By George, I've Seen Clooney's Electric Car Before

Concept of narrow-bodied vehicle embodied in the Tango battery electric car not new, but the technology now makes it feasible to go fast... really fast.

Published: 04-Feb-2005

lass=headtypea>By George! Coventry man Frank Gogerty did a double take when he saw the new car movie star George Clooney bought from a Kenilworth firm.

The heartthrob's new motor is a dead-ringer for the one Frank spotted on the Isle of Man... 40 years ago.

The 88-year-old said: "I thought the car was a great idea and I thought they should develop it. I was in the motor trade at the time and I could imagine people using something like it for shopping."

Frank, of Abbey Road, Whitley, was so struck by the prototype super compact car he took snaps of it while his wife Rita lifted it up single-handed.

That was back in 1964 and he never saw its like again until he opened the Evening Telegraph last week and spotted our story on Clooney's amazing buy.

He said: "I opened the paper and my first thought was 'I've seen that before'."

We reported that Clooney had bought a Tango electric car from Prodrive in Kenilworth. At just 39 inches wide, it is designed to dodge traffic queues. Frank used to run a car repair shop in Richmond Street, Stoke, and was on holiday with his late wife when he saw the car being exhibited.

And he was given a demonstration on how easy the car was to park.

It was designed so the driver could just go round the back of the car and pick the vehicle up to push it into the smallest space.

Frank even snapped his wife having a go at this unusual parking manoeuvre.

Bosses at Prodrive, the Kenilworth company making George's car, were not surprised to hear of this early version of their £45,000 runaround, designed by a US company.

Ben Sayer, spokesman for Prodrive, said: "This shows that the concept of narrow cars is nothing new. The idea has been around for some time, but now we've got the technology, so we've created a narrow car that can travel at speed.

"The Tango is made from the same carbon composites as a formula one car, so these cars may look similar but things have definitely moved on."

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