“This’ll be worth something, someday,” is a phrase I’ve heard many times at auto shows, when onlookers point at the latest and greatest what-have-you and imagine rolling it out of their garage in 40 years to the tune of a huge payday. Besides being a silly way to think of vehicles, what if in a few decades it’s just a pain in the butt to run a car with an internal combustion engine?
We can debate that point until Kevin Costner rescues us with a Jetski, but here’s something to consider: there are actually a number of pretty desirable classic cars that happen to run on electricity, happen to be inexpensive, and happen to be rare.
Why not put a few in your stable before they’re tough to get ahold of?
Want one of the first serially-produced electric sports cars in the world? Find a Fétish, which entered production 10 years ago in 2006. (For what it’s worth, I still consider it to be one of the prettiest modern vehicles.) The blue concept was first shown in 2002, and the car is thankfully both quick and has a competitive range: at most, 211 miles.
Power in later cars was up to 295 horsepower; it’s said to drive well, too. If it’s what “classic” cars will look like in 2050, we’ll be in good shape…though, sadly, Venturi itself isn’t exactly making thousands of new sports cars at the moment.
You’re looking at, perhaps, the world’s most desirable classic electric car. Not only is it a machine more rare than most Ferraris, but it was the first genuine attempt at an everyday classic, from the era that we all love so much—the late ’50s and early ’60s.
In 1959, American businessman Russell Feldman realized he owned both Exide Batteries and the former Packard coachbuilder Henney. He was also, conveniently, president of the National Union Electric Corporation. He was well aware of the success of very early electric cars, and figured that with a light enough body and advances in then-modern battery technology, the Kilowatt could become a regular fixture on American roads.
One hundred of Renault’s small Dauphine were shipped sans moteur to Henney, where the cars fitted with batteries and an electric motor. How many are left? Roughly 12 in various states of disrepair, with two in drivable condition. C’mon, wouldn’t one be the perfect Icon Derelect?