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's drivel regularly appears in Practical Performance Car and GT Porsche magazines. He has also written for Classic & Sportscar, MogMag, Classic Performance and Retro, Banzai, Evo, and Modern Mini. He also did a book no-one bought. His hungover fizzog also often appears on CBS’s Carfection channel enthusing about historic motoring. Le Mans winner Derek Bell once refused to get in Rich's Morgan Three Wheeler with him at the wheel. Currently amongst the detritus in his garage is a 1972 Fiat 500 Abarth, a fat BMW and a Lotus Elise. Previous machinery includes a Porsche 968, an Alfa GTV V6 and a dreadful Sinclair C5. He also owns a vintage Royal Enfield pushbike.

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