Persuasive Argument

As everyone knows, I love me my old cars more than the  modern wind-tunnel designed mass-produced homogenized blobs we see on our roads today.  But there’s a problem:

Classic cars are wonderful, wonderful things. They look incredible, smell incredible, and make incredible noises. We will never see vehicles like them roll off production lines ever again.
And this is a good thing, because along with all the good stuff, they’re a massive pain in the arse.
They leak, they break down, they’re inefficient, and they’re not all that quick. You have to be committed to a classic. They need constant love and attention to make sure they run well. You can be their nurse, which requires lots of hardcore knowledge, or you can have a specialist to do it for you. And they’ll be grateful, as you’ll put their kids through college.

All true, and it’s the reason why (apart from the upfront cost) that I’ve never been that keen on getting one of the old cars that I love, e.g. a 1950s-era Jag Xk120:

I have also stated that I won’t drive an electric car.

However, it’s a fool who won’t change his mind when confronted with a different reality, and here’s the reason I could be persuaded to change my mind.  (Read this before continuing.)

I foresee great things for this.  It might be Lunaz’s climb towards Elon Musk-style wealth, or it could end up being a way for classic car manufacturers to get their foot into the EV market.

So allow me to alter my precious stance on electric cars.

Would I ever drive a Prius?  No.

Would I drive an electric, rebuilt Dino Ferrari?

I think we all know the answer to that one.  And if Ferrari were too slow to the party, then:


In Comments, list your top three favorite cars that you would drive as EVs, assuming they were affordable.


  1. Austin Healey 3000 Mk2
    Mercedes-Benz 300SL
    Jaguar XKSS (Sunny days only and hopefully with better brakes)

  2. “You have to be committed to a classic. They need constant love and attention to make sure they run well.”

    I can attest to that, having owned a classic for many years. I almost lost a wife over it due to her jealousy over the many hours I spent in the garage. I eventually sold it only to buy an antique motorcycle, but that’s a mistake – err, story – for another day.

    Unfortunately, where I live (Houston suburb) there’s very little opportunity for pleasure driving anymore. It’s been years since the wife and I simply got in a car and drove around for fun. So the thought of owning yet another vehicle doesn’t excite me.

    But …

    What if someone took 25 to 40 year old Ford Rangers and Chevy S-10’s and converted those to electric? Practical daily drivers, classics, and good utility for weekend projects too. So my choice is a mid-80’s Ranger.

    Failing that, a Studebaker Avanti or a Chevy Covair.

  3. So, my classic car is an MGB. If I electrified it, I would go from being mostly unseen by the jacked up pickups, and become mostly unseen AND unheard with an electric engine. Wonder how long it would take for me to lose my classic car under one of those jacked up pickups?

        1. All in good fun. I’ve never been a fan of overly loud bikes or cars.

          Quick quiz – what’s the loudest sound in the world?

          A honda civic going 20 mph!!

      1. I’ve been riding for over 30 years and the only bikers I’ve known that have been run off the road, ran into at intersections, or otherwise run into are Harley riders, most with loud pipes.

        What saves lives is bright headlights (daytime as well), visible brake lights, and signals. Something notably missing on nearly every Harley I’ve seen.

        Don’t care how loud your pipes are, you can’t be seen at night with black leathers and a 1″ diameter brake light, and no amber running lights.

  4. OK, I’m a grouch. Barring some totally unforeseen development in battery technology, I just ain’t going electric. The batteries are toxic to make, hellishly toxic to dispose of, and don’t last very long. Even setting aside the charging time and range issues, they are in no way an improvement over the gasoline powered internal combustion engine. That anybody thinks for one moment that they might be is a testament to the total derangement of the ‘Environmental Movement’.

    There is no issue, no matter how urgent or worthy, that the Fascist Left cannot turn into complete idiocy.

    1. Hear, Hear.
      In electrochemical batteries, you choose your two dissimilar metals and you choose your electrolyte, then you go to the CRC handbook, mine is dated 1959, and it will tell you what the theoretical maximum number of amp-hours is for a given weight of the less noble of the two metals. We are within 10% of that limit and every engineer knows that the last few percent are very expensive if doable at all in a thermodynamic* universe.

      * The three laws of thermodynamics, paraphrased:
      1. You can’t win.
      2. You can’t break even.
      3. You can’t quit the game.

      1. Capitalism says you can win, Communism asserts that you can break even, and Mysticism holds that you can quit the game.

  5. 1)
    An 8×8 Tetra four-door crewcab with full-time live-aboard quarters.

    We participated in an off-road trials/rally/exhibition at a Nevada quarry.
    While everybody else automatically skirted it as unclimbable, one 8×8 Tetra climbed a nearly vertical ten-story mound of loose rocks you couldn’t walk on or stand on without initiating an avalanche.
    The Tetra crew stopped near the peak, climbed onto the (nearly vertical!) roof, and ‘mooned’ the network filmographers.
    Then continued over the top.
    This was a sexual experience for me.

    1961 Chevrolet Corvette roadster… a reproduction with metal body but no living-quarters.

    Widen and slightly lengthen the blueprints.
    Mount some massive meats.
    Make it angry.
    Make it vicious.

    1959 Cadillac convertible.

    Mauve, not pink, ‘dipped’ exterior and upholstery and carpets and top.
    As with the original, living-quarters are included in your entrance fee.

  6. Another grouch here, I am too damn old and the great old cars of the late 50’s and 60’s were of my time when I was in my late teens and early twenties and the girls were sweet and beautiful and the music was great. The sounds of working a Brit sports car up through the gear shifting and then back down coming into a curve of just driving in traffic were part of the experience, enhanced with an overdrive switch. I have also experienced the pain of owning old British garage pets that require new parts just about every month and I moved on past that part of my life.

    I will leave the oversize golf carts to other folks who want to go electric and probably sometime in the next 50 years, after most of us have moved on, someone will discover a better way to power cars and trucks but I don’t care, I just like my gasoline engines.

    1. Hydrogen MIGHT be an improvement on gasoline, if only to preserve petroleum for other uses (if that works). But with the understanding that cracking hydrogen doesn’t constitute and new energy source, just an energy medium. We’d need power to do the cracking (the chemical method is environmentally messy) and that would have to come from somewhere, and solar and wind power are not solutions for anything for a list of reasons too long and depressing to go into.

      There are smart and ethical environmentalists who are (finally!) pointing out that nuclear power is cleaner than the vast majority of alternatives. They are drowned out by the inane jabbering of the usual idiots.

  7. On the off chance that I win the lottery I have thought that it would be amusing as h*ll to start a automotive shop to do modern rebuilds of “classic” cars that were not really classics.

    You know, Gremlins, Pintos, Corvairs and the like. A modern restoration of a AMC Pacer with 4wd? Oh hell.

    But what would be really fun would be to do an Diesel Electric Land Cruiser. Put hub motors on all four wheels, a small diesel motor tied to an electric generator and a battery pack.

    1. Or do that diesel electric mod to one of the classic GMC motor homes?
      Just think: 6 wheel drive!

      But, back to the question at hand:
      I have had, or driven long term, all four of our subject cars, and can see the benefit of a reliable electric conversion – but the range factor still is a negative draw-down, as it is with all EV’s. Of the four, I would have to settle for the XK-120FHC for the ability for quiet cruising and the basic “wow” factor of a 120, and the added room both in the cockpit and luggage wise. The other three are just too much fun as they are.

  8. My first choice would be a 1980s Grand Wagoneer. (It was very underpowered in its original configuration. I’ve seen a YouTube video taking it from 185 HP to 700 HP with a Hellcat conversion. Awesome. Just Awesome. The proverbial “wolf in sheep’s clothing”!) My second would be an Audi TTS conversion. And, third, being back up in Montana now, would be a Ford F-150 Raptor!

  9. Dear God, I hope those Brit Classic remakes didn’t use Lucas electrics.

    I’ve had several Austin Healeys over the years which I nursed continuously. No more of that for me!

  10. I wish I were an engineer (as opposed to a retired dentist), but I can envision a frame of honey-comb reinforced “plastic” with an electric “engine” of titanium/aluminum, speed/torque controlled by BJT transistors, the weightiest things being the “posh” seats and the battery.

  11. No thanks. I have to plug my truck in during winter already just so it starts in the mornings; doing that all year would seriously suck. Batteries don’t work well at -30. I’ve wrenched on old airplanes, DC-6’s, C-46’s and DC-3’s, and as much as they leak, break, bang and sputter, when all 72 cylinders on that DC-6 are at max, it just sounds badass. If all I heard when a classic E Type rolled past is a whine, I’d be thinking “Nice car, shame about the soyboi snowflake libtard driving it. They’d fit better in a puke green Subaru Outback.”

  12. Top 3 regular old cars converted to EV? Mine would be as follows:

    1 – Jeep Cherokee XJ model years 1987 – 2001 ( THE NEWLY MADE CHEROKEE’s FROM THE 2013 model year to now are NOT REAL off roading Jeep’s in my opinion)

    2 – Toyota Tacoma model years 1995 to 2004 (OLD SCHOOL MODELS RULE. NEW TACOMA’s are GREAT as well, but the older smaller ones were AMAZING)

    3 – ACURA NSX Model Years 1990 to 2005 (Any Honda made after 2014 is not as good as older Honda’s in my opinion). OLD SCHOOL HONDA AND ACURA ARE SIMPLY THE BEST.

  13. I recently had an opportunity to drive a Taycan Turbo S. If that’s the future of Electric Cars then I’m all for it. It an all day rocket ship. All wheel drive, instant acceleration, feels like a 911, you totally forget it’s a 4 door “sedan” that weighs more than my SUV. Ok – yes, it’s spooky quiet and it’s easy to clear $200K on the configuration sheet but then the answer to ” How fast do you want go? ” will always be ” How much money have you got?”

  14. Answering the question, I’d start here

    Widely regarded as best saloon ever. Fix the electrical problems and the breathtaking fuel consumption and they are still excellent cars.

    It would be interesting to know what battery weight etc vs existing engine in say a 1980s Porsche would do to the handling / centre of gravity etc. I’m struggling to believe that the electric motors and batteries currently available would actually improve the driving experience of a sports car. If the electric conversion was lighter and at worst did not detract from the characteristics of the 911, then yes, I’d look at it, though I’d miss the sound of the engine in that car. Not so much in a v12 merc.

  15. Hmmm, reposting this… hung up on me again:

    Kim, not to digress from the subject, but I bet you’d love this, ran across it the other day on YT–Jay Leno reviews the Monteverdi High Speed 375, a Swiss built Euro styled two door with a Chrysler 375 hp 440 V8, 1970 vintage. He calls it the European Roadrunner. Looks great to me:

    Other vids on the car:

    Almost like a predecessor to the De Tomaso Pantera.

    1. The Monteverdi saloons put the Facel Vega’s to shame, and the price-tag was reflective of that.

  16. No on the electric Jag. Anyone who has heard the sound of that straight six on crisp autumn night with top down (I have never liked the fixed head coupe) would attest, that is part of the experience. . No sound with electric motors, so what is the point?

    If you want an electric car, buy one. If you want to update the cooling system and electrics on your old car so that you can drive it more reliably, then go for it. It is your car, do with it as you wish. That updated Mercedes that you saw at auction was a good example of this, so why not?

  17. The VW ID R all electric racer smoked the Pikes Peak hill climb record a year or two ago. Impressive feat, but damn, it sounded like a weed whacker.

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