History of Club Car

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Club Car was founded in the early 1950s in Dallas, TX and had a rocky start with a series of acquisitions.  Bill Stevens initially bought the rights to the golf car and moved the manufacturing facility to Augusta, Georgia, where he lived.  The red 4-wheel club car pictured here is the body style you would have seen in those days from 1975-1979. The early models had bucket seats but later a bench bottom with individual backs was used. It featured a 36 volt electric drive train (six 6-volt batteries.) It has two brake pedals: One to stop the car, which is a hydraulic system with a master cylinder under the dash and a wheel cylinder in each rear wheel. The other brake pedal is the hill brake, located to the extreme left side of the pedal cluster, used to park the car on a slope. The hill brake is a cable activated system. The motor is usually a BALDOR or GE brand with an aluminum chassis.

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Five men who formerly worked for E-Z-Go were looking for their own company and bought out a portion of Club Car around 1979. 1975-80 model Club Cars have two brake pedals and one accelerator pedal like the turquoise model pictured here. If your car has this pedal cluster then it is pre-’80.

Club Car made a body change in 1981 and the “DS” Model was introduced. This is essentially the same design as today except for minor changes. By this time, the former small company had become a world class manufacturer of golf and utility vehicles.

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Originally making only a 36 volt electric car, Club Car branched off into making a gasoline 4-cycle golf car in 1984 with a side valve, 341 cc, 4 cycle, KF82 Kawasaki engine with a Fuji differential. In 1988 the 5 solenoid speed control system was abandoned for the “V glide” resistor style speed switch that employed just one solenoid rather then the 5-solenoid array behind the battery pack. Internal improvements were hidden by a body design that did not change until 1993 when a minor alteration to the front cowl & headlights was made. The body material changed in ’93 to what Club Car calls “ArmorFlex,” a nearly indestructible thermoplastic resin.

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Under the hood things were new.  In 1992 the engine was replaced by a new 286cc, 9hp Kawasaki overhead valve engine dubbed the FE 290 engine. In 1995 Club Car offered the first modern 48-volt power train for golf courses.  It had a unique on-board computer to control the charging process.

ingersoll-rand

In the late 1990s Club Car eclipsed E-Z-GO as the best selling electric golf car in the world.  Since then Club Car has been bought out by Clark, the forklift company, and then Clark shortly thereafter was bought by Ingersoll Rand, which still owns Club Car to this day.

Beginning in 2000 Club Car changed their top design and top support struts as well as the seat bottom and seat back cushions.  The old DS top supports were aluminum and powder-coated black.  The upper portion of the front top support formed a trapezoidal shape.  The seat back cushion changed from two individual cushions to a single bench-style cushion with the dual seat back version remains as an option.

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A wholesale body design change occurred in 2004 with the introduction of the Precedent model, the first significant body change since 1982 when the DS model was introduced.  The Precedent featured four 12-volt deep cycle flooded cell batteries to power the car instead of the six 8-volt batteries that came out in 1995.

visage

Almost 50 years after the company is founded, Club Car builds its two millionth vehicle – a Villager LSV, a street-legal, zero-emission vehicle that ships on Earth Day 2010. The same year, the industry’s first mobile information system, Visage, is introduced and enables course managers to address revenue and expense needs while enhancing customer satisfaction.

caryall-2014

In 2014 the Carryall family of vehicles is redesign offering improved charging and electrical systems, better engines, more ground clearance and increased ergonomics. Today, Club Car continues to be one of the most respected names in the golf industry and is the world’s largest manufacturer of small-wheel, zero-emissions electric vehicles. The company’s Precedent golf cars and Carryall turf utility vehicles are integral to successful operations at thousands of courses around the world. The company also offers a complete line of new and used golf cars, XRT utility vehicles and street-legal, low speed vehicles for personal use, all backed by Club Car’s 50+ year legacy of superior design and service.