It is one thing to say you are going to Frankenstein a Tesla Model S with a pair of Siamese-twinned Volkswagen Vanagons and quite another to actually start taking your newly-acquired, smashed-up electric sedan apart in an effort to bring it back to life. Otmar Ebenhoech is doing just that, and having no small successes along the way.

The Stretchla project, as it is being called, has officially started and our protagonist has put together another bit of video to document his progress and let us know about some of the different challenges he's encountered and conquered. While our original post about this endeavor featured video of the stretched Vanagon's drivetrain removal, this latest installment focuses on the Model S.

Otmar received the Tesla in less-than-operable condition.

Otmar received the Tesla in less-than-operable condition and has been tackling some of the basic problems one might expect to encounter: lots of error messages and an electrically disconnected battery pack. Without the aid of a manual or technical diagrams, he's removed the battery pack and discovered why it wasn't sending power to the car.

Scroll below to watch the ten-minute presentation and celebrate some initial victories. You can also check out the official Stretchla blog for more photos and updates, including the most recent one that discusses how he talked himself into paying (*spoiler alert) $42,000 for a wrecked, non-functional electric car, along with more recent struggles with the steering rack. Hit us up in the comments to let us know what kind of trouble you would get into with a Model S drivetrain of your own.



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  • 31 Comments
      Spec
      • 11 Months Ago
      I love this project. I wish him great success.
      Letstakeawalk
      • 11 Months Ago
      Very interesting video. Hope to see more!
      EVnerdGene
      • 11 Months Ago
      Is this the same crazzy guy who put a pair of monster DC motors in parallel driving the transaxle in a 914 Porsha ? Probably 200 pounds of motors, almost puking to output a little over 100 hp for a few minutes at a time, and maybe 1200 pounds of lead-acid batteries to go 30 miles? EVs have come a long way.
        Letstakeawalk
        • 11 Months Ago
        @EVnerdGene
        "Here at Cafe Electric our primary focus has been to design and develop the Zilla series of motor controllers. Experience shows that the Zilla is the most powerful and most reliable DC motor controller available for racing, and also excels in any freeway capable electric vehicle." http://cafeelectric.com/index.php
      • 11 Months Ago
      This has the potential to be an ultimate boondocking machine. I bet who ever is keeping a well designed boondocking machine from rolling off assembly lines for the masses is the same person "Who Killed The Electric Car."

      David Murray
      • 11 Months Ago
      I'm sorry.. but I just can't understand this project.. Why take a beautiful car like that and turn it into something that is a joke?
        • 11 Months Ago
        @David Murray
        Why? So we can all laugh of course! Laughing at or with it doesn't matter. Smiles have been the best part of the original Stretch. :-)
        Cheetahjab
        • 11 Months Ago
        @David Murray
        The car was wrecked in an accident. Look at the photos. No so beautiful all mangled up.
          David Murray
          • 11 Months Ago
          @Cheetahjab
          I saw it. It could be repaired.
          jeff
          • 11 Months Ago
          @Cheetahjab
          Dan, That is only your opinion. It has no bearing on the value (Coolness or Monetary) another person places on another vehicle... In my OPINION this would be more cool than a model S....
          Letstakeawalk
          • 11 Months Ago
          @Cheetahjab
          But he doesn't want to repair it, he wants to use the components in his VW camper project. Why is that so hard to grasp?
          Vlad
          • 11 Months Ago
          @Cheetahjab
          What he wants is the only inherent justification he needs.
        jeff
        • 11 Months Ago
        @David Murray
        Many People like to be different..... If fact most creative/inventive people tend to be this way.... Keep in mind this is the guy that invented the Zilla Motor speed controller used in most electric drag race cars...
      George Parrott
      • 11 Months Ago
      While I would not choose to resurrect a Model S as a Vanagon Camper, I totally understand this guy's personal journey. He is both "saving a destroyed Model S" and creating a totally new vehicle concept (high performance ELECTRIC Vanagon). I am VERY impressed.
      Technoir
      • 11 Months Ago
      Im ok with using Model S parts, but does it have to go to a roughly stretched, old VW bus?
        Spec
        • 11 Months Ago
        @Technoir
        He likes camping and this gives him a way to combine EV technology and camping.
        • 11 Months Ago
        @Technoir
        It's a good question and I spent some time contemplating the alternatives. It would be fun to put it in a fully custom built aerodynamic camper, or simply a beautifully stretched VW bus, (Tesla battery is too long for a standard one) but that would probably cost another $30K+ and I'm spending enough as it is. I also could have given up, but that's no fun. I'd rather have it looking a bit rough than not have it at all.
      danfred311
      • 11 Months Ago
      What he wants is not inherent justification. There is such a thing as a mistake. I tend to agree that it looks like it could be repaired and a fully functioning Tesla Model S with a tent trailer is a lot cooler to go camping with.
      • 10 Months Ago
      Otmar- I love it! You are crazy! The right kind of crazy! Please keep showing us the videos, so we can get our vicarious fix!
      2 wheeled menace
      • 11 Months Ago
      I do wonder why he is fixing up the car, when he is going to rip it's heart out. That never made sense to me.
        danfred311
        • 11 Months Ago
        @2 wheeled menace
        He is just repairing the systems he needs. It makes perfect sense. But what he could do is actually restore the Tesla. It seems to me that it's close enough that it could be done and that would be worth more than an old bus.
          Weapon
          • 11 Months Ago
          @danfred311
          If the car was sold damaged, it is more likely that the cost to repair is higher then it is worth to replace. It is also possible it took structural damage. Though the battery pack itself is worth the value. Though the point of this whole thing is to use the bus for camping and it looks like a hobby.
          Vlad
          • 11 Months Ago
          @danfred311
          Tens of thousands of people can go camping with a Tesla and a tent trailer. If he completes his project, he will be the only person on this planet with a Tesla-powered vintage camper he built himself. In my book that's cooler.
          Rotation
          • 11 Months Ago
          @danfred311
          The cost to repair the Tesla is barely higher than the cost of a Tesla. I'm surprised that car was totaled with that little damage (in dollar). I think the reason is more having to do with wanting an electric bus than anything. And who am I to say he shouldn't have one?
          danfred311
          • 11 Months Ago
          @danfred311
          I understand the motives. But even within that I'd think it's cooler to go camping with a Model S and a tent trailer.
      jeff
      • 11 Months Ago
      This is a cool project. I really hope to see it at EVCCON 2014....
        lad
        • 11 Months Ago
        @jeff
        In case anyone is interested EVCCON 2014 info is at www.evtv.me
      tajsimons
      • 11 Months Ago
      my roomate's aunt makes $78 an hour on the computer. She has been unemployed for 10 months but last month her pay check was $15693 just working on the computer for a few hours. check out the post right here........ http://www.23jobs.com ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
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