Mostly, I’ve sat sullenly while motoring enthusiasts go on about electrifying classics. And the reason being is I hate the notion, but the case for a far-gone classic being resuscitated with an electric powertrain is a humane one, and pretty hard to argue with. It’s like hot-rodding. Anyone who takes a lovely Model A Ford and slams and chops it and spreads it with fire decals is committing a grave trespass, but when said Model A Ford was just a rusting, fenderless hulk in a barn? It’s great to see it come back from the grave with a wacky new look.
Electrification of classic cars will create a new genre of classics, a genre which I still won’t love, but one that’s probably just as much a part of the colourful motoring world as hot-roddery.
So if you’re taking a truly hopeless old car, and infusing it with electricity, fine. However. There’s plenty of arguments about, gunning generally for the flawed but beautiful engines of classic cars themselves, that I'm well and truly over.
"MILLENNIALS WANT THE CLASSIC CAR EXPERIENCE, WITH MORE ENVIRONMENTAL AWARENESS"
People who speak gravely about Millennials and the fact they always quit jobs, and like avocados instead of cars, and how this spells ruin for life as we know it, have failed to understand that Millennials are one generation.
And if we vandalised artefacts to cater to the whims of each new generation, we’d have ruined countless things. You’d not just find lime benches in dark-bricked ‘70s houses. You’d find them in old homesteads and art deco apartments.
It’s exactly why heritage-listing exists. To stop people ruining old things with current obsessions.
And anyway, the cows of Great Britain puff out far more CO2 than the classic cars that get wheeled out for weekend runs. Replacing classic car engines to cool down the globe is like solving world hunger by going without morning tea.
"EV POWERTRAINS MAKE CLASSIC CARS BETTER, MORE RELEVANT, AND MORE ENJOYABLE"
Undoubtedly. Just like replacing the steam boiler from Flying Scotsman with a Hitachi motor would make it go better.
There’s so many ways we can make classic cars better. We could add crumple zones, we could snap the leaping cat moniker off the front to make it easier on the foolish pedestrian; we could even stiffen the body rigidity with superior materials and advanced manufacturing methods.
And we have. They’re called modern cars.
"IT'S NOT YOUR CAR. STOP JUDGING WHAT PEOPLE DO WITH THEIR OWN CARS"
The favourite argument of people who have been to a tattoo parlour, had their eyeballs graffitied, emerged an assault on everyone else’s, and then gone on a TV show to talk about their struggle with the world not unanimously loving the look.
When someone buys a 1954 Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Gullwing with their own millions, and then elects to give it a Nissan Leaf engine, cover it with Anime stickers, and most monstrous of all, put Chevy badges on it – well, yes, it’s their money, their car, and their choice. I can’t call the police.
But I am going to call it idiotic. And guess what? It’s my mouth. Stop judging what I do with it.