Talk about cherry. Students at Roanoke Collage in Salem, VA, are about halfway through a four-year process of converting a 1939 Pontiac into an all-electric vehicle. The college's RC Electric Club bought the car for $1,500 in 2010 and has since stripped it, removed its original eight-cylinder engine and painted it burgundy to go along with school colors. The car has gotten enough attention that it is being shown off at this year's commencement ceremonies.

The goal is get the Pontiac Silver Streak running on a battery-electric powertrain by 2014, and for the vehicle to then be used for school purposes. Before that happens, the car is being stored in the garage of Roanoke College President Michael Maxey, though there's already a town vs. gown element going on. The Roanoke, Virginia Museum of Transportation wants to exhibit the car during winter months.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 33 Comments
      toml047
      • 2 Years Ago
      Why do we want to convert such an elegant car into a ray-o-vac flashlight when it could be restored to its origianl condition and showed at Classic Car shows to show off the elegance our cars of the past were all about. And also to spotlight the work of such gifted students.
      smurfquarterly
      • 2 Years Ago
      Not bad for amateurs. It would make a beautful gasser though !
      PR
      • 2 Years Ago
      That's a nice car. It might not be the most practical choice for a conversion considering how heavy body on frame vehicles are, but they certainly will have a very original EV when they are done!
      • 2 Years Ago
      dont understand what this proves you could set anything over an eletric engine .
      • 2 Years Ago
      ok, so you run out of electricity, and you plug it into the wall, and the electricity used to charge it is produced via coal, most likely...........so HOW does that help our environment again? The only way electric cars will work is as a balancing effect for gas engines right now. Only when we fully develop clean electricity via wind, solar, hydro (do we want more dams?) will the plug in car be a good idea. It has been around for as long as cars have been around. And what are we supposed to do with all these burnt out batteries from our Priuses and such after 10 years? Can we dump them in YOUR backyard?
        • 2 Years Ago
        The waste produced by the coal in order to produce the energy for the vehicle is FAR FAR less than the waste produced by the gasoline.
        • 2 Years Ago
        It reduces the amount of emission into the atmosphere. Currently, cars are burning fuel which results in emission in the atmosphere and you have the coal supplying electricity adding to that emitting process. We can start by reduction not total elimination, cellphones didn't become compatible in one year, it took time to perfect it, but we need to start from somewhere. The problem is not starting a trend of electric cars, its the greedy people making profits off oil that are behind the delay of electric cars.
      Dave D
      • 2 Years Ago
      Now THAT is a cool old car!
      balinwire
      • 2 Years Ago
      I hate to see a car with the original engine hacked into a school project that will be back in the scrapyard in a few years. Shows that for only 1500$ you can buy a nice project antique car. Treat it humanely.
      • 2 Years Ago
      @stephenweinberg You forgot to call everyone you whipper snappers
      • 2 Years Ago
      ive been down there its nice country my brother and sister both went to college there
      • 2 Years Ago
      Awesome work and good luck. Unlike everyone else on here, the car was probably wasting away somewhere in a junk yard or someone garage. It most likely wasn't even running. So atleast this is being done to it and will be for a good cause (being the research and learning these students will take away from the project.)
      • 2 Years Ago
      Also if the car is really from 1939 than it is a pontiac de luxe 8 not a silver streak. The silver streak name wasn't used untill 1948
      callmeishmael
      • 2 Years Ago
      Make mine a 389 cu in tripower
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