The “Classic” Skate

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Is how it looks all that matters?

Leaving aside what it will cost?

GM thinks so. And doesn’t want you to think about what it’s going to cost . . . until you’ve got no choice about paying.

Imagine your classic car – well, the shell of the thing. Its engine and driveline replaced by an “eCrate” electric drivetrain. The same one installed in every other skate – the term used to describe the operational underthings of an electric car, onto which different shaped and colored bodies are  lowered.

Going to a “classic” car show in the electrified future will mean looking at the various different shaped and colored shells. No need to raise the hoods of these things as there will be  nothing to see there.

Or rather, nothing different.

Seen one? You’ve seen ’em all.

An electric motor is an electric motor. A battery pack is a battery pack. No more big and small blocks. No more Holleys and Quadrajets sucking air through scoops that once worked, now purely for looks. In remembrance, like a photo of a great football player avoiding a tackle.

A holograph of Elvis “performing.”

No more looking to see whether that ’74 SD-455 Trans-Am is one of the few that came with the four speed manual transmission; there are no more transmissions in the electrically homogenized future. Maybe they’ll leave a “shifter” that isn’t connected to anything  . . . a dummy “clutch” pedal left hanging uselessly, for the sake of visual nostalgia.

Nothing much to do, either.

GM envisions owners of classic-cars-to-be-electrified will “work with”- that is, pay – “qualified installers through GM’s electric specialty vehicle modifier (eSVM) program who have been properly trained to replace a vehicle’s internal combustion engine with a fully electric propulsion system.”

Backyard mechanics won’t be “qualified” to perform this transition since they are not electricians. If you don’t know how to mess with what’s behind your home’s electrical panel you aren’t “qualified” to mess with this, either.

Welding/fabrication work will also probably be necessary as those 1,000-plus pounds of battery pack have to go somewhere and not just anywhere – unless you want to risk an electrical-chemical fire resulting from damage to the battery pack you just shoved into the trunk or wherever else you made it fit. The pack will need to be protected from excess vibration/shock and also from impact, in the event of a crash, as in any new EV.

Battery pack fires are very hot burning and very hard to put out. That bottle extinguisher you keep in the garage (or behind the driver’s seat) isn’t going to cut it.

All of this is going to cost – probably more than you can afford. Leaving aside the uncountable cost of destroying classic cars – eliminating what makes them classic cars – by converting them to electric cars.

GM crows about the “conversion” – electric homogenization – jobs it has already performed, including the electrical androgenization of a 1972 Chevy El Camino SS, performed in partnership with (read it and weep) Lingenfelter Performance Engineering, an outfit formerly devoted to the enhancement of V8 muscle cars, now devoted to the electrified ruination of them.

The poor SS was transformed into a shell of itself.

It still looks like a ’72 SS but its driveline is 2030. The same as every new car is expected – will be forced – to be by that date. Everything that made a ’72 SS what it was no longer is.

Of course, the skate is quicker – boasting Tesla-like “ludicrous” speed. Which gets old when everything else also boasts “ludicrous” speed. Even getting to 60 in less than 3 seconds becomes anodyne when it can be done – and done the same way – by every skate you see parked on the lot.

Nothing meaningfully different about any of them. Nothing definitional, in the way a ’72 SS El Camino was defined by its small and big-block V8s, which were not the same as the V8s in other cars, including visually similar ones like the Ford Ranchero – which had its own unique V8s.

They looked different and they sounded different. Which made them different – which is what made them emotionally involving.

How do you get attached to what’s all the same?

Maybe a slightly higher or lower background whirr as the thing runs its predictably boring 10 second quarter mile, its meatsacked “driver” no longer shifting or doing much of anything other than applying pressure to the no-longer “gas” pedal. The rest handled for him by the electronics. It will be like dating a really “hot” sex robot who does everything . . . just the same. With all the passion of a robot. But hey, you can change the color of her wig and take your pick of white, black or Asian. Anything you want, baby.

Me soo horny! 

Self-abuse is preferable. More real.

Money, of course, is the motivator behind all of this. Well, the thing that comes behind the regulations and mandates and subsidies pushing all of this. Money is the thing that often ruins a good thing. Especially when “customers” are required to pay it, as in the case of EVs.

Lingenfelter – like GM – has decided the money henceforth will be made via making the most of what will be required, viz – the mandated, regulated, subsidized electrification of everything. GM will sell nothing but electrified new cars and outfits like Lingenfelter will make money destroying classic cars – by turning them into new electric cars that merely look like classic cars.   

It’s all ” . . . part of GM’s effort to extend the performance and benefit of zero-emissions technology to new industries and serve as a natural extension of GM’s growth strategy” going forward.

Well, at least the latter is honest.

. . .

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45 COMMENTS

  1. I suspect this setting us up for you can keep your classic car, but if you want to drive it you will have to convert it to electric. Oh, and you won’t be able to buy the parts to rebuild your now illegal ic engine either.

    • Hi GC,

      I had the same dark thought. I fully expect the bastards to decree that “polluting” cars – as defined by them – will no longer be allowed on public (government) roads…

  2. I don’t see many buyers for this product IMHO.

    Classic car owners are for the most part the people questioning the value of electric cars.

    Though I suppose there could be a nice niche small business converting the ruined electro classic cars BACK to ICE.

  3. I think that it won’t be long before acceleration limiters or governors (or whatever) become imposed by law on these EVs with “ludicrous” speed. It isn’t really the “speed” (i.e., the velocity or distance over time), it’s the change in velocity over time that is going to become an issue. Not that they’ll ever drop “speed” limits.

    Back in the day, more often than not, people had to work their way up to muscle in a car. And that often (or usually, but not always) meant that people doing so would become more interested in engines and learn about what how more HP would affect their driving and become better at it.

    As kids we used to endlessly race around dirt tracks on bmx bikes, moto-cross, 3-wheel ATCs, and even mini-cars. But our moms, they ambled along in whatever family car to the grocery store, to shuttle around kids and this and that and had little interest in the whole motor sport thing.

    Now those moms and similar like-minded people are going to have the acceleration that we dreamed about. Along with zero necessary additional skills and 1000 lbs more weight than they’re used to handling.

    Mark my words, write down my bet, it’s coming. This “ludicrous” speed thing is a carrot on the stick with which we’ll later be beaten back down. That along with the extension of control via smart electronics, it will become nothing but stick and will be wielded viciously.

  4. True story, I was at a car show years ago and I was asked why my engine was orange and the car next to it was blue. I said because this is a Chevy and that’s a Ford… I still go to the occasional show and look at the cars but it’s usually the engine compartment and the underside that shows how much time was spent detailing. Mine are driven so a little dirty.

  5. I bought a new Toyopet Camry strippo based upon Eric’s effusive review.
    It isn’t all that great. No manual that I can shift more comfortably than the automatic’s hunt and peck. It isn’t a bad car but an upgrade to a dash with toggle switches as on a 1961 Studebaker would be welcomed.

  6. “No need to raise the hoods of these things as there will be nothing to see there. Or rather, nothing different. Seen one? You’ve seen ’em all.”

    Sounds exactly like all the women I’ve dated. But I keep raising the hood anyway.

  7. Eric you probably came across this

    “Replacing the Hemi V8 will be the GME T6 or the Global Medium Engine Turbocharged 6, a name which just rolls off the tongue. It will be used for all Stellantis Global medium platform models, which include the Dodge Challenger and Charger. Please, try to hide your excitement about a turbo-six instead of a bruiser Hemi V8, especially one with a supercharger.”

    https://www.motorious.com/articles/features-3/dodge-cancelling-hemi-v8/

    happy new years yay

    • Hi Mark,

      Yup; without the V8, a Charger or Challenger is no longer a muscle car – which was the whole point of the Charger/Challenger. With a six/hybrid, it’ll be like so many other other cars. You take away the thing that makes a specialty car special and it becomes no longer special. The Pontiac Trans-Am’s end comes to mind. When it was a Pontiac, it was hugely successful – because it wasn’t a Camaro. When GM took away what made it a Pontiac, it became another kind of Camaro – and no longer successful.

      I bet I speak for many fans of the Challenger/Charger when I say that no matter how powerful/quick a turbo-four-six-hybrid-electric powered successor is, I just won’t give a damn about it. If I wanted something else – other than a big V8 turning the rear wheels only – I’d have bought that.

    • I was talking with my wife about what comes next when her Audi A8 with a 4.0T becomes too expensive to keep on the road. The euro-woke bastards at Audi have been putting 3.0T V6 into them nowadays and she (and I) won’t have it. That’s way too much car for a V6, I don’t care what you do to it.

      I think there we can maybe find an S8 that’s not too old and still has a V8 but those are even more expensive. Good luck finding one with 40K or less miles (the most miles in any Audi we’re willing to buy used because we’ve been to this rodeo a few times).

      So we’re “expanding our horizons”. The woke Germans and their euro-bullshit trip are VERY much responsible for this situation (ever-decreasing engine sizes and push for EVs). I’ve been looking inside some of those spiffy Dodge Chargers that I see in the parking lot at work.

      They look much cooler inside than I remember. That “Hemi” badge is looking more impressive than I used to think. I just wonder how many miles you can get out of them, if one could find a well-maintained example. I could see me or my wife driving one and be quite happy about it. But NFW that would include one with that GME thing you’re talking about. Better than an EV but again, too much car, too little engine. The thrill just wouldn’t be there.

  8. anon 1

    androgenization of a 1972 Chevy El Camino SS

    you only get 25% of the original car……if the price isn’t 75% lower then the current market value of a 1972 Chevy El Camino SS, forget it.

    The original 1972 Chevy El Camino SS you could see, smell, feel and hear. It was alive.

    You could see it: A great looking collector car from the muscle car age.

    You could smell it: The smell of gas from the powerful V8

    You could feel it: This was an analog car you could feel everything: feedback from the steering, suspension and brakes, all the vibrations from the shifter and the rumbling V8.

    You could hear it: The sound of the V8 was like a stimulant, exciting the senses, one of the best features of these cars.

    This new EV conversion you can see it only and even then you know it has been ruined, it has no life, it is dead.. It is just another dead electric car. Like a mannequin of a women compared to a live one.

    • anon 1

      These old muscle cars are a bit similar to a super 7 in some ways (another exciting driving experience), you don’t drive them you feel them. Tons of sensory feedback…….

  9. If you get a booster every day, it’ll be like drinking vodka or beer or your favorite beverage of choice every day. Has to be alcohol in the beverage, no excuses. The Oxford Bar in Missoula, Montana is open 365 days a year 24 hours all day long.

    “The Oxford Saloon & Cafe, located in the heart of downtown Missoula was established in 1883 and is open 24 hours a day, all through the year. The Ox has been open 24 hours a day for so many years that there are no keys for the entrances. The Ox, as it is affectionately referred to by locals, has been highlighted in several national publications throughout the years as a “must see”. It will surely prove to be one of the most interesting stops for any visitor passing through Western Montana.”

    https://www.the-oxford.com/

    You won’t be disappointed.

    Pharma just wants a piece of the pie. The greedy no good filthy pigs at the hog trough, the gluttons that they are, will gobble it all up, nothing left. What else is new?

    A modern grain elevator has a 660 volt feed to power the 20 horsepower electric motors that move a drive that turns a belt some 250 feet in length with quart-sized cups to fill the bins.

    Takes electricity, way back when, steam power with long canvas belts moved the grain into the bins. How it happened, there was a mechanical house that burned the coal to power the steam engine to move the belts to elevate the grain into the bins in the grain house.

    Wind power is the last thing you’ll want to make that happen. Power plants and hydro-electric dams tote the bale and lift the barge. Throw in a much maligned nuclear power plant and you are cooking with gas.

    Any questions?

    SKATE

    S: Seek cover and concealment / Stay out of trouble
    K: Keep a low profile / Keep quiet
    A: Avoid higher-ups / Accept no responsibility (?)
    T: Take no initiative/ Take your time / Take no action (?)
    E: Evade / Enjoy yourself (?)

    Sort of sums it up.

    There is no rest for the stupid.

    The Russians have 365 reasons to drink every day, one for each and every day of the year, so there you go.

    Pink elephant time.

    Is this a great country or what?

  10. I can’t imagine who would want that. But it’s their car, they can do what they want with it.

    From my perspective, such modifications pretty much destroy the value.

    • But it is like all those $50 Mausers we customized in the ’60s. Each one turned into a beautiful sporter (and as opposed to this brilliant idea, they were) makes each one not modified worth more. The last one of each model year/model variant still rolling will be worth a king’s ransom.

  11. These E-crate engines could be a fantastic way to show what’s actually possible with electric vehicles. Get someone to weld up a tubular frame, lots of plastic and carbon fiber body panels, minimal gadgetry. Two seats, a large trunk -possibly open like the El Camino or with mounting points for different applications. Get the frame light enough for one or two men to lift (without the battery pack of course). That might actually work as an electric vehicle. But it would be far too utilitarian for the target audience.

    • Also far too boring…

      Even if they got the cost down to an equivalence with that of rebuilding a stock classic car IC drivetrain, what would be the point? Another cordless appliance. Nothing to care about – beyond how it works, as an appliance.

      My old Pontiac hasn’t got “ludicrous” speed. But it has character – something all EVs lack and will never possess.

      • But it would be a lightweight basic vehicle that would be great for commuting or quick trips to the grocery store. Or a work/delivery truck. We discuss this all the time but the best way to get people into electrics is if it will provide a much lower cost of ownership. Fuel is a big part of that cost for sure, but not enough to justify all the additional expenses. That means taking away many of the fixed costs of owning a vehile, such as insurance. By using it locally it will lower insurance costs, make range anxiety less of an issue and mean less wear and tear. Won’t need as much safety gear if you’re not ever going to get it up to highway speeds either. A break on registration and taxes would help too.

        The electric car might be a contender but the government pushing them is also the government requiring them to be less useful than than they could be.

        • “…We discuss this all the time but the best way to get people into electrics is if it will provide a much lower cost of ownership…”

          Why do you want to “get people” into electrics? Is it because the “we” knows what’s best? Why are you discussing with “we” anything that concerns ~not you~?

          Perhaps this is not your intent, but it comes across as wanting to ..push, control, enforce. I, a wonderful word “I”, do not care what someone drives. Could be a IC, EV, horse, skateboard, bike, wooden cart with a goat. Not looking for a fight, just pointing out that “we” can get bent.

          • Manse, WE is all of those of like mind. Those who “know” what is Best In Life. “Conan, what is best in life?” Crush the Progs! See them driven before you! And hear the lamentations of their land whales! 🙂

            Getting people into electrics is part of the agenda of the Climate Change Cult. Supposedly to “save the world”. But the real science involved is anything but settled or clear. Not to mention that it would be physically impossible to replace the entire installed vehicle base with electrics, even given three times the time they want it to be done in. Thats not even counting the upgrades to the grid and power supplies that would be required. As usual, Cultists don’t pay attention to “little” details with their magical thinking.

            By the way, I don’t class RK as a Cultist. Its way too easy to either miss speak or drift into other frames of mind.

            • “But the real science involved is anything but settled or clear.” Oh, but it is fairly clear. Climate has been changing ever since there was such a thing, and thank God for it. Otherwise much of the planet would be covered in ice. The notion that a handful who barely understand how the least part of it works has it all figured out is delusional. The notion that we should ACT as if they do approaches psychotic. There’s a reason our species has advanced so rapidly over the last 10k years. Better weather, as in warmer.

              • What I spoke of was the Alarmists dire “predictions”. Which of course are not backed up by any real science. If one carefully reads the ICCP’s various reports, it is rather different from the doom and gloom that one hears from the Cultists. Especially if one is used to reading such reports. Many of the points are intentionally vague, so as to give their political masters room to “interpret” them as they wish. While not exposing them to professional ridicule. Which is all too typical of such types these days.

      • Seems to me it would be cheaper and easier for GM or whoever to just put a brand new replica body and interior on the skate. Wouldn’t make any difference to the buyer, either way it’s never going to be an original

  12. What is that system called where choices are mandated, limited, and essentially the same as every other choice?

    There has been an inversion from a time when decisions were made at a lower level. Ideas and the freedom to try them led to competition and choice.

    Now everything is becoming increasingly top down decrees, for good or bad. In the end, you will fill your role as a cog in the giant machine.

  13. Eric, I assume you don’t have electricity at your house. You live like you’re Amish, right? I see you typing out your articles on a manual typewriter, under candle light, only to be given to someone at the coffee shop to do whatever one does to get it “online.” Your daily driver is a model T, with the hand crank starter, of course. I don’t understand why you hate electric motors. It must be rough having to pump your water by hand, to fill the toilet after you flush, assuming you have indoor plumbing. CloverSince you love IC engines like no one else, I envision, you have a number of them running your household. You may even have one to run your hand water pump. I would love to see your shop tools, with your gas-powered drill, and your gas-powered circle saw. They run great, so long as you rebuild the carburator from time to time. I’m not judging, but today, most people use electricity because it’s easier than having to gas up every time you need to do something, like use the bathroom.

    • What color is the sky in your world King? At what point does the uselessness of using electric motors in vehicles, and the usefulness of them in other application escape your comprehension? Would you ride an electric motor powered space ship? Or use a nuclear powered dishwasher? How about a solar powered grill to cook your steak on? Different purposes require different means. Until some MASSIVE improvement in battery tech occurs, and a MASSIVE increase in grid capability, electric powered cars for general use are impractical. Unless we quit driving.

    • Hi King,

      I’m not opposed to electricity. I like – and use it. Where it makes sense; where it is simplest/most effective. As for purposes of running appliances, for instance. It does not make sense for running cars, other than toy cars. It is much more expensive, far less efficient and decreases rather increases utility/flexibility.

      So – cuing sarcasm in reverse – using electricity to power a car is kind of like using a manual hand pump to get water in your house. It “works” – just not as well and with more hassle.

      PS: I actually do have an internal combustion engine to run my well pump and other such. When the electricity goes down, which is fairly often where I live.

      In all seriousness – the issue isn’t whether there ought to be electric cars. The issue is whether they ought to be forced into existence, as by forcing people out of non-electric cars. I have never written a word against the EV, as such. I have written at length against the mandates, subsidies and regulations forcing EVs down our throats – while picking our pockets.

    • Do you have a reallt long extension cord (miles long) to run an electric car from, Clover? Do you drive your refrigerator or washing machine on the road? Your lame attempt at equating electric cars with household use of electricity is specious at best, idiotic at worst.

    • “Its good to be the King!” Until it isn’t… Modern civilization is based on petro and electric energy. Which would work out rather well, absent the various Cultists and their hysteria.
      EV’s have limited utility. So limited, that they wouldn’t even exist in their current form, absent governments mandates and subsidies.

      The same is true for wind and solar power. Neither would exist in their current form, without governments being involved. All because of the Climate Change hysterics and those behind them. Make no mistake, no VC in their right mind would have funded these projects with their own money.

      But here we are. EV’s are too expensive for most people. Have limited utility, and more limited duration than IC vehicles. When ever you see something that out of market balance you should ask your self; Who benefits? When you think about it objectively, the answer is clear. Those who seek to limit the mobility of the general population. Those who see energy as the means to control the general population. Those whose entire purpose in life is ever more control of everyone and everything in the world. As I said, “Its good to be the King!” Until it isn’t. That day can’t come soon enough.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BGCjqzB2jPA&t=5s&ab_channel=YouTubeMovies

    • Hey don’t knock our candles, Aladdin Lamps, clotheslines, wood stoves and the old way of doing things. I’m ready for power failures. What about you. New is nice but don’t become enslaved by it is all we are saying.

    • king of sarcasm, it’s all about energy storage first, and then energy required to do the work required. Pretty easy to see that a tool battery is rated in Amp/hrs, and the required work they do allows the battery to be hand/held. Anything that requires lots of kw/hrs like an electric range, dryer, AC, then cars, etc.. require very large amounts of kw-hrs to run.
      A gallon of gas contains 120,000 BTU’s (a unit of energy), or 35 kw/hr.
      You should easily see that a 20 gal gas tank holds 2,400,000 BTU’s of stored energy or 700 kw/hrs.
      Do your own research to see what current EV’s hold that much stored energy. Please post what you find.
      The bottom line is that there in no current equal in stored energy that gasoline has, not even close. And gas is easily transported and very safe (relative).
      You are being lied too, sorry.

  14. Reminds me of the shell kits once available for VW bugs, the original bugs. There were some around, so someone was buying them. Unlike the VW, truly classic cars defeat their own purpose with such. There’s not the least thing classic about an EV chassis SS of any kind. Or vintage Mustang, or Corvette, or Thunderbird.

  15. I can’t help but believe that F150-class trucks will be the EV Waterloo, miserable failures, including the F150 “Lightning” itself.

    Of course, at first, the only people taking delivery will be the “Show ya” demographic with more money than brains, able to rationalize and pay the true eventual $100k+ delivery cost of the vehicles just to prove their point to friends and family. For about the first year, the kabuki will appear to work.

    “Electric trucks aren’t practical.”

    “Show ya.” [ Vroooom ]

  16. The good news is all this stuff will fail. Agenda 2030 has a built-in self-destruct mechanism as stated at the opening of the World Economic Forum’s predictions for 2030 video, “You will own nothing…and you will be happy”.

    Less than a week ago our three year old grandson was happy to get HIS shirt for Christmas. He wanted to put it on immediately and wear it proudly as HIS. It’s human nature and that is what these authoritarians don’t understand. Why? Because they, themselves, have no “humanity”.

    The bad news is this insanity will continue to be forced upon the human race until it all blows up, either literally or figuratively. Buy seeds, plant a garden, raise chickens, ducks and bees. Keep your powder dry.

    It’s going to be a bumpy ride.

  17. ‘the electrical androgenization of a 1972 Chevy El Camino SS’ — eric

    From ICE to pseudo-EV: the automotive equivalent of gender transitioning.

    Unfortunately the result is about as appealing as Admiral Rachel Levine.

    And you don’t wanna see what’s under the hood … :-0

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