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Rick Woodbury with George Clooney's Tango electric car
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A Tango Tale

Streaming video of July 2007 visit to electric car manufacturer Commuter Cars in Spokane, Washington.

By Bill Moore

I have wanted to visit Rick Woodbury, the co-founder with his son of Commuter Cars in Spokane for years now. I finally had the opportunity when my wife and I vacationed there and in neighboring Idaho this past July, spending time with her brother and sister and their spouses.

I brought along my Sony camcorder and during the visit with Rick I asked him to talk about the creation of the Tango, the first two versions of which -- including actor George Clooney's car -- happen to be at the company offices and shop in downtown Spokane, not far from where my brother-in-law, Rod Hall is the manager of KQUP, Channel 24, an RTN affiliate serving Spokane and eastern Washington state.

Rod brought along two of his staff while I was with Rick and they shot their own program about the Tango, which was aired later in Spokane. He wanted to use some of the footage I had shot, so I loaned him the tape, which I got back just recently.

We took some of my earlier footage in which Rick candidly shares the story of the Tango and created the following 12-minute video clip, which I think you'll find fun to watch. And yes, we all did get to ride in George Clooney's car as Rick aggressively demonstrated the Tango's ability to dart through five o'clock rush hour traffic in Spokane. It's a ride we won't forget.

Commuter Cars is ramping up for production of its next ten two-place, tandem electric cars. Its third vehicle was being assembled while I visited him. This vehicle will serve as the production version for all subsequent models in the series and incorporates numerous improvements technologically and ergonomically. Rick also now has a sizable stockpile of A123 lithium ion batteries that will be installed for owners wanting more power and longer range.

Times Article Viewed: 12662
Published: 25-Sep-2007

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