I subscribe to the MotorTrend on demand service. I paid for the year subscription and for the most I am horribly disappointed in the lack of weekly content. Recently they debuted a new show that takes place in Wales and retrofits electric drivetrains into vintage cars.
Richard “Moggy” Morgan and his team take old cars and add modern electric motors to increase the performance significantly while retaining the classic lines. So far there are only two episodes but I am seriously impressed in the craftsmanship and engineering they have put into the vehicles.
I think my favorite part is they don’t create fake timelines, drama, or underlying story lines. They tell you the details on the engineering, show the work they do to make the custom parts to fit battery packs into places they weren’t designed to go, and then we get to see them test it out to make it work properly.
The first vehicle they converted was arguably an easy swap. Taking a Karman Ghia and converting it to electric is an often done conversion and you can see several Beetles around the shop. What really did it was the passion they had for making better performing old cars and doing it with electric motors.
The other part that set them apart were the little details. The gauges, charging port location, and the care they took setting the car up for the owner. This is a group that I wouldn’t hesitate to buy a vehicle from. I can’t say that about most “car” shows. (The other would be JDM Legends.)
This was a surprise. They converted a Royal Enfield into an electric motorcycle. Completely custom battery boxes, exo cage to protect the batteries, in wheel hub motor, and 3D printed panels all came together to create a stunning electric motorcycle that once again I would buy in a heart beat.
After seeing the work on this episode I really can’t wait to see what they do next.
Admittedly I have not been a fan of electric conversions, and definitely not as primary transportation.
I am adjusting my position on it when it comes to these vintage cars. These electric drivetrains are modular, efficient, and add far more power than a gas motor could ever add and still fit the vehicle.
The really great part of these conversions is they upgrade other parts to match the new performance. Upgraded suspension, brakes, and running gear to give you a truly modified vehicle with modern performance.
I still wouldn’t want an electric vehicle as my travel companion, but for a sweet vintage ride to enjoy I am sold. My next motorcycle may even be electric.