Posted 08/21/2015 in Reviews by Steve
The British roadster has been an enduring automotive icon for over six decades. Many of the marques are still well known despite having sold their last sports cars in the US in the 1970s and 80s; AC, Austin Healey, MG, Triumph.
The Electric Vehicle Restoration Company, a British Columbia, Canada restoration and customization shop with plans to establish a US operation in Las Vegas Nevada, seeks to give classic sports cars a second life as zero-emission electrics. In a phone interview from the firm’s Kelowna offices, company founder and CEO Andrew Mynheer pointed out that by replacing the cars' internal combustion engines with electric motors, a majority of the usual maintenance and repair of a 60s-70s era car can be avoided and performance will improve.
The company’s first conversion candidate is a 1966 Triumph TR4, now designated TR4e in the tradition of Triumph letter suffix nomenclature. The restoration includes a restyle and multiple component upgrade. The new drive train features a brushless AC motor, lithium-ion battery and upgraded six speed gearbox.
Mynheer said that the specifications of the electric drive train were subject to change based on customer performance requirements, but that the base model would employ an 80kW (107 hp) motor with a 500 Amp Curtis controller. The original TR4A 2.2 liter engine provided 105 bhp. The company is in the process of evaluating battery cells for the final production version. Mynheer plans to offer extended range battery packs and fast charging options.
Both models will also feature upgrades to the suspension, brakes and steering components. Mynheer says the extensive upgrades will result in "almost a race prepared street car."
Mynheer describes the interior upgrades as "A classy mix of old and new." He said that interiors will be hand built to order. Available accents include rare South African Bubinga hardwood and waterproof leatherette and faux Crocodile skin to give the cars an exotic look. Modern features will include electric windows, built in cell phone holders, and a specialized analogue clock assembly which displays electric motor and speed outputs.
The bodywork is modified to update the traditional designs. Styling changes range from flush fitting windscreen to fender air ducts and arch widening to cater for larger and wider wheel tire packages. The convertible roofs have also been lowered and lengthened for a better proportional look.
The company is looking to do a batch of 20 Triumph vehicles, which will sell for between $65k - $75k each. As indicated from the price, these will be premium ground-up restorations.
The company is also working on an MGB conversion that will have both styling and electrical system updates in addition to the powertrain swap. According to Mynheer, the MGs will sell in the "upper $40s."
Electric Vehicle Restoration Company was established in 2013 by the two Mynheer brothers, Christopher and Andrew. Originally from the United Kingdom, the pair bring an extensive automotive industry background to the task of transforming classics into classic electric vehicles.
For more information about the TR4e contact EVRC at electricvehiclerestorationcompany.com or call 778-484-1806.
This article originally appeared in the Q1 2015 issue of Electric Car Insider. The current print magazine is available on independent newsstands throughout the U.S. and Canada including Barnes & Noble, Hastings and Chapters Indigo. Never miss an issue by subscribing.