A UK-based car journalist has bought a 1974 Enfield 8000 battery-electric vehicle and has big? little? big plans to soup up the two-seater with a modern, more powerful electric motor. The car's original electric motor was damaged in a flood, according to writer Jonny Smith's blog.

About 120 Enfield EVs were produced between 1973 and 1976 as a response of sorts to the oil crisis that caused gas prices to spike in both the UK and U.S. The boxy EV was made with parts from a number of different vehicles, including brakes and wheels from Mini and lights from a Capri. The car, which is about a foot shorter than a Mini, had a single-charge range of between 35 and 55 miles and a top speed of about 40 miles per hour. It also cost about twice as much as a Mini.

You can tell Smith is a storyteller, since he is naming the car the Flux Capacitor as a nod to the gizmo that powered the time-traveling DeLorean in "Back to the Future." Great Scott!


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 21 Comments
      Dan Frederiksen
      • 2 Years Ago
      it is a uniquely ugly car but interesting that a 5th gear reporter gets into making electric car conversions. or renovations as it were. an Audi A2 would have been an infinitely better choice but ok
      2 Wheeled Menace
      • 2 Years Ago
      Looks like a street legal go kart to me.. it has potential :)
      Ryan
      • 2 Years Ago
      What are the chances that he will get better range than the Volt or Leaf? I kind of doubt it, but if an amateur can get good range in a 1970s car, modern day engineers at big companies should be able to do better.
      Spec
      • 2 Years Ago
      It is nice that it is small . . . but probably not a good choice of a car to spent a lot of time & money on since it is not going to be easy to find parts for such a rare car. Wait . . . 120 produced nearly 40 years ago? It is a stupid idea to waste your time & money on it.
        throwback
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Spec
        That's why he's an enthusiast. No one buys cars these cars to make money.
          Marco Polo
          • 2 Years Ago
          @throwback
          @LTW Yep, very well said ! That describes restorers exactly ! I also plead guilty to belonging to that fraternity !
          Letstakeawalk
          • 2 Years Ago
          @throwback
          This is a great site for audio gear, new and old. It's also considerably more polite than any forum I've ever seen - SS and tube people, Digital and Vinyl people, 2-channel and surround-sound people, and somehow we all manage to get along without accusing each other of being wrong! http://www.audiokarma.org/ (even the *cable/wire* people are pretty much left to their own enjoyment)
          Letstakeawalk
          • 2 Years Ago
          @throwback
          "It is like rebuilding an 8-track tape player." You do know that there are people who collect and restore old audio equipment, right? I've got a couple of old 8-track recorders myself. They're fun! They certainly aren't that great, or even very good, but the pleasure I get from seeing people's reactions when I pull out an 8-track and start playing some current new act - it's priceless! I imagine this fellow will have just as much fun surprising people with his rather odd little duck.
          Spec
          • 2 Years Ago
          @throwback
          You are right . . . I don't get that. I would understand if he was rebuilding some James Bond Astin Martin convertible, a 65 Mustang, an Alfa Romeo convertible like in "The Graduate". I'd understand if he were rebuilding an old Geo Metro that makes a great EV platform and you can still find parts for. But he is rebuilding a tinny 70's failed ecobox EV. It is like rebuilding an 8-track tape player.
          imoore
          • 2 Years Ago
          @throwback
          @ LTW & Marco, I thought I was the only one who still kept his 8-tracks and recorders. Glad to see I'm not the only one who holds on to history.
          Letstakeawalk
          • 2 Years Ago
          @throwback
          You really don't understand the motivation at all, do you Spec? Part of the hobby *is* chasing down the obscure parts, or getting them made - or gasp - making them yourself!
          2 Wheeled Menace
          • 2 Years Ago
          @throwback
          Spec.. all it is, is a light weight chassis. Same reason i hop up electric bikes. You get a major bang per buck on 2 wheels. A tiny car like this is similar - low weight and small aerodynamic profile means it can be a real budget rocket :)
          Spec
          • 2 Years Ago
          @throwback
          Of course he doesn't expect to make money. But he may end up losing a lot of money, time, and mental sanity if some obscure part breaks and there is no replacement available. What do you do then? Get a local machine shop to machine you a replacement part every time that happens? It will may end up costing more than a brand new Leaf.
      imoore
      • 2 Years Ago
      I wish him luck and hope to see the outcome. I wish someone could restore an old '70's Citicar. Those were fun cars to watch.
      Marco Polo
      • 2 Years Ago
      Two generations of UK enthusiasts have produced strange little vehicles, either to meet Tax regulations, or the Suez oil crisis of the mid-fifties and mid seventies. Some of the strangest little vehicles appeared due to the law permitting tri/quadracycles. some of these little contraptions sold in quite respectable numbers, including the EV versions. All died through increasing safety requirements, changes to road tax, petrol prices, and increased prosperity. But all, even the worst, of these wierd little machines, have enthusiastic supporters,as eccentric as the cars themselves. It's great fun to be British !
      goodoldgorr
      • 2 Years Ago
      That car cannot move 4 adults.
      LEONARD
      • 2 Years Ago
      35-55 miles when??? and with lead acid whats the problem today???
      Letstakeawalk
      • 2 Years Ago
      That should be a lot of fun! I hope ABG keeps us updated on the progress.
      goodoldgorr
      • 2 Years Ago
      I drove a car like that when i was young at an amusement park.
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