My Car Quest

December 16, 2019

Editorial: The Classic Car Conversion to Electric

by Wallace Wyss –

One of the highlights of Prince Harry’s wedding to his American wife, Meghan Markle, was that the couple drove off from the Palace in a svelte E-type Jaguar roadster.

Except it did not go Varoom-varoom, as Jaguars are wont to do but whirred away like some sort of blender. But still, the optics were good. Great historical car. Proved there will always be an England, stiff upper lip, go to it, lads. This Jaguar was an electric conversion of a classic car.

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle - photo by ABC News

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle in an electric Jaguar – photo by ABC News

Now methinks that appearance opened the door for what could be, in one day, a blessing from the DMV for conversion changeovers in classic cars. There could be Jaguars, Mercedes 190 and 300SLs, Porsche 356 “turtle cars”, even Sixties Rolls Royces and Bentleys.

Automakers could announce conversion facilities much as Ferrari and Mercedes have restoration shops. Not to worry, originality buffs, the original chassis and drivetrains could be saved, with only the body and interior carried over to the electric chassis (with a few updates to the instruments).

True, the lusty roar of a high performance engine would be lost, but the dealers could provide sound tracks that respond to throttle input. You “downshift” that 289 Cobra at 6,500, you hear all the sounds of the original, albeit this time with no extra cloud of unburnt hydrocarbons. After all, what is a backfire than a cloud of gasoline vapors that comes alit after it has left the exhaust pipes. It is Internal Combustion Gone Wrong.

The Prince was a cultural leader when he chose that mount. We have only to segue in the nostalgic sounds from the past to make the electric conversion more acceptable to car collectors…

Let us know what you think in the Comments.

Wallace Wyss

 
 
 
 
 
THE AUTHOR: Wallace Wyss is co-host of Autotalk a weekly radio show on cars broadcast out of KUCR FM 88.3 in Riverside, CA.

 
 
 
 

 

 

Electric Classic Car

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle - photo by ABC News

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle in an electric Jaguar – photo by CAR Magazine

Summary
Editorial: The Classic Car Conversion to Electric
Article Name
Editorial: The Classic Car Conversion to Electric
Description
On an electric conversion of a classic car the lusty roar of a high performance engine would be lost, but the dealers could provide sound tracks that respond to throttle input.
Author

Comments

  1. Are you joking ? Engine is the main DNA of any collectible car ….

  2. Trevor Gaunt says

    British “Wheeler Dealers” Mike Brewer and Edd China updated a previous attempt at an ICE to electric conversion for their TV programme a couple of years back. The car was a 1990s Maserati Biturbo. The previous owner had made a start on an electric conversion by removing the ICE Biturbo motor and installed a bank of lead acid batteries. Brewer and China updated the car, replacing the heavy lead acid cells with lithium ion batteries such as those used to power computers. They also fitted much more up to date controllers and drivetrain components. The result was a Maserati with zero emissions, a range of around 130 miles, little or no luggage space, but handling quality not dissimilar to the ICE version.
    Having said all that, I’m not happy with the the idea of losing the smells and noises my collection of classics make, because those are the very reasons I bought them in the first place!

  3. Robert Feldman says

    I get the whole idea of resto mods. A classic car with modern drive train that enable you to enjoy a level of performance and reliability that was not available when the car was new. But this reminds me of the movie Invasion Of The Body Snatchers. Don’t go to sleep because when you wake up an alien will have taken over your body even though you still look the same! Not for me.

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