My Car Quest

January 31, 2023

The Electrification of Classics

by Wallace Wyss –

I knew it was possible. I knew it was going to happen. But I didn’t think it was happening on a big scale. I’m talking about the taking of classic collector cars and converting them to electric power.

I became aware of this while reading Robb Report which had a story on a company called Everrati which makes five or six formerly ICE cars into electrics but also will do custom conversions.

The cars they regularly do are: Land Rover Series IIA, Mercedes-Benz 280 SL “Pagoda”, Porsche 911 Signature (Widebody), Porsche 911 (964) – Signature Gulf Edition, Porsche 911 Pure (Narrowbody) and Superformance GT40.

Porsche-911-Everrati-

What interests me more are the pictures in Robb Report of classic ’60s Rolls and Bentleys. In the story they say these conversions of old ICE cars into full electrics cost something like $300,000. The amazing thing is that they send the car out to other firms to do the restoration and only do the electrification themselves. A lot but when you can have the only Phantom V by James Young wafting down the boulevard in the year 2030, it might be worth it.

This is only the first sighting by me of a conversion firm but soon these could be as common as high performance tuners were in the “old days” which are, looking at 2020, right now.

I think it’s a political thing. If certain politicians get control they could not only forbid new ICE cars from being sold in the US by 2035 but in order to polish their “zero carbon” credentials, create legislation to outlaw used ICE cars, at least eventually.

So all classic cars will be dead in the water. A lot of history will be a-molderin’ away in the barn so to speak.

What say you?

Let us know what you think in the Comments.

Wallace Wyss art

THE AUTHOR Wallace Wyss (rhymes with reese) is a fine artist specializing in commissions from exotic car owners. He has done guest lecturing at the Art Center College of Design.

 
 
 
 
 

mercedes-pagoda-everrati

Photos compliments of Everrati.
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The Electrification of Classics
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The Electrification of Classics
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Comments

  1. Eric Cashdan says

    Good on them!

  2. This seems nuts to me!
    I sort of get the interest but why destroy a fabulous collector car. Perhaps it might worth considering on a lesser valued donor car. A Corvair would be a perfect donor car as the donor value is modest.

    • Bob Wachtel says

      I agree with you. I feel that a Corvair would be a great candidate to be transformed into an e-car. I’ve never seen a rusty one and there’s plenty of room for batteries in the front and in the rear also once the bottom of the engine compartment area gets sealed-up with a steel plate at the bottom. Don’’t forget it had independent rear suspension too.

  3. Rob Maselko says

    I think it is completely wrong to do, unless it is easily reversible. Why rewrite history? Preserve classics unless one is rebuilding a basket case. Otherwise, move on and buy an EV6.

  4. It is one thing to do this to a classic car that is so far down that it needs everything but to turn classic cars into high speed glorified golf carts just goes against the grain… I like electric cars just fine but doing this to a classic vehicle negates what was a piece of history and just pacifies political leanings… sorry not a fan of this practice… on the other hand I completely salute the folks that spend the time and money to save that vintage experience the way it was initially envisioned… Of you want an electric car to show your environmentally aware then go purchase one, the market place is full of them… And BTW the batteries in that converted classic will eventually need replacing whether you drive it or not and that will be a major expense. .

  5. Rex OSteen says

    Chevrolet promotes electrification of classic cars in its Fall/Winter New Roads publication with an El Camino conveerted with an e-crate engine, as ‘the next evolutionary step for performance cars.’
    I’m wondering how these electrification investments promoted as accomplishments by car companies will affect their financial viability.

  6. I am against converting classics to EV’s myself but I have also defended people who build restomods, so if the person can afford it and wants to do it to their own vehicle it is their choice.
    Having said that I saw a video where a guy took a tesla and dropped an LS V8 into it and I have to say I was quite impressed.
    Perhaps there will be more of that on the horizon. What would you call that, ICEing an EV?

    • There were 49,000 MB Pagodas built, I doubt that most will miss a few polluting Pagodas. Perhaps they will be driven more often and thereby enjoyed more, given that there are approx. 2,000 less moving parts to break down and maintain/repair/replace.
      I was at the SEMA show 2 months ago and saw a new wave of EV car builders replacing ICE classics with electric motors. From the few conversations I had with them, the average drive train replacement costs are $60-80K.

  7. Here a a few photos from the SEMA show:

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