Sunday, October 30, 2011

In Memoriam…Bob Beaumont

I was in college when the CitiCar made its debut. The two seat electric car was really more like a big golf cart. Though initially it only had a top speed of about 40 mph, it was still street legal. The inventor was Columbia resident Bob Beaumont.

According to this obituary by Nick Bunkley in The New York Times, Bob “thought every home should have an affordable electric vehicle in its driveway and sold more than 2,000 of them, the tiny, trapezoidal creation known as the CitiCar, decades before General Motors and Nissan came up with their own versions, died on Monday at his home in Columbia, Md.”

Jim Rouse had a yellow one. In the late seventies you would often see it parked in front of the American Cities Building in Town Center.

Though it never was a commercial success, thirty plus years later the CitiCar still has a loyal following. I found this video from a “International Gathering" of CitiCar owners held in Columbia in May of 2009.

Bob was just a little ahead of his time
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