Tag Archives: conversion
Like other car aficionados, Joe Wilkins brought his ’39 Ford to Doug Leopold at Classic Collision and Restoration in Bryan, Texas to rebuild the classic from the ground up.
"Big project, no big deal, but this was a little bit of a bigger project," said Leopold.
That's because Wilkins didn't ask for a "typical" restoration. Joe wanted something extra special. Besides the Hemi engine to be installed under the hood, he wanted an additional engine in the back...a jet engine.
"Building this kept me young and it was a real break from reality in the laboratory," said Wilkins.
Incredibly, Watkins sometimes uses his Hemi Jet Ford as his daily driver. "I've even got air conditioning in it, a stereo; I've taken it to the store to get milk and bread," said Wilkins.
The tailpipe has an afterburner that develops thrust beyond what the car can produce through the wheels. No one's sure yet how fast this Ford can go, but Joe will tell you its cost was in the six figures. Joe plans on taking the Hemi Jet ’39 Ford to Utah next year to see if it can be first street legal car to hit 300 mph.
Watch the video and read the rest of this story here.
Nathan Hutchison manages Hutchison Electrics in the San Francisco area. He used to work as a repair technician for a "green car" dealer, but when that company went under, Nathan started his own electric vehicle and hybrid car service. He and his workers now convert old gasoline-powered vehicles into electric cars with motors powered by lithium batteries.
Many times, his client's vehicle also needs a body restoration, and his company handles that too. While the gas-to-electric conversion can take 6 to 8 weeks, it might take up to 4 months if the job includes an extensive restoration as well.
According to Hutchison, the easiest cars to convert to electric are VW and Porsche air-cooled vehicles such as the Beetle, Karman Ghia, Bus, Squareback, Fastback, Porsche 912, 911 from the 1950s to 1975+. But, Hutchison adds, "We can build you an electric car out of any car you want."
Read a complete interview with Mr. Hutchison at cleantechnica.com.
Since our last update Wayne of Electric Blue has been busy finishing up the suspension and brakes on the S10 Chassis. He finished off the rear, front suspension and brakes with the help of more Eastwood detail paints.
With the chassis all buttoned up Wayne moved on to the heart of this project; the electric engine. Recently he received the power plant from the manufacturer and went right to work. He machined custom adapters to fit the engine and the stock transmission together. Wayne does pretty much everything in-house including machining up the adapters necessary to fit electric engines into most any vehicle. Wayne doesn't really care what it is, he can make it environmentally friendly AND faster than your neighbors gas guzzling muscle car!
Now that everything bolted together Wayne mounted up the new electric drivetrain into the Chevy chassis. It's pretty amazing to see how small the electric engine is compared to the original AND how simplistic it looks! Even though it may look like something out of the inside of your washing machine, this bad boy should surprise most any street car. Next up is outfitting the truck with the batteries to power the engine (Wayne has a custom trick for this) and continue freshening up this unique project. Stay tuned for smokey, QUIET electric burnouts here soon!
Wayne of Electric Blue isn't a bandwagon kind of guy. He didn't buy a Prius and fill it with stickers to shout how environmentally conscious he is. Wayne's interest in electric conversions and environmentally friendly vehicles goes back to the first oil embargo in 1974. As with anything, he began by using what he had laying around; a 1959 Morris Minor and the motor from a Clark fork lift he had sitting around at his job. He spent his nights after work completing the project. Converting the Morris Minor wasn't easy, he didn't have the help of how-to articles, discussion forums, or manuals, he just had to "made it work". Wayne then got experience on the restoration side of things while he owned a European Restoration shop. He explained he's been using Eastwood products since 1980, and they make their way onto all of his projects. After making some electric vehicles for himself, things "snowballed" and he had a small part time business going while running the restoration shop. Years passed and Wayne has decided to turn the "hobby" into a full-time business these days. He's done about 400 conversions since the Morris Minor and we decided to follow his most recent restoration and electric conversion project.
Enter the base, a tired, well used 1983 Chevrolet S-10. The upsides are that it's pretty clean with no accident damage or heavy rust. It just needs some light rust prevention and a ton of cleaning. Wayne plans to install a custom interior, restore the body and then install an 11-inch electric motor that's capable of 550HP at 9,000 RPMs, with a whopping 1,200 lb-ft of torque. He figures even at the detuned 350 HP @9,000 RPMs and 600 lbs of torque, it should keep any speed-freak happy!
Wasting no time, Wayne stripped the S10 down to bare bones. Not only does he like to convert the vehicle to electric, he likes to give these vehicles a nut and bolt restoration when possible. He plans to restore and detail everything as it would have come from the factory. With the bare chassis up on the lift he could get to cleaning and painting it.
Since the frame was pretty straight and free of major rust Wayne only had to clean it and apply a few coats of Eastwood Chassis Black. From there he restored and detailed the suspension and brakes using chassis black and Detail Gray to give everything a factory-fresh appearance.
With the suspension, steering, brakes, and chassis all built and detailed, Wayne is just about ready to pick up his electric power plant and control board. He tells us that he will be machining his own adapter plate to run the electric engine on the stock S10 transmission and rear end. He also mentioned he is playing with color schemes right now, but a silver or burgundy are in the running. We can't wait to see how well this thing moves with that monster electric engine!
For more information about Electric Blue check out their website and watch this space for more updates about Wayne's S10 build.