This guy bought a Ferrari 308 in an auction only to find out it was electric
He says, "It was unexpected"
We all love auctions, especially ones that involve exotic cars like RM Sotheby's. Although, this wasn't Sotheby's, a man named Drew Gill was thrilled to buy a restored Ferrari 308 GTS for $77,000 which was quite a bargain.
However, he was in for a shock when he looked into the engine bay.
The 308 GTE before restoration. Image from CNN
The previous owner had stripped out the 2.9L V8 and replaced it with an electric motor.
The model he bought was actually a resto-modded 308 GTS, also known as the 308 GTE (for GT Electric). The 308 GTE started its life as a normal 308 GTS, however was seriously modded after a tragic engine fire
With the electronics and the motor impossible to repair, the car was being sold as scrap and parts, and was purchased by Eric Hutchison for $10,000.
When Hutchison examined the car, the situation was worse than expected. All the rubber parts had melted, any glass was shattered, and the majority of the engine was deemed unusable.
After 2 years of labor the 308 GTS was finally restored, but under a new guise.
Hutchison replaced the completely destroyed powertrain with three electric motors and three batteries to power the car instead of buying a new 308 GTS engine. Two batteries sit where the oil tank used to be in a L shaped configuration, while the other sits on the front of the car.
The batteries deliver 30 kilowatts of power to a 2,000-amp triple electric motor located where the V8 engine was housed. Hutchison matched the three electric motors to a five speed G50 Porsche gearbox. According to him, he says giving a gearbox increases efficiency and the fun.
The areas of the body damaged by the fire has been, both the interior and the exterior gifted a fresh look.
Hutchison states that "There's something very calming about sitting in a car when it's not making any engine noise."
The car doesn't scream like a psychopath even if you slam the accelerator. All you can hear is the low hum of the electric motors. But still, one might wonder how it actually drives.
Surprisingly, it is quite fast. Top Gear America had tested this 308 GTE and a normal GTS on a track, and the 308 GTE was 10 seconds faster than the original car. It isn't just a straight line monster, but quick in the turns too.
According to Hutchison, "The adrenaline of getting in an electric car with this much power on a Ferrari frame is phenomenal. Indescribable."
After restoring the car, Hutchison decided to sell it in an auction, where the new owner Gill made the purchase for only $77,000.
Gill was thrilled to buy such a wonderful car for a relatively cheap price, until he found out the car was actually electric. Gill reveals, "I didn't know that it was electric when I was bidding on it."
The moment he found out that the car was electric, he wasn't thrilled, he was ecstatic.
He says, "It wasn't making any noise but it was moving and then we sat in the post-bid section where we were discussing the car and I found out there that it was electric and I was even more amped!"
Gill was especially delighted by the prospect of passing strict Californian emission laws and he won't have to face those annoying mechanical problems.
Hutchison believes the future of cars will involve combining newer technology with older, classic vehicles.
He proudly states, "The most satisfying part of the experience is having someone else share the experience of the electric car. A classic car that's 40 years old, it's going to go for 40 more years to share that, to drive it, and to show that elsewhere to other people."