reminisce about the old days working on the pioneering but ultimately ill-fated vehicle.

John Power was engineering manager on the project for almost two years. 'It was very hush-hush,' he said.

'Security was very, very tight and no-one was allowed in the building. There was 24-hour security.

'One of the things we liked about it was we were only known for making domestic appliances and it showed we could do more than that.'
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Publication:South Wales Echo (Cardiff, Wales)
Date:Aug 23, 2004
Words:274
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