The Pendrick Bullet

Built for Season V of Murdoch Mysteries, Episode “Who Killed The Electric Carriage”.
The concept of the Bullet was an electric vehicle that looked nothing like the transport of the period (circa 1900).
After researching various designs that had existed in or about the period, we settled on a 3 wheel trike design.
In order to simplify the design and build, we decided to start with a pre-made chassis and settled on a Terra-Trike Rover, mainly because it was a square tube construction and lent itself well to modification and clamping onto. It also has a fairly high seat position for a recumbent trike.
While we could have left it a human powered vehicle and cheated it with movie magic, I decided to put a Golden Motors 48v hub motor onto the back wheel.
This allowed the trike to scoot along with a maximum speed of around 35 kph.
Following are photos of some of the steps it took from design to completion along with a few missteps along the way.

Design Drawings

These were sketched on an iPad after an email exchange with the writer of the episode. The finished product ended up awfully close.

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Attempt No. 1:
This was the first attempt at creating a shape for the vehicle, we still like the feel of this design.
It just was too complex for us to cover with a reliable and sturdy material under our budget and time constraints.

This Skeletal image also shows off the trike frame and hub motor and battery block.


Attempt #2:
This was an attempt at covering the metal frame with a metal foil and then heating to shrink wrap the frame.
The problem was one of strength as the material was prone to ripping and tearing once stretched drum tight.
Therefore we don’t have any images of it in that state.


Having given up on the metal covered frame, I had a eureka moment and


Fitted with the windscreen and cockpit frame. Door is now hinged and skirting has been applied.


Plexiglass installed in window frames, rivets installed as well as battery connectors and battery tray.
We had to remove the cockpit frame as it was too claustrophobic and hot; also our actor was a few inches taller than the top of the cockpit.


The finished product. Painted rivets, batteries installed, ready to drive.


The race against Ford.


Craig and the Car


The Stealth version. For one scene in the show, we needed a light to come at the housekeeper and also straight at camera.
For this we wrapped the Bulet in black fabric, mounted a high powered light to the top and blindly raced around a corner straight at the camera crew.


The resulting damage from the rollover.