Kit Cars

I saw an article, I think on MSNBC somewhere, listing “10 things to do” in this time. One of them was to urge your congressperson to increase Alternative Fuel initiatives (solar power, wind power, electric cars, etc.). I wish I'd had the sense to shoot video of it, but we got to see the new 30-story high wind generator in Pickering a while ago, and it's an incredible sight. NOW magazine here in Toronto is sponsoring a contest where they're giving away an electric Dauphine (I think that's what it's called) by FeelGoodCars. I saw one in person (it was getting a stereo installed) about six months ago; they're really pretty little things.

Anyway, it got me to thinking about kit cars again, and remembered how perfect these things are for electric retrofitting. There are always lots for sale on eBay at decent prices. Retrofitting is generally a five to ten thousand dollar investment though as far as know though, but over time, it equals out.

I've always been a fan of the Scarab. This is actually not a full car, it's the front suspension and steering from a VW Beetle, and then any old motorcycle welded to the front. Even if not converted to run on alternative fuels, it's a relatively low-consumption vehicle.

This is a March Hare — there were a few other vehicles in the same vein, most notably the Meyers-Manx SR that attempted to take the “vibe” of a dunebuggy and create an all-season exotic car. Another real easy electric conversion — there are adaptors allowing big electric engines to be bolted straight to the VW tranny and wiring kits as well. This is the type of conversion that can be done in a home garage.

The rights to the Invader GT molds are actually currently owned by an electric car company, along with the old Kelmark molds. Unlike the March Hare, it's running on a full-length wheelbase and has lots of room for batteries. Personally I think it's kind of ugly (the shot above is from a flattering angle), but it sure is exotic.

Of course, if you just want to go stupid-fast, you can't really go wrong with a big V8.

Wow Shannon, that's really annoying! What is it, 1997 on Geocities? Retroweb is NOT cool!

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