Is a classic car still a classic if it is converted to an electric vehicle?
(During the month of October, we‘re-edit a series of stories about “sustainability “ vintage cars through the use of electric powertrains, which apparently happen to all car manufacturers as well‘range of vehicles. As always, your comments are welcome, and if you have converted a vintage vehicle to electric, we‘I love to share your story with others. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.)
âAre classic cars still ‘classic’ if they are converted to electric vehicles? “ claimed the title this week on TNW, the technology-focused website owned by The Financial Times, the highly respected European business journal.
âYES, yes they are. The website answered its own question.
âIf there is one topic that is likely to arouse strong feelings among vehicle enthusiasts, it is the conversion of a classic car to an electric vehicle,â the article begins, noting: âIn recent years years, there has been a wave of unveilings of electrified classic vehicles. ”
But, the story continues, “Not everyone is happy and a lot of vintage car enthusiasts find the conversion to electricity, well, a sacrilege.”
The same argument could have been made years ago regarding the resto-mod, the now popular and well accepted process of taking a vintage vehicle, retaining its outward appearance, but installing a modern powertrain, updated suspension and brake systems to make driving smoother and safer, and such creature features like air conditioning and bluetooth.
Basically, such changes keep the classic appearance but make vehicles much more usable, more pleasant for owners and occupants.
And if there is the desire to put things back as they were, it’s just a matter of storing the original bits for reinstallation.
It’s the same with the recent phenomenon of making an electro-mod, except that instead of a new petroleum-powered internal combustion engine, an electric powertrain is used, thus ensuring that vehicles can continue to be conducted even if internal combustion engines are prohibited.
The author of the TNW article offers a review of the objections to such a modification of classic vehicles and even notes, “Vintage cars are a testament to the ingenuity of past human engineering, and the combustion engine is an essential part of it.” As with any historical artifact, replacing some of its main elements means you reduce its authenticity.
âBut,â the article continues, âare you also diminishing its historical value? “
To answer this question, the article shares a photograph of historic buildings in Amsterdam, those famous tall but slender 5 and 6 storey houses that have national heritage status.
âIt is illegal to make changes to their exterior design. “ reports the article, also noting that “they cannot be demolished”.
But there is another photo in the article, and this one shows the modern interior of the residences of these buildings, which have modern conveniences such as electricity for lighting, cooking, television, computers. , heating and air conditioning.
“But to be livable and functional in the modern era, their interiors have undergone various restorations,” notes TNW. “Does this reduce their value or their historical character?” No, it certainly is not.
Also consider the National Register of Historic Places in the United States, where buildings are preserved but can be fitted with modern interior amenities such as electricity and air conditioning.
Or consider that in Detroit, Ford is in the final stages of its preservation of the historic Michigan Central Station, which will become the base of its Corktown campus and its electric vehicle design and engineering teams, as well as shopping and dining opportunities for employees and public alike.
The TNW article continues:
âThe same principle can be applied to classic cars. As much as Amsterdam’s buildings, old vehicles need to be reinvented to fit into the future, which, let’s face it, is electric.
âWe can keep the classics in a museum and admire them for their heavy legacy, but in this way we just fossilize them as part of our past, like an artifact that has no relevance to the world we live in.
“Instead, converting these vehicles to electric vehicles can actually take them from the past to everyday use, actively preserving their memory rather than burying it.”