Head in Charge Tim asked me to show some details of my build, which was completed in 2019 by Richard "Moggy" Morgan and his team at Electric Classic Cars. This will include some background about the car, some before and after images and whatever relevant stuff comes to mind.
How It Started
I bought the car in the summer of 2018, after narrowly missing out on a 1961 Beetle. My first car was a Beetle, and now the mid-life crisis was calling me to recapture my love for classic cars which seemed to have been forgotten. I used to love driving the old bug, but there was a lot I didn't enjoy: she was unreliable, noisy, smelly and gutless! Then I heard about EV conversions and learned that she could be 100% reliable, quiet, powerful and no more oil stains and petrol smells. So my intention was to find a good, solid 1960's VW to convert.
Several months of longing later, I remembered that when I used to attend VW shows in my teens I used to lust after the much more elegant Karmann Ghia, so when I found a good one on Classic Trader, I was off to Shrewsbury and the seduction began.
Manufactured in 1967, imported from California in 1998, nearly 100,000 miles on the clock... she even smelled the same as my old Beetle. No rust in the important areas, like the floorpans and heater channels, and pretty much 100% original. She did need some work, but it was simple stuff like fixing the wipers and horn, fitting seat belts, adjusting valves, etc. nothing major.
A couple of weeks later I was on my way back to Derry with her. The previous owner never gave her a name, so I named her "Beverly", after Beverly Hills and B attery E lectric V ehicle.
Back To Wales
Now I had to wait before I could deliver her to Moggy of Electric Classic Cars, because he had a few projects on the go... it was going to be six months before he would be ready to begin my conversion. Then I caught a lucky break when another customer pulled out and I could take their place in the queue. In October of 2018 I headed back across the Irish Sea again to deliver Beverly to Wales. At that time, ECC HQ was Moggy's house and the factory was his garage. Spud certainly appreciated Beverly's beautiful behind!
The first step was to measure the space under the bonnet and behind the rear seat to see how many battery modules we might be able to fit:
In the first few months of 2019 Moggy purchased new premises for Electric Classic Cars, and Beverly moved straight into the new factory with some of her friends:
Some of the work, such as removing the engine and fuel tank had already been completed, and they had also test fitted the motor:
Some replacement parts had been fitted, including replacement drilled front discs, heavy duty ARBs and adjustable front and rear suspension:
The front battery box base and rear battery box had been fabricated and test fitted, and the panels in the engine compartment were ready for powder coating:
Right in the middle of the build came the news that there would be a TV show about Moggy's company and their work. The show would be called Vintage Voltage; 10 episodes, each featuring one conversion project. "Would you allow your car to be featured?" YES, of course! "Would YOU mind being filmed?" HELL YEAH, count me IN!
The show would follow each car from the customer dropping it off and giving their remit, through designing, fabricating, restoring, etc., completing the conversion and then handing over to the customer at the end. Of course, Beverly was in the middle of her makeover! So they had to make her look as if no one had interfered with her yet, and I had to pretend to be delivering her for the first time... the magic of television, right? To be fair, the TV company paid for me to fly over, hire a car and stay overnight... and it was an amazing experience:
Having gone backwards a little bit, and with a lot of work yet to be completed, Moggy and his team were busier than ever. There were now 19 other cars in the factory in various stages of completion.
Charger mounting test fit:
Charger port hole cut:
Battery monitor display replaces fuel gauge:
Battery pack balancing before installation:
Battery boxes ready for installation (small one holds 2 modules, goes in the space where the spare wheel was):
Rear battery pack installed and wired up, ready for its cover:
Front battery pack installed, ready for its cover:
Under the rear seat. Contactors, shunts, fuses, DC/DC converters, 12V battery, etc:
Beverly getting her first taste of electrons:
404 days after I had delivered her, I couldn't wait to see her again. ECC builds don't usually take that long, but with the new factory, loads of customers AND the TV show, I didn't mind waiting at all. There was only the small distraction of my handover being filmed for the TV show before I could enjoy the long drive home.
On the scales:
Beverly is now an absolute joy; not only does she have about 3 times the power, she handles WAY better with the weight distribution closer to 50:50. But that increased performance is nothing compared to the worry-free cruising in style I can do in her now.
Of course, I highly recommend watching Vintage Voltage. Beverly stars in Season1, Episode1: https://www.discoveryplus.co.uk/show/vintage-voltage
(registration required, but the show is free to watch)
Below are some of the specs. I won't go into detail about how much the conversion cost, because a) every car is different and every customer has different requirements, and b) you can't put a price on the expertise of people who know their craft. If you want to find out how much your conversion would cost you, give ECC a call. Just be prepared for a bit of a wait... they have over 100 projects waiting or being worked on, and close to a 2-year waiting list!
1967 Volkswagen Karmann Ghia T14 coupé
Netgain Hyper 9 IS™ Motor
• Synchronous Reluctance Internal Permanent Magnet (SRIPM)
• Peak power: 100 kW @ 125V (120 hp)
• Torque: 235 Nm @ 0 RPM
40 kWh battery pack
• 16 LG Chem modules
• 8 in the front, 8 behind rear seat
• Range: 180 - 220 miles (290 - 355 km)
• adjustable front & rear suspension
• performance shock absorbers
• cross-drilled disc brakes + new calipers
• 50/50 weight distribution