Once Western Golf Car had developed the Lido NEV product, it was important to update the basic golf car product line. This started with the top model called the Elegante.
For this vehicle a completely new rolling chassis was selected for the basis of the car. The body styling was done in the Formdesign studio and it was the most fresh and modern golf car I've yet seen.
Using the new chassis required the design and development of new hardware for the battery and controller systems, body mounting brackets, seat belt brackets, as well as some structural parts for the frame.
After getting these started I had to design other components such as foglight brackets, seat belt brackets, hinges, roof pillars, etc for the new body. All of these parts were supported by drawings which I used both
in-house and with the various suppliers.
A major new development for this car was the application of a newer style steering column from Delphi. I had prepared some groundwork for this column previously during the development of the Lido vehicle
although it had not been yet used in production. The main benefit of using this column was the incorporation of the horn button on the steering wheel. Because these vehicles did not use chassis ground, the typical
horn grounding circuit of steering columns could not be used. I was able to solve this with the later style column by using the SRS circuit built into the column.
Of course I had to design completely new main and motor controller wire harnesses. A later development was utilizing an on-board charger in which the supplier was in the final stages of incorporating a DC-DC
converter. This allowed the stand-alone DC-DC converter to be deleted and simplified the wiring somewhat. For this vehicle we decided to build the wire harnesses completely in-house, so in addition to the drawings I
prepared tooling to build the harnesses.
For production I designed completely new tooling to assemble the frame, body jigs to ensure consistent and correct fit of the bodies to the chassis, as well as the jigs to fabricate the various brackets, battery trays,
etc. Although we had in-house welding fabrication capability, I always designed many parts in sheet metal where it was effective, and used the resources of the local job shop. Since the new frame was made of
aluminum, I specified this material for many of the small brackets.