by Cliff Judy (LINDSBORG, Kan.)
Andrew Loder's mother swears he's not one to buck authority, swears he's a well-behaved teen, swears she wasn't that angry when she found out Andrew bought a car without her permission. Of course, the six-page letter Loder wrote his mother to explain his decision shows he knows better.
"I had to write a letter to Mom," says 17-year-old Loder. "Her friend convinced her not to ground me or kill me."
Loder had good reason to rebel. After experiencing just one summer of high gas prices last year, he decided he needed a change. He decided to build an electric car, though he had no automotive or electrical experience. He says he still doesn't even know how to change his own oil.
Even though his parents continually told him no (he marked every "no" in a notebook and says he ran out of space), Loder found a 1995 Ford Escort with help from his girlfriend's grandparents. He bought the Escort a day before the owner planned to take it to the junkyard, and when he ordered a forklift motor on eBay...he knew it was time to write his mother the letter.