An Electric Ferrari That Annihilated Its Petrol Counterpart

This Californian’s itch made him create the first-ever electric Ferrari based on the 1978 308 GTS

Published on : April 25, 2018 10:30 am by Utkarsh Chaudhary

In 2016 Sergio Marchionne said, “An electric Ferrari would be “obscene.” What’s the point of a silent Ferrari when the aggressive sound of its engine is a crucial part of the driving experience.” Later he realized the importance of electric cars in the future, and hence, confirmed that Ferrari will be introducing its first-ever electric car by 2020.

While this was going on, Eric Hutchison, who hails from California, couldn’t wait till 2020 to witness the first-ever electric Ferrari. So he decided to build one himself. Yeah, it sounds bizarre, but he has really done it. He created an electric Ferrari that’s based on the 1978 308 GTS.

The beginning

Eric found the 1978 Ferrari 308 GTS completely destroyed at a junkyard. An engine fire made it a piece of metal just lying around. He bought it for USD 10,000.

Eric says, “When I brought the project home from the junkyard, I was completely horrified. It had been burned up in a fuel fire, gasoline leaked on the motor. It smelled, all the rubber was melted, there was broken glass. It was frankly a mess.”

The result

It took Eric two years to build an electric 1978 Ferrari 308 GTS. During this period, he gave up four times. But finally after giving his sweat, blood, and innumerable hours, his electric creation was ready.

Eric says, “I really was dying to know how this 308 compared to a stock 308. We had a professional driver drive both cars in a timed environment on the same track – about a mile and a half – and the professional driver did that lap in 1:26 with a gas Ferrari.”

He continued, “The electric car absolutely decimated the gas car. Watching the professional driver off the line, the electric car left like a 25-foot burn out as he was just gripping for traction.”

The electric Ferrari completely annihilated its petrol counterpart. It was a massive 10 seconds quicker around the track than the original 1978 Ferrari 308 GTS.

Eric adds, “The Ferrari makes a great candidate for conversion because when you’re converting the car to electric you’re adding power, you’re doubling the power, you’re doubling the torque. This car was meant for speed. It might not have been engineered for this much speed, but it handles it really well. This car actually goes so much better and it feels natural with this amount of power in it.”

Where is it now?

Once he was done testing his electric Ferrari, Eric put it up for sale with classic car auctioneer Barrett Jackson. He says, “The most satisfying part of the experience is having someone else share the experience of the electric car. A classic car that’s 40 years old, it’s going to go for 40 more years to share that, to drive it, and to show that elsewhere to other people.”

It was Drew Hill who placed the bid for the car and won the auction for USD 77,000. However, he didn’t know that it is an electric car. He says, “I didn’t know that it was electric when I was bidding on it. I just thought it was in pristine condition and something that you can drive.”

He further added, “It wasn’t making any noise but it was moving and then we sat in the post-bid section where we were discussing the car and I found out there that it was electric and I was even more amped. Being from California, electric right now is the way to be and then the good thing about it is there are no emissions — all you ever have to do is change brakes and change tires so it’s something that I don’t feel bad about driving. It’s fast, it’s way better than any other electric car that you’re going to drive on the market today, and it’s a Ferrari. What else do you want out of a car?”

The future

There are guys like Eric who have got this itch of converting old, classic cars into electric ones. Eric couldn’t wait till 2020 to see an electric Ferrari rollout of the company’s factory. So he built one.

He says, “The amount of interest is snowballing astronomically. The conversion of classic cars and the public acceptance of them is something that’s very front end. You drive a Volkswagen bus that can out-accelerate a 458 Ferrari, it blows you away. So the more people who experience it, the more it’s going to happen. I can’t wait to see what happens with classic cars and electric conversions.”

Source- CNN Supercharged


Published on : April 25, 2018 10:30 am

Updated on : April 25, 2018 11:01 am
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