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.
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