Car Time – August 2021

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Electric Vehicle Resto-Modding?

    EV-oriented vehicle marketing has birthed a new version of classic car-modding, the term for modifying a car. It’s taking a classic vehicle and converting it into an electric one.
    Who would do this and why? A few years ago, this was done on a 1978 Ferrari 308 that was totaled due to a fire. The vehicle was purchased for about $10,000. If that Ferrari had undergone a complete top-down restoration, it would not have been cheap, especially because its condition would have imposed limitations with traditional methods.
    But, what about an EV restoration that retained a manual transmission? That is exactly what happened. The 308 was stripped of its totaled V8 and replaced with an EV motor and batteries. A lot of time was spent creating custom modifications to make it work, despite the fact the endeavor was far from the norm.
    The electric motor paired in the Ferrari 308 makes 330 horsepower, more than the 220 horsepower in the 2.9-litre V8 when it was new.
    You may wonder, “What about the wonderful V8 noise?” Well, noise aside, considering it was an old Ferrari, the motor would certainly not have been anywhere near as reliable as the new electric motor. The new motor turned the classic Ferrari 308 into one that can be driven reliably everyday. It still retains a manual transmission with a clutch pedal. Although odd and unnecessary in an EV, it adds to the experience since each gear has a different ratio.
    This is not the first nor will it be the last time something like this gets done. Another Ferrari 308 was converted to an EV, but with a 500 horsepower electric motor. And a 1967 Porsche 912 also underwent an EV-conversion.
    Over the years, it has become more popular, with certain shops specializing in just doing EV-conversions on certain make and model vehicles. In some cases, there are kits that can be purchased to convert specific types of vehicles.
    Traditional resto-modding will not die out, but a new kind has been born. The great thing is they both exist for all enthusiasts to enjoy!

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