Converting a classic Porsche to electric is sacrilege. But then again… –

The original 356 was fitted with disc brakes for much-improved stopping ability compared with drums, but Electrogenic has improved them to give drivers extra confidence to use more of the available power. Brilliantly, regenerative braking has been omitted in this particular model, meaning the motor will not aggressively slow the car once the accelerator has been lifted, thus making one-pedal driving impossible unlike with most EVs.

The costs of such a conversion usually varies between £30,000 and £50,000 depending on the exact car that’s being converted, what sort of extra modifications and add-ons are ordered as well as the battery capacity.

Purists will argue it is sacrilege to strip this authentic, matching-numbers Porsche 356C of its original, fully-working engine and replace it with an electric motor. But as Electrogenic keenly points out, the process is fully reversible – although none of its customers has chosen to do so to date. 

After trying this conversion, it became clear that a great deal of work had been done to retain as much of the original experience as possible without the internal combustion engine and the fuel tank. 

Choosing to go down the path of an electric conversion means effectively trading some of the car’s original experience for a greater degree of usability and access

As owners of classics will be acutely aware, an ageing car requires constant maintenance and due care. Indeed, that might very well be some people’s favourite part of owning an old car, but the reality is that you may often spend more time fixing something than enjoying it on the road.

Fewer mechanical parts and ageing components should in theory mean that maintenance on a converted classic is nowhere near the concern it would be on an original.

It also makes them far easier to live with and use day-to-day. There’s no warm-up period, for example, and plenty of power to keep up with modern cars. Because it’s electric, this 356C is also civilised around town, where many petrol-powered classics can be recalcitrant.

The unstoppable march of time means we are destined to see fewer classic cars on the roads either way. Younger generations tend to choose cars which are easier and simpler to drive, and increasingly lose interest in what’s underneath the bonnet. If electric conversions of classic cars become easier and cheaper to maintain and live with, it might mean more stay on the road.

In the end, the debate boils down to a simple question: keep a car original, or keep it on the road? I know what I prefer.

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