Stowmarket: Sinclair C5 enthusiast hails the new edition

NEWS that a modern version of the infamous Sinclair C5 is to be launched has delighted a Suffolk fan of the much-maligned vehicle.

Sarah Gascoine, 56, has collected a total of five C5s since buying her first back in November 1987.

The vehicle’s inventor Sir Clive Sinclair has now launched the X-1 and the device, which is similar to a battery-powered bicycle, is set to go on sale next summer.

Ms Gascoine said she was excited to hear about the latest development and hoped to attend the product’s launch.

Ms Gascoine, of Lockington Road, Stowmarket, said: “I’m delighted to hear that a new version is being launched – I never thought this would happen.

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“After all the stick the old C5s got I really thought they would be consigned to the history books. I’ll do everything I can to get to the vehicle’s launch.

“Whether they’ll take off this time round it’s hard to say. But finding environmentally-friendly transport is more of an issue nowadays.”

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Launched in 1985, the C5 had a top speed of just 15 miles per hour. The three-wheeled vehicles had a range of about 20 miles before they needed re-charging.

They used a battery that powered a 250-watt electric motor similar to those found in washing machines.

The C5 weighed just 99lbs and had pedals to provide drivers with assistance when travelling uphill.

It was intended to transform the way people travelled — but became the subject of ridicule and a commercial disaster, losing about �6million.

Its detractors cited the fact that the vehicle could not be seen easily by other motorists due to its low position on the road.

The C5’s power performance was also criticised, with drivers finding they could rarely tackle a hill without resorting to pedal power.

But despite the criticism Ms Gascoine fell in love with the vehicles and enjoyed regularly riding them around Stowmarket.

She added: “I love them and would never give them up. I liked the fact they gave a smooth ride, weren’t too fast and the steering was really responsive.

“Despite what people said I always felt safe in one. Although the batteries didn’t last long I loved the fact you could use the pedals – they were so unique.

“I don’t get out much on my C5s any more but I have one in my living room which I like to sit it now and again. I’m thrilled that they’re making a comeback.”

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