Johnny Cash's Rolls-Royce now has Tesla power
It might look like an authentic 70s Silver Shadow, but underneath it's anything but...
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.
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
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.