Sir Clive Sinclair is widely considered the pioneer of home computing and other consumer electronics, as well as the bizarre Sinclair C5. Belinda Sinclair, his daughter, told the press today that her father died at his London home early this morning, aged 81. Most have heard about the Sinclair ZX81 / ZX Spectrum, but his company also produced the TV80, a cathode ray tube-based portable mini television. Unfortunately, the Sinclair FTV1 (TV80) was a commercial flop, with only 15,000 units produced. Read more for two videos, including one on his quirky C5 battery-powered vehicle.
For those who have never heard or seen the Sinclair C5, it’s essentially a battery-powered recumbent tricycle for one person. In other words, it’s an electric tricycle with a polypropylene body and a chassis designed by Lotus Cars. Its 12-volt lead–acid electric battery powered a motor with a continuous rating of 250 watts and a maximum speed of 4,100 revolutions per minute, good for a range of 20-miles. The C5 was actually intended to be the first in a line of electric vehicles, but development of its successors, the C10 and C15 models, never progressed further due to poor sales of the C5.
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He was inventive and imaginative and for him it was exciting and an adventure, it was his passion. He’d come up with an idea and say, ‘There’s no point in asking if someone wants it, because they can’t imagine it.’ He was a rather amazing person. Of course, he was so clever and he was always interested in everything,” said his daughter.