Paul Jolly: Electric classic cars are fine - but not if they are silent

Torbay Weekly

The world of ‘restomod’ or restoring and modernising classic cars has its origins in the 1930s when big V8s were dropped into Model T Fords in California.

For purists however, any interference with a car’s originality can be deemed as blasphemy and I kind of sit in the middle of this.

There is no doubt that cars of the 1950s and 1960s were very hard work to live with despite the rose-tinted glasses.

The glove box was aptly named. Cars were cold and even if fitted with a heater, an option on most cars, the time taken to get any kind of warmth and screen clearance was longer than the average commute.

A wet November evening was not fun with single speed wipers barely skimming the glass and constantly misting up windows.

Specialist firms as well as original manufacturers have stepped in to take advantage of the demand for these beauties that are actually better built than the originals.

Now with increased performance, better suspension, brakes and creature comforts, they are altogether safer places to be in as well.

If you have the cash, then a modern-day E Type or Aston Martin DB5 can be yours, built at the same original factory but be warned, these cars are multiples of £100,000 each.

The list of ‘restomod’ cars includes the Mini Cooper, Porsche 911, AC Cobra, Ferrari 250 and even a Volvo P1800 as driven by The Saintly Roger Moore.

Even Greta Thunberg might get to drive an all-new electric MGB Roadster at a cool £90,000 or a battery-powered traditional Mini.

Harry and Meghan famously left their wedding in a specially prepared blue E Type convertible which silently wafted them into Windsor Great Park powered purely by battery.

But this is where I draw a line.

These cars should sound like they did in the day. I thoroughly approve of making them safer, more useable, theft proof and economical - but a silent AC Cobra? No, thanks.

I want my cars to tingle the aural senses as well as visual senses and not sound like my old Scalextric set!