Golf Cart Museum: Club Car - (2022)

Club Car was founded in the early to mid 1950s in Dallas, Texas. Bill Stevens bought the rights to the golf car and moved the manufacturing facility to Augusta, Georgia, where he lived.

Stevens eventually sold out to Johns Manville Company and then in 1978 Club Car was sold again to a group of investors that included Billy Dolan and seven other top managers from E-Z-GO. They redesigned the golf car and in 1982 introduced the DS model which is still familiar today. They took a small company from back in the pack to become a world class manufacturer of golf and utility vehicles.

Originally making only a 36 volt electric car, Club Car branched off into making a gasoline 4-cycle golf car in 1984. 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.

Under the hood things were new. In 1992 the old 341cc side valve Kawasaki 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 employed six 8-volt batteries and had a unique on-board computer to control the charging process. Later that same year they offered a regenerative braking 48-volt system as well. 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.

Club Car Pre-1975

Early Club Car 3-wheel electric – Pre 1975

1975-1980

The red 4-wheel car is the Club Car body style used from 1975 through 1979. The early models had bucket seats but later a bench bottom with individual backs was used (see picture).

The car features a 36 volt electric drive train (six 6-volt batteries) and four speed-control micro switches mounted under the center cup holder cutout in the dash. The four micro switches control the five solenoids located just behind the battery pack under the seat.

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 and is mounted in line with the Terrell differential. The chassis is all aluminum.

The car is pictured here with the “factory” top. Rain curtains are still available, as are many repair parts. Fold down windshields, replacement or new tops and body parts are history.

Early Serial Numbers

The serial number for 19775-80 Club Cars can be found by lifting the seat and looking on the aluminum I-beam located just inboard of the driver side battery bank. The serial number tag may or may not be there, however all of these ’75-’80 model Club Cars has two brake pedals and one accelerator pedal. If your car has this pedal cluster then it is pre-’80.

This section is always under construction, so feel free to email any pictures or information about your Club Car.

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Club Car DS 1981 – Up

Club Car made a body change in 1981 and the “DS” Model was introduced. This is essentially the same design that is seen today except for minor changes to the front cowl and recessed headlight design in 1993.

The insides have changed substantially over the years though. In 1984 the first Club Car gas car (with a side valve, 341 cc, 4 cycle, KF82 Kawasaki engine with a Fuji differential) was introduced. 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.

Club Car left the old side valve gas engine to adopt the Kawasaki FE290 (290cc) overhead valve, 4 cycle gas engine in 1992. Club Car also converted their 36-volt electric cars to a Curtis electronic speed controller in 1992 and went to a Japanese-made self adjusting brake system as well.

In 1995 Club Car and Trojan Battery Co. co-developed the revolutionary 48-volt speed control system. Trojan built the only 8-volt deep cycle lead acid battery (at the time) and Club Car used six of them to power their car. 1996 saw the ‘regen’ 48 volt car offered for sale that electronically governed the top speed of the car.

Starting in the first week of 1997 Club Car changed the direction the Kawasaki gas engine from a counterclockwise rotation to a clockwise rotation (as viewed from the passenger side of the car). This change also incorporated the Unitized Transaxle where the transmission and the differential now were a single unit, not separate components. The engine still had a 290cc displacement but many internal engine parts, the driven clutch and starter/generator all changed with the direction of the engine.

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 now they were a 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 although the dual seat back cushion design remained an option.

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.

Modern Serial Numbers

The serial number for ’81-Present Club Car golf cars can be found just under the passenger side glove box (where the floor mat meets the underside of the dash). The serial number tag may or may not be there, however all of these ’81-Present model Club Cars have only one brake pedal and one accelerator pedal.

This section is always under construction, so feel free to email any pictures or information about your Club Car.

Club Car DS ‘Fairway Villager’ 4 Seat Personnel Carrier

This factory-made 4 passenger car is commonly called the Fairway Villager. It comes with two extra rear facing seats to carry additional passengers. The Fairway Villager pictured here is based on the DS chassis introduced in 1982. This factory model can be identified by the black side rail rubber molding around the perimeter of the foot rest that matches the rubber side molding below the floorboard. The long factory top was made of ABS plastic and measures 78 inches long by 42 inches wide. The top has an several raised ribs running the length of the top and has an aluminum ‘C’ shaped perimeter edging. The top covers all passengers. The DS model Fairway Villager is offered with a battery powered electric motor or a 4-cycle gas engine.

Club Car DS ‘Villager 6’ Personnel Carrier

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This same model is sometimes called the ‘Transporter 6’. It features 4 forward facing seats and 2 rear facing seats. This stretched DS chassis comes in a variety of different configurations including an 8-passenger version called the ‘Villager 8’ or the ‘Transporter 8’. Another similar version, with a cargo bed in place of the rear facing seat is called the TransPorter 4. All of these models can be outfitted with a battery powered or gas powered drive train.

Cafe Express

Cafe Express Deluxe

Carryall 294 4×4

Carryall 295

Carryall 295 SE

Carryall I & II

Carryall Turf

Carryall Turf 6

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Carryall Turf 272

Carryall Turf II XRT

Lynx

One Pass

The ‘One Pass’ is a single person electric golf car. It has a similar footprint and weight distribution as a regular golf car and can travel at 14mph enabling it to keep up with the pace of the foursome. Featuring a swivel seat and handlebar steering, the trigger finger accelerator lever when released acts as a brake. Much of the braking comes from the regenerative capabilities of the motor-controller that partially recharges the 36-volt battery pack while slowing the vehicle.

The One Pass golf car was engineered to transport a mobility impaired golfer around the course, including onto the tees and greens (and into the sand traps), so they could play the game despite their impairment. The unique design distributed the weight of the vehicle to less than the weight of a man standing on the surface of the green and still maintained an extremely stable platform from which to swing the golf club. The swivel seat has an upper body seat belt to secure the player throughout the golf swing.

The vehicle was originally designed and created by Roger Pretekin.

Pioneer 900 & 1200

Precedent Villager 4

Club Car Precedent 2004 – Up

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Transporter 4

Transporter 6

Villager 6

Villager 8

XRT 800 & 810

XRT 1200

XRT 1550

XRT 1550 SE

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