Classic cars can be beautiful and exciting to drive, but pollute and are difficult to maintain. Moment Motor Company, based in Austin, Texas, electrifies classic vehicles, making them cleaner, easier to maintain and more fun to drive. Auto Futures interviews founder, Marc Davis, who reveals how the company is electrifying classic cars and trucks.
” I’m a technician. I went to engineering school and then I got into the software industry. I spent all my time in my garage on weekends and evenings working on my classic cars on the side. When I’m late in my 40s, I want to do something that I’m passionate about and passionate about,” says Davis, who previously ran tech companies.
The trend of secondary market electrification has changed. Previously, enthusiasts electrified cars to make them clean. Now they can buy an inexpensive used electric vehicle, Davis says.
The trend has changed for classic car enthusiasts who “want something with character and soul, but don’t want to maintain a classic car or smell the exhaust”.
When classic cars sit in the garage too long, they sit and rot and get worse and worse, Davis says.
“We are removing the transmission and anything that can cause issues and maintenance issues. So you now have access to this beautiful car.
The environmental impact of classic cars is significant. The company has converted several cars from customers who love cars but can’t stand the smell of exhaust fumes when they know they’re polluting the atmosphere, he says.
How timing makes the difference with electrification
Moment Motor Company has several ways to electrify a vehicle. To retain the original sport/classic driving style, they retain the original transmission and clutch or use a direct drive system.
“In my 1973 electrified Alfa Romeo GT, we kept the original transmission. It still drives and functions like the original car with much more torque and more power. It’s amazing,” says Davis.
It drives much more like it was originally designed. Although the shifting is similar to the shifting on the original, there is no going down hills when shifting.
“The only difference between this and a combustion engine is that the electric motor doesn’t have to idle, so you only need to use the clutch when shifting from one gear to another.
“Whenever you want, you can throw it in first gear. Rip tires, break people’s necks and have fun with all that torque. Or you can just leave it in third gear, especially around town and not have to manage gear changes,” he says.
The other option is to skip the transmission using a simple gear reduction unit which is essentially a direct-drive motor, Davis says.
“In this car, you get in, you hit the pedal and you go. It’s absolutely crazy.
Preserving works of art
The company focuses on keeping the balance the same and as close to the original as possible. They distribute the battery front and rear; mounted just above the rear axle to give it as much balance as possible.
The company electrifies all kinds of classic cars, from sports cars to trucks. Customers enjoy conversions of 1961 Austin Healey 3000, 1965 Alfa Romeo Giulia Sprint GT, 1963 GMC Truck, 1982 Toyota Hilux, 1965 International Scout, 1972 Blazer, 1967 Mercedes 250SL, 1985 BMW 635CSi, 1948 Chevy Stylemaster and classic DeLorean.
The company has also electrified Porsche and Cobra replicas.
“You keep works of art. You drive a car that you are passionate about,” Davis says.
“You can’t transform the car into a modern vehicle”
Moment uses special modular motors, reusable modular battery boxes and modular motor mounting systems. The modules are all tested and are in several different vehicles and have different configurations, says Davis.
“Then custom engineering happens when we make a new car that we’ve never made before. It then becomes a library of parts that we can use the next time someone wants to make the same car.
Sometimes customers come in who own a classic vehicle or with what Davis says is a car in their hearts. The company also helps customers select a car for modifications.
Since the components must fit into the bodywork of combustion engine cars, they can have battery ranges ranging from 75-100 miles at the lower end up to around 175-200 miles. The price depends on the vehicle and can range from $50,000 to $150,000. If the company has experience in modernizing the model, the whole process can take three to five months or up to a year for other models.
Davis asks customers how they plan to use the electrified vehicle and alerts them to safety issues.
“For highway travel and transporting children, we need to remind them to remember the age of the car. We cannot add airbags. We cannot transform the car into a modern vehicle,” he says.
In the future, Moment Motor Company plans to offer more services.
“We have customers interested in a set of cars. We will start doing more through our relationships with restaurateurs. We hope to be able to provide some sort of nut soup solution,” Davis says.