Classic cars re-made as EVs?

Would it bother you if a car owner turned their classic Chevy into an EV? Yanked out the gas engine and inserted an EV engine w/all the trimmings? That sort of thing seems to irritate some classic owners, and I’m wondering why it would? It seems like a reasonable project idea to me for those interested in EV technology.

Because it is no longer a classic car, it is a resto mod. That’s my read on this.

A classic car is as original as possible. There are some classic car owners that get upset when breaker points are replaced by electronic pickups. Or the addition of dual master cylinders. I don’t but many different lines are drawn with these things.


As someone who has restored several classic British cars to original production, I have no problem with conversion to EV’s.

The original MG T series, Triumph TR6 and Jaguar XKE while often stylish were built to what at that time was economically and technologically possible, which by today’s standards is hopelessly antiquated. Having owned and restored all of the above I can safely say that no rational new car buyer would accept any of the above as a new car purchase.
In modern terms they were dangerous, underpowered and lacking even basic conveniences like AC, power brakes, power steering and even things like locking doors.

However, in comparison to today’s cars they were drop dead gorgeous with swoopy or Italian lines evocative of a WW1 Fighter, Italian muscle or driving a Mile Miglia sportscar.

To my mind while I may miss the classic “British roar”, if I could have the classic British style I’d much rather prefer it in an affordable car that had modern performance, comfort and safety.

Just don’t do it thinking it helps the environment. EVs make sense when they’re driven 10,000 or more miles/year. Putting all those batteries into a show car driven a few hundred miles/year is a waste, in my opinion.

As one example Peace Vans which knows the VW Bus and Vanagon inside and out has started offering a EV conversion for the Bus and other air cooled classic VW’s and a similar conversion for Vanagon campers is under development. The EV converted Ferrari Testarossa has purists up in arms but others don’t seem to be as particular.

A Youtuber converted a 60’s Ford Pickup to electric power and descovered how noisy the rest of the truck is without the engine noise. Roughly 100mi range from most of the conversion’s i’ve seen but it’s enough for a days crusing.

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You mean like this 1968 Fastback with twin EV motors and 800+HP and 1800 ft-lbs with a 0-60 in 1.94 sec and a 174 mph top speed??? Ohhh heck yeah!!!

Here is a wright up about it…

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As Mustangman stated, restomods.
There are “purists”, these folks want a car that is exactly showroom new— Concours d’Elegance.
Then those that like “patina”. Faded paint, but mechanically sound.
Then full on custom cars, heavily modified exterior and interiors.
Then the restomods—exteriors restored to better than showroom new, interior upgrade. Suspension, brakes, transmission, and engine all upgraded.
Then, Hotrods, many cars fall into this category. To me, a pre-WWII with later engine like a bucket-T or 32 Highboy. To others, any car that has been modified. Or used as a verb, when I was a teen, most of us hotrodded our cars, like changing exhaust to duals with glass packs.

My dream vehicle 57-61 Studebaker Hawk, frame stiffened, modern front suspension, disc brakes, rear sway bar. Then to jerk the chain of people that think Studebaker 289 was sourced from Ford, have it powered by a 408 SBF, valve covers engraved “Studebaker 289”.
Whereas, if I had a 58 Packard Hawk, that I would want restored to
Concours d’Elegance standards.
If someone coverts a 57 Chevy to electric motor(s), that is their choice.


This has been done for a long time. I saw something on TV about a company in California that converts 911s, among other cars, to EVs. They have been doing this for many years. If a car needs an engine and transmission this might be a viable alternative.

I quickly got my fill of the purist crowd that felt entitled to tell you how and what you should be doing with your car. In my experience this is especially true of the Corvette purist crowd. I actually started doing things just to irritate them at shows. The best way to preserve this car in a manner that suits you is to buy it from me. Funny, it’s all talk until the idea of forking out some cash to back it up comes along…

To be fair, I never did anything that couldn’t be reasonably reversed if someone gets this car after me and I would save any original hardware for that purpose. But if I want to alter the car in a way that interests me, you can bet that’s what will happen.

I enjoy looking at customized cars and the interesting things people have done to them. IMO, that’s what the hobby is all about. I don’t feel it’s my place to criticize what you decided to do with your possession. It may not be my cup of tea but I can appreciate the passion and enthusiasm that went into it.


The husband of a lady I worked with worked for Ecklers, had a full on custom Vette.

I ran into this years ago, a neighbor was a Corvette enthusiast, he went on about how he made the paint shop retain a mold line down the body side, and showed me the original headlights he was saving in a box so he wouldn’t burn them out. They had the ‘right’ lense pattern.


That would be worse than working at a candy factory!

About 6 years ago, Prince Harry and his new bride drove to their wedding reception in a 1968 Jaguar E-type that was converted to an EV by the Jaguar-Land Rover folks. It’s faster than the original ICE-powered one, and without Lucas electrical components, it’s sure to be a whole lot more reliable!

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I particularly like the MGB GT styling, circa early 70’s.

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Glad you mention the MGB GT because it had a nice design nice design, "In 2019, Road & Track named the GT one of the “16 of Pininfarina’s Most Beautiful Designs That Aren’t Ferraris.” but it also had an anemic 0-60 time of 18 seconds and leaked everything from everywhere. :frowning_face:

However, because of the huge parts availability and low costs, this would be a prime candidate for a modern OHC engine/drivetrain replacement or an EV conversion…

Ahhh, the British car experience! We can’t make it stop leaking…but we might be able to slow it down… :laughing:

The glass is half- full philosophy: Just follow the trail of leaks on the ground to find your car after you stumble from the pub at 2 am.

UK pubs close at 11pm week nights and 12 pm weekend… and if you need an oil track to find your car, you need to call a cab!

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