Get the best of old and new with these electrified restomods
Americans bought nearly twice as many electric cars in the first quarter of 2022 as in the first quarter of 2021. If you want one now, we wish you the best of luck — many are on backorder, and you’ll be lucky to get one this year. Tap or click here for five of the bestselling EVs in the U.S.
A restomod is what you get when you combine the words “restoration” and “modification.” These are typically classic cars equipped with modern parts and technology. They retain the car’s original look and style while having better performance, comfort, convenience, safety and reliability.
A new crop of restomods has been springing up for the last few years: Classic cars with modern, electric powertrains. It may seem blasphemous, but you’ve gotta check out the craftsmanship and performance to come out of these projects.
Lunaz 1953 Jaguar XK120
The Jaguar XK120 was produced from 1948 to 1954. This British roadster was the fastest production car in the world for its time. The “120” designation stands for its top speed of 120 MPH, though record runs produced even higher numbers.
Lunaz was founded in 2018 to “further the legacies of the most beautiful cars in the world.” Among the company’s first projects was a 1953 Jaguar XK120. You’d be hard-pressed to find any difference between an original XK120 and the electrified one from Lunaz, but that’s the whole point.
Lunaz uses its in-house powertrains, and the XK120 gets two electric motors that send 375 horsepower and 516 pound-feet of torque to the rear wheels. That’s more than twice the power of the original Jag. The 80 kWh battery pack should be good for 250 miles of range.
It’s not just about electrification. The Lunaz XK120 gets modern tires and suspension, power steering, fly-by-wire throttle and regenerative brakes. Comfort and convenience are added via modern climate control, cruise control, a Wi-Fi hotspot and an infotainment screen with satellite navigation. Safety features include traction control and anti-lock brakes.
These cars are made to order, and prices start at around $430,000, including the donor vehicle. The waitlist already stretches into 2024. Retired soccer star David Beckham is an investor in Lunaz and he recently gifted his son an electric 1954 Jaguar XK140 as a wedding present!
You don’t need deep pockets to breathe new life into your ride. Tap or click here for five ways to modernize your old car.
Charge Cars 1967 Ford Mustang
The first-generation Ford Mustang saw a redesign for the 1967 model year. The new car was larger, safer and more luxurious than the original. A big-block V8 was optional for the first time.
This next EV is technically not a restomod because it’s not based on an original car. Charge Cars uses officially licensed Ford bodyshells for its creations, and this one is based on the 1967 Mustang Fastback.
Four electric motors replaced the big V8 — one for each wheel. The combined peak output is 536 horsepower and 1,106 pound-feet of torque, propelling this electrified pony car from zero to 60 MPH in 3.9 seconds. The 62 kWh battery pack is good for 200 miles of range. The drivetrain is sourced from EV company Arrival.
On the safety side, this Mustang EV packs traction control ABS, traction control, electronic stability control, lane departure warning, automatic emergency braking and traffic sign recognition. Well-heeled buyers who pick one up will enjoy the cruise control, keyless access and digital interfaces.
Only 499 examples will be produced, starting at around $450,000.
The 2000 “Gone in 60 Seconds” remake featured a 1967 Shelby Mustang GT500 named Eleanor. This led to Charge Cars’ EV being dubbed the “Electric Eleanor.”
ECD Land Rover Defender 110
The Land Rover Defender launched in 1983 with the 110 series, which refers to the 110-inch wheelbase. Though the Land Rover brand was just five-years-old, the off-road legacy of these trucks stretches back to 1948.
Though we wouldn’t be surprised to see an official all-electric Land Rover soon, one company is getting a head start. ECD Automotive Design offers an electrified Defender 110 based on the original chassis that’s been rebuilt from the ground up.
Rather than designing an electric motor itself, ECD borrowed one from the Tesla Model S P100D. Two Tesla batteries totaling 100 kWh feed power to the 612-horsepower electric motor connected to the stock four-wheel drive system. This truck will go from zero to 60 MPH in 5.5 seconds with a range of about 200 miles.
Though a Tesla motor powers it, this truck lacks the luxury features you would get in those EVs. You get an electric display and a tachometer that goes up to 12,000 rpm, but aside from that, there’s not much to distinguish this interior from that of an original Defender.
Prices start at around $230,000, including the donor vehicle. Every truck is custom-built to the customer’s specifications. No two will be alike.
Zero Labs Ford Bronco
The Ford Bronco made its return in 2021, following a 25-year hiatus. According to Ford, the first generation Bronco was produced from 1965 to 1977, which was the first vehicle to be labeled as an SUV.
Zero Labs offers an electrified version of the original Bronco, using meticulously restored vehicles. There are numerous options available: Do you want the factory steel body or one spun out of carbon fiber? Soft top, hard top or no roof at all? Racing shocks or air-ride suspension?
You can get a single electric motor that powers the rear wheels or opt for dual motors putting out 600 horsepower to all four wheels. Opt for the 100 kWh battery and you’ll get 235 miles of range.
Standard features include push-start ignition, power windows, regenerative braking, digital display and Bluetooth. Prices start at $225,000, including the donor vehicle.
AC Cobra Series 1 electric
In 1961, racecar driver and automotive designer Carroll Shelby contacted AC Cars and asked that they send over one of their cars, minus an engine. Shelby fitted it with a Ford V8, and the Shelby Cobra was born the following year. It dominated the racetrack and earned the title of the fastest production car in the world.
AC Cars have been intermittently reviving the Cobra over the years, and its latest offering is based on the 1962 model but does not use any original parts. The AC Cobra Series 1 electric’s steering, brakes and chassis were built to accommodate an electric motor.
That electric motor produces 310 horsepower and 500 pound-feet of torque, propelling this new Cobra from zero to 60 MPH in 6.5 seconds. The 54 kWh battery is good for 150 miles of range.
Just 58 examples of the Cobra Series 1 electric were built to celebrate the 58 years that passed since the first production of Cobra. They sold for about $170,000.
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