The Tomberlin Group is manufacturing LSVs (low-speed vehicles), and Foursom Golf Cars in Woodburn is the only dealer in Western Oregon selling them
WOODBURN - Want more power when you put the pedal to the metal in your golf car?
A new age has dawned in the golf car niche market with the coming of street-legal, low-speed vehicles.
The Tomberlin Group, which also manufactures ATVs, scooters and go-carts, started selling the "LSVs' (low-speed vehicles) last year, and Foursom Golf Cars in Woodburn is the only dealership in Western Oregon licensed to sell them.
"We've been the distributor for Club (golf) Cars, which is one of the two major brands, for 20 years," said Rob Sheirbon, vice president of Foursom. "We have a full line of the golf cars and can make them fancy with accessories, but they can't be licensed to drive on streets."
According to Sheirbon, cities and small communities such as King City can enact exemptions to allow traditional golf cars on streets.
"A relatively new federal law classifies low-speed vehicles, when properly equipped, to be licensed and used on streets with a maximum of a 35-miles-per-hour speed limit," Sheirbon said. "A prime example is if someone in King City wants to go to Albertson's - they can drive the LSV across 99W. It provides an extension of what they can do."
Foursom was introduced to the LSVs last year and signed up to be a distributor.
"We had to get a DMV dealership license, which was quite a process," Sheirbon said. "We felt that we had to not just sell the LSVs but also offer licensing too."
Foursom placed its first order earlier this year, and crates of LSVs started arriving in early January.
"Club Cars drive off the trucks, but the Tomberlins come crated and are fork-lifted off, and then we have to assemble them," Sheirbon said. "We're one of the few assembly operations in the country and the only one in Oregon.
"The response to them has been fantastic. What I like is that they're not normal-looking golf cars. They didn't just hack up a golf car and put a license on it. This is classified as alternative transportation."
Sheirbon said that despite all the added equipment, the LSVs cost nearly the same as golf cars - 2008 golf cars range from $5,795 to $6,695, while the street-legal vehicles start at $6,495.
"You're getting a light package, wipers and other additions," he said. "You're getting far more value for the money."
The LSVs come in white, red, black, "a fantastic blue" and a bright yellow, Sheirbon said.
"They look more like a little car," he added. "They have a grill, horn, seatbelts and three-way mirrors."
They come in two models - the basic E2 and the E4, which seats four people. In addition, the E4 has an optional third seat for two more people.
"They produce no emissions, they're efficient, and they are truly an alternative transportation form," Sheirbon said. "People can use them for errands instead of firing up the car."
The LSVs come with a two-year, 10,000-mile warranty. Financing is available, and Foursom operates a full-service shop and provides pick-up and delivery.
"These LSVs are different and unique," Sheirbon said. "They are something a little different. They're fun. They make sense in golf communities, and they are certainly affordable."