The post that recently caught my eye was a plan to make the now-ancient-but-still-amazing-looking C2 Corvette Stingray into a beast mode E-car. The original sold from ’63 to ’67. AVA, the company behind the new model, is calling this type of car a “hyper classic.” The AVA Stingray is going to pull down between 1,200 and 2,000 horsepower. Eat that, Elon Musk.
Whoever came up with that idea employed genius-level thinking. The car has great bones already, so whatever the redesign group puts into it it will make it into a remarkable, sporty electric car for today’s market. And the original concept artist behind the C2 is on board the new AVA effort.
That really got me thinking: What other cars out there, real or imagined, could undergo the same treatment and turn out as cool or maybe even more so?
Without further ado, here is Cosmic Tom’s list of the top 10 cars that should go electric:
#10: THE MYSTERY MACHINE from SCOOBY DOO MONSTERS UNLEASHED
The Mystery Machine from Scooby-Doo was originally based on a 1978 Volkswagen LT 40 van. Simply put, however, it’s just a van, man. After a little research, I found the cost of converting such a van into an all-electric vehicle would be between $102K and $136K. But when you think of how many more bad guys Mystery Inc. would have caught if their van could have been as quiet as a ninja – now that’s priceless!!
#9: THE EM-50 URBAN ASSAULT VEHICLE from STRIPES
The EM-50 EAV is taken from a 1976 GMC Motorhome Palm Beach model. Amazingly enough, there are an estimated 9000 of these bad boys still on the road. While this particular vehicle is massively fortified and carries machine-guns, cannons, flamethrowers, and rocket launchers, it’s pretty obviously still powered by good old gasoline. Leave it up to John Winger (Bill Murray) and it would stay that way, but Russell Ziskey (Harold Ramis) would not only put battery-powered, solar-powered tech in that thing but maybe upgrade it to use low-grade uranium. DAT’S AH FACT, JACK!
#8: THE DELOREAN from BACK TO THE FUTURE
As lore has it, Doc Brown’s original DeLorean was gas-powered and used the flux capacitor to travel through time once it reached 88 mph. The stock DeLorean should have been first on the upgrade list because it uses a notoriously underpowered dog of an engine that produces a measly 130 horsepower. Calling it a dog is an injustice to dogs everywhere. Luckily, upon returning from the future at the end of the first Back to the Future film, the good doctor has installed a Mr. Fusion power plant that turns any kind of garbage into pure energy. So perhaps what the DeLorean needs has already been done. It’s probably better than any E-car that we could make in 2021. Oh. And did I mention it can fly?
#7: THE JAG HEARSE from HAROLD AND MAUDE
When I first saw this movie, the Jaguar hearse was the singular highlight. Aaaah-mazin! I wanted to own one right then and there. Later I found out that Ken Roberts actually built one! Damn … But his version is strictly a gas burner, nothing more. Now that I know it can be done, why not convert an E-Type Jaguar into an electron burner and put the rest of the work in to make it into a hearse? While doing so might be the death of me, I think resurrection would be right around the corner, especially if it’s not a hairpin turn!
#6: THE PANTHER 6 from THE REAL WORLD
This car, the Panther, was a six-wheeled convertible car developed in 1977. Though it is a real thing, it looks like it would be better served as part of someone’s Hot Wheels collection. Regardless, the specs included a detachable hardtop and convertible soft top, electronic instruments, air conditioning, an automatic fire extinguisher, electric seats and windows, a telephone, and a dashboard-mounted television set. Really? A dashboard-mounted TV set in 1977? For no other reason should this be on the list of Top E-conversions!
#5: THE BATMOBILE from BATMAN
Never one to scrimp on technology in his films, director Tim Burton and his design crew imbued the first Batmobile in a feature film with a jet engine for propulsion. Talk about your gas guzzler! I should have put the Batmobile as number one on my list of cars to use batteries, but unless there is a fleet of Batmobiles in our future, it’s probably not cost-effective to make it so. But wait? Wouldn’t you tip extra-large if your Uber order got delivered by The Dark Knight, shrieking up to your door in his brand new e-Batmobile? Especially if you ordered from Red Robin.
#4: THE WAR RIG from MAD MAX THUNDER ROAD
Everyone thinks that roads around the world will be populated with fleets of 18-wheelers cruising between freight hubs on electrical power. Why not start with this rig? In case you didn’t know, The War Rig is based on the Tatra T815 all-wheel-drive truck built in the Czech Republic. It kind of looks like that, doesn’t it? It’s not your average Mack or Peterbilt. Now that director George Miller is finished with it, or should I say them – I hear two of the three originally made are stored in a warehouse in Sydney, Australia – how about making one work on batteries, then donate it to a charity for free rides around somewhere where the cowcatcher doesn’t have to do any real work. And, of course, security would be provided by a phalanx of tricked out steampunk Teslas!
#3: PEEL TRIDENT from THE REAL WORLD
The Peel Trident made this list because it is perhaps the tiniest car ever made. And who doesn’t love that bubble canopy and the fact that you get in it from the front? Three wheels are good enough, yup, but it may be impossible to convert this ultra-mini-mobile for electric drive because it would be impossible to put batteries in it. Wait a minute. Problem solved. The car might actually come with an oversized key that you insert into the back. Twenty or so cranks of such a key might equate to about 10 miles on the road. Snicker.
#2: THE OSCAR MEYER WEINERMOBILE from THE REAL WORLD
Who doesn’t start to sing when they see this rig coming down the road: “Oh, I wish I was an Oscar Meyer wiener, That is what I’d truly like to be. ‘Cuz if I were an Oscar Meyer wiener, Everyone would be in love with me.” I am in love with the original hottest of the hot dogs, but to be perfectly frank, I’d love a green version of this machine even more.
#1: FRED’S CAR from THE FLINTSTONES
We’ve gone from the sublime (The Mystery Machine) to the ridiculous. Fred Flintstone does drive one of these in the cartoons, but he uses his feet to start and stop it. No engine! Still, you don’t have to think about what to do with a standard internal combustion engine when you replace it. And Wilma will love not having to bandage Fred’s feet after a, particularly long road trip.
NOTE: Everyone has their own ideas about cool cars that could be converted to electric power and I look forward to seeing your nominees to this list in the comments that follow! Like my list? Let me know! Have your own candidate? Let everyone know!
That was a really fun article. I’d like to add the Landmaster from Damnation Alley to the list.
How about the AMC Pacer from Wayne’s World?
I shouldn’t do this, but I’m leaving my own comment! I nominate Neil Young’s 1959 Lincoln Continental Convertible (weighing 6,200 pounds). I was going to include it when it was originally converted to bio-diesel. Now it is called “Lincvolt” and uses a micro-turbine generator that gives the driver the freedom to choose the fuel used to charge the battery bank. The driver decides how green they want to be. Sources include 100 percent biodiesel or petro-diesel in the turbine generator to charge, plugging into the electrical grid, or any combination of the above. You go, Neil!!!
Nice article Tom, I like the Mystery Machine idea! This may be the most boring answer ever, but I would like a fully electric Toyota Corolla or Honda Civic. Nothing weird or different, just the exact same body and all the exact features, except it is electric. I feel like there is a sigma that electric cars have to have some crazy body shape and this would help get rid of that.
ALL of Professor Fate’s vehicles from The Great Race. Sustainable villainy. I’m sure the Professor would love an electric Hannibal 8 – instead of stealing gas and being forced to interact with locals, he could recharge quietly at an outlet and peace out. Flame-shooting rocket-powered railcar? Not anymore, that environmental catastrophe could be redeemed as an ELECTRIC flying railcar. It would be disappointing to lose the explosive flames in the back but I think with enough over-the-top rods and wires sparking and popping back there we could really make up for it.
I personally would like to turn the amphibious torpedo into a tiny electric car-boat and ride it everywhere. https://starcarcentral.files.wordpress.com/2011/07/heatseeking-missle.jpg
Tom, you are ahead of the times! I have seen the Batmobile driving around town! It brings back the memories of the Batman show in the sixties. Keep up the good work.