Modernly Classic

Posted by Flux on 

2 July 2018

Timeless Design Reinvented for Future Roads

What’s trending now?
As we are shifting more into an ever more environmentally conscious society, brands and car shops alike are producing classic car restorations that replace the original internal combustion system (a petrol/diesel consuming engine) with a fully electric system. While this sounds like a small niche made up of a few companies, the contrary is far more evident.

A number of businesses are eyeing avid collectors as their key audience, and as any true collector worth their salt knows owning classic cars can become a rather costly affair around restoration and then maintenance. Whilst the initial conversions may seem expensive (with some starting at the R247 771,80 mark) in the long run over the years this will ultimately save buyers money when comparing the expensive costs of maintenance as well as emissions taxes. Currently this is seeing the most-beloved of 70’s era Porsche Carreras and classic Volkswagens restored to perfection with long-range battery systems.

Even the likes of Jaguar, who has over the last few years made immense commitments to producing more EV’s, released the E-Type Zero towards the end of 2017. Once described by Enzo Ferrari as “the most beautiful car in the world” this sees the classic design matched with a fully electric powertrain. A modern renaissance of sorts for what many consider to be a work of automotive art.

Why it’s important
As more countries look at a number of interdependent variables in the reduction of their carbon outputs the most evident of these is that of transportation.

As recently as of January 2018, the Governor of California, Jerry Brown indicated that the state would like to have 5 million zero-emission vehicles on the road by 2030. As it currently stands, there are 350,000 zero-emission cars in the state – a big jump from 25,000 in 2012 – and about 5% of all new car sales in California are zero-emission vehicles.

This sentiment at a state level further mirrors larger global political agendas, which see the outright banning on imports of vehicles with internal combustion engines. The United Kingdom has stated that by 2040 it will ban sales of new gasoline and diesel powered vehicles in an attempt to reduce their carbon footprint. Germany under Chancellor Angela Merkel – home to some of the worlds most prominent and powerful automotive firms – has too made hints that the country will set limitations and furthermore an outright ban at some stage, labelling this as an “inevitability”. This follows India, France, Denmark as well as China in the focus on more fully-electric and hybrid based systems becoming the norm in the coming decades.

This places classic car enthusiasts in a unique position in coming to terms with such an “inevitability”. In the short term they find themselves straddling the past and the future in the now with the idea of taking their objectively beautiful cars and converting them to electric versions.

Even those among us who hold no formal engineering education are aware of the pain and crystal clear fact that older cars are far less fuel efficient and release more carbon emissions. A balance of morality (for the environment) and conservation (for the wallet) see the lure of electric conversions become more enticing.

Many predict electric will be the main source of transportation with the likes of Bloomberg’s New Energy Finance group predicting the category is set to outsell fossil-fuel powered cars within two decades. Furthermore cars with a plug will constitute a third of the global auto fleet by 2040, displacing eight million barrels a day in oil production.

The butterfly effect
The economics are clear and simple: as the cost of both producing cars and batteries continues to decline, the future cost of purchasing an electric vehicle is set to match that of its gasoline counterpart.

Whilst the international market looks to the likes of Tesla as the luxury standard of EV’s the arrival of vehicles such as the entry-level Model 3 reflect a market more equipped for a cleaner and EV-based lifestyle. Realised in conjunction with the installation of charging infrastructures that allows for just over 320 kilometres – plus journeys, the idea of taking your father’s much loved and preserved 1978 Ferrari 308 GTS and removing the gasoline engine in favour of electric batteries seems sacrilegious…the plot twist is that this has already been implemented by Californian based EV West .

The pioneers and global hotspots
Right now Jaguar – who have made the worlds most gorgeous car and now electrified it – are leading in being a manufacturer brave enough to approach the classic market in a new and inventive way with the E-Type Zero .

Restoration shops from the likes of California based EV West, as well as Electric GT (whose Ferrari conversion alone has earned them significant praise). Across the Atlantic, the Dutch-based Voitures Extravert is taking classic 60’s and 80’s era Porsche shapes and selling these with their full electric powertrains. While these are considered luxury purchases, with the average starting price of this albeit new category being north of $200 000.00, as battery technology continues along its exponentially improving rate this could decrease somewhat in the coming years. Demand seems to far out way supply – in some cases with a waiting list of up to year – as more enthusiasts are eager to jump in and start up the (electrically powered) wagon.

Above: The Jaguar E-Type Zero

By Jordan Major

Flux Trends’ experts are available for comment and interviews. For all media enquiries please contact Tshepo Narvis on 

We have a TranshumanismOpen Session in Johannesburg on 1 August 2018 and Cape Town  on 8th of August 2018.  

Image credit: Jaguar Land Rover
Video credit: Dezeen

About Jordan

Travel, in all its varied forms, is a concept that inspires and drives the ambitions of Jordan Major. From backpacking around Europe to exploring new professional territories his journey is one that knows no bounds. Having written for the likes of GQ and Between 10 and 5 this young creative sees this new chapter with Flux Trends as a way to speak to the present about the future in a meaningful way.

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