Making Past-Future Perfect
We have reached an uncanny place in human history where some of the most beautiful and expensive cars are also some of the oldest cars running on the road today. These old beauties reflect radical design sensibilities that can never be reproduced in modern mass-produced cars. No wonder vintage cars are so coveted amongst car enthusiasts. We guess in addition to aesthetics, it also has a lot to do with the nostalgia for the age that these cars are a representation of.
Unfortunately, the reality is, that despite how elegant they look, most vintage cars are rolling death traps with dozens of mechanical flaws and deficiencies. Not to mention the endless hassles of repairs, the lack of spare parts, and stricter emissions norms and safety regulations that make driving them next to impossible.
Thankfully, in a delicious twist of irony, the technology that was said to be the doom of dirty old cars is now giving them a second life. We are talking about EV technology and using it to convert these old classics into lean mean racing machines that offer instant performance with little to no maintenance. Here are some drool-worthy examples.
ZELECTRIC MOTORS VOLKSWAGEN BEETLE
Zelectric Motors is a growing EV conversion company that produces cute little Beetle EVs for people who can’t afford the 6 digit supercars. Their Bettle’s start around $68,000 that buys you a 50kW motor, mated to a 20kWh battery pack that can sustain a top speed of 100mph and an 80-mile range. This is more than enough for a small car that can be used to zip around the city in style. Of course, the acceleration will be unlike anything you can imagine, even with the added weight of the batteries. So, make sure you invest in better brakes and other important performance upgrades.
JAGUAR E-TYPE ZERO
The Jaguar E-Type was once called “the most beautiful car in the world” by Enzo Ferrari, and now, it is back from the dead. The Zero type concept is a 1968 Series1.5 model that has been restored to stock perfection, save for a 220 kW electric powertrain that is attached to a 40 kWh battery. This setup has been lifted from the Jaguar I-Pace and allows the car to go from 0 to 62 mph in just 5.5 seconds. Jaguar claims a range of around 170 miles, with a charging time of 6-7 hours. This performance does not come cheap, as the car costs £300,000, and is on a limited production run.
ELECTRIC GT 1978 ASTON MARTIN FERRARI 308 EV
Ever man, at some point in his life, has had the fantasy of owning a Ferrari. Unfortunately, even though the designs are still legendary, for the average Joe, the maintenance costs are an immediate deal-breaker. But this did not deter the folks from Electric GT who took a beautiful 1978 Ferrari 308 and created their own bastardised version, with a Porsche G50 gearbox, three HPEVS AC-51 motors and 46 kWh battery, that produces 465bhp power and 330lb/ ft of torque. The range is clocked at around 100-150 miles depending on the driving style, which is decent for an over 40-year-old sports car that packs twice the power of the original.
ASTON MARTIN FERRARI 308 EV DB6 MKII VOLANTE
The Aston Martin DB6 MkII Volante is a highly coveted model as only 38 remain in existence. This £1,300,000 car gets a £200,000 electric conversion, that replaces the throaty straight-six petrol engine with an electric motor and battery that occupies the same space, weights about the same, and will even produce a similar power output of around 300bhp. This means that the rest of the car can remain perfectly stock. As far as the owner is concerned, it is the same original beauty, only with a better heart.
RENOVO COUPE SHELBY DAYTONA 1964
The Shelby Daytona is a legendary car that crushed the 1964 Le Mans 24-hour endurance race, and now it is a $529,000 electric race car. The engine has been swapped with three battery packs and two motors that produce a combined output of 400kW with an astonishing 1000ft/lb of torque. The weight has been strategically distributed to match the original setup, so the car can still drive like a maniac, with a sweet 0-60mph time of 3.4s. Unfortunately, the speed is still limited to 120mph, just to keep things safe.