People around the world are converting old fume-spewing classics into clean, modernized and upgraded electric vehicles and we’re very happy this is happening. Most classic cars don’t really have particularly reliable or powerful engines, and while there are exceptions (some are classics that just can’t be ruined, while in others, the engine is an integral part of the experience), we would argue that an EV conversion makes many older vehicles better in every measurable way.
One such example of an old vehicle dramatically improved through being turned into an EV is this World War II era Willys Jeep. This one has a very interesting history behind it, which is detailed by Matt Farah in this video for his new show on Hagerty, but now it runs a 25 kW motor and five salvage Tesla Model S battery modules.
It also has a custom stainless steel body (that was added in place of the original in the 1960s) and apart from the steering box and rear axle, there isn’t that much of the original Willys remaining. However, as Matt points out, it still feels like a Willys and, in fact, he argues it’s better than an unmodified one because it is considerably less rattly.
The vehicle was created by a company called a shop specialized in detailed custom vehicles called AI Design, and even though the vehicle in the video looks quite close to an original Willys, the amount of work that went into it is quite impressive. It’s also AI Design’s first electric vehicle conversion and it’s a superbly executed first attempt.