Ferrari’s CEO Sergio Marchionne once said that a Ferrari without an internal combustion engine would be “an obscene concept”.  An American friend of a friend of MotorPunk thinks he knows better. His story starts with a fire-damaged 1978 Ferrari 308GTS. This one, in fact;

Trim bits for classic Ferraris are painfully expensive. So our colonial chum, Eric, whipped out much of the original interior and eBayed it to recoup some costs. The shell got stripped, straightened and repainted. The engine (below) was kippered and thus scrapped and then Eric did something that Meeester Marchionne would consider obscene.

The original V8 engine and drivetrain was replaced with something that gives even more shove; Three AC motors, mated to a Porsche 5 speed G50 manual gearbox, helping to maintain driver involvement and energy efficiency. The motors live off 30kWh batteries which give a range of c.80 miles in the San Diego sunshine. Weight is c.1500Kg, up on the original by just 300Kg, quite an achievement for an EV when you consider the Tesla S is 2100Kg. The equivalent power from this sparky 308 is now 415BHP, and there’s space for more batteries (which means even more oomph).

It’s not unreasonable to expect that the purists at Ferrari-felcher weekly would spit their Triple, Venti, Soy, No Foam Latte out in despair at seeing one of Maranello’s machines modified this way. Actually, the response from fans of the marque has been fantastic, and deservedly so. Aside from the engineering achievement we applaud the skill taken in retaining Pininfarina’s beautiful lines and carefully mating it with modern technology. OK, we prefer our alloys in silver, but check the standard of the interior.

Eric took the electric 308 to Laguna Seca for a shakedown, and to join a race event for EVs. Racing modern classics with big and tweakable power (from electric) is something to be celebrated. It reminds us of classic BTCC. This car was rescued from the scrapper and turned into something fun, and then raced. A magnificent achievement.

Visually there’s little to give the game away, apart from the lack of ‘pipes. It’s even road legal (check the ‘308 EV’ plate). Marchionne might call it obscene but even the staunchest of Luddites at MotorPunk HQ loves Eric’s electric 308.

Want to electrify your own classic? Here’s how; HOW TO DESIGN AND BUILD AN ELECTRIC CAR OR VEHICLE

Pics; Eric, Douglas Sonders (thanks).

About The Author

Rich Duisberg

Rich Duisberg* has had work published in Classic & Sportscar, Practical Performance Car, Modern Mini, Banzai, MogMag, Evo, GT Porsche, Complete Kit Car, Absolute Lotus, Alternative Cars, Classic Retro Modern, and elsewhere. Rich often appears on CBS’s XCAR and Carfection channels, and Motors TV, plus JayEmm on Cars, enthusing about historic motoring. His latest book (find his work on Amazon) was described by SniffPetrol as "hilarious", although he was also threatened with legal action by elderly DJ Tim Westwood. In his Midlands man cave is a 1972 Fiat 500, a Lotus Elise, a BMW barge and a vintage Royal Enfield pushbike. Previous machines of interest include an Mk1 MX5 (owned for 14 years!), an Alfa GTV6, a Porsche 968 and a Sinclair C5. The Metro (right) was bought for an experiment, and abandoned in Africa. "I am not getting in a car with him" -  said Le Mans winner, Derek Bell. *A nom-de-plume inspired by the BBC's League of Gentlemen.

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