- Image: Shift EV

Johnny Cash's Rolls-Royce now has Tesla power

It might look like an authentic 70s Silver Shadow, but underneath it's anything but...

4w ago

17.3K

Converting classic cars to electric powertrains has become somewhat of an emerging trend in recent years. We've seen everything from classic Fiat 500s to old-school Ferraris and Lamborghinis being given the EV treatment. This one, however, is what I think is one of the best ways to make yourself an electrically-powered classic car. Not only is this a 1970s Rolls-Royce Silver Shadow, the epitome of smooth and silent luxury back in its day, but it's one that was owned by the music legend that is Johnny Cash. Whilst the Shad originally was indeed a pretty quiet and refined beast back in the 70s and still is very much to this day, Shift EV decided to take that one step further and stick a Tesla drivetrain in it.

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The story behind why this conversion happened is that at 50 years old and with 130,000 miles on the clock, this old Roller desperately needed a mechanical overhaul. But, as you may well know if you're a Rolls or a Bentley fan, that's something that costs rather a lot of money. So instead of attempting to restore and rebuild the original mechanical parts, Shift EV just decided to strip down a brand new Tesla Model S 75D and put all the tech and running gear into the Rolls-Royce.

With the new drivetrain installed, Shift EV now had to think of solutions to make sure that the inside of the car looked as much like it did when it came out of the factory as possible. This led to a very interesting solution where the Tesla screens, including the big tablet-style display right in the middle of the dashboard, were placed in the boot so the classic Rolls-Royce dials and gauges didn't have to be removed. Shift EV also had to alter the housing of the battery pack slightly so it could fit under the Shad's floor.

Image: Shift EV

Image: Shift EV

Say what you want about EVs and EV conversions of classic cars, you have to admit that this is definitely the most appropriate vehicle for an EV conversion. The Rolls-Royce Silver Shadow was already an incredibly sumptuous, luxurious and refined way to get around. Why not make it even more so by adding the near-silence of an electric powertrain? It seems like a no-brainer, really. Hopefully, thanks to its new electric heart, this absolutely beautiful piece of British engineering will carry on going for another 130,000 miles.

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Comments (27)

  • Sacrilege!

      1 month ago
  • They EVd Johnny Cash's Roller! Couldn't've they taken a regular one? Cash's should be in a Museum or in a collector's garage! Not modernized!

      1 month ago
    • A lot of classic Rollers and Bentleys are restomodded or at least drivetrain-swapped because the original drivetrain is a money pit to keep going. Also it was clearly done with the approval of Cash's family because Cash's family are...

      Read more
        1 month ago
  • 😥

      1 month ago
  • I would love an electric Citroën DS, the origial powertrain is too weak anyway so might as well replace it, plus it will only complement that amazing magic carpet ride gliding along in silence

      27 days ago
  • I can’t decide whether it’s good/bad.

    Good because it’ll have some serious pace and be quiet like a roller should be and bad because you shouldn’t do this to certain classics!

      1 month ago
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