Southern California was viewed as the cradle of hot rodding in the years after World War II, and now SoCal company Hackrod is proposing to take that DIY speed ethos into the 21st century with the creation of a custom 3-D printed electric sports car called La Bandita.
La Bandita is a two-seat, mid-engine roadster built on a metal spaceframe rather than using a costly carbon fiber monocoque chassis. Conceptually, it is very similar to the beloved Ariel Atom.
However, where the Atom is made with an assemblage of TinkerToy-straight sticks made of steel, La Bandita is grown organically using lightweight aluminum. The additive printing process produces a frame that looks more like an animal's skeleton than the Atom's house painting ladder frame.
La Bandita's frame design is the product of an array of computer-aided engineering tools that apply material exactly where it is needed for maximum strength and omits it where it would only added unnecessary weight.
That's why the frame is nearly solid around the driver's seat and the main bulkhead behind the cockpit, but is a lightweight spider web in other areas.
"Just look at it!! All math...no styling...completely new territory" enthused Hackrod chief product officer Felix Holst in a LinkedIn post.
The company's informational video depicts electric motors mounted behind the cockpit driving the rear wheels and it shows a Tesla-branded battery pack installed in the vehicle's center spine, in the manner of the Chevrolet Volt's layout.
Hackrod chief executive officer Mike "Mouse" McCoy narrates the video. If his name rings a bell, it may be because you remember him from the incredible Baja 1000 desert race documentary film Dust to Glory, in which he memorably crashed on camera when he fell asleep attempted to ride a motorcycle the entire race solo.
If nothing else, we already know that McCoy is prepared to take crazy risks to achieve his goals, so the Hackrod La Bandita could be an amazing product when it is finished.