Wednesday, June 5, 2019

Pepto Abysmal: 1979 Avanti converted to Electric

This next car is an interesting combination of new and old.  Of eclectic and electric. Of forward thinking and green style. Of pink and blue.  Yes.  Somebody put a Studebaker Avanti body on top of a Nissan Leaf chassis and I don't know if I should be excited or disgusted. Find this 1979 Avanti converted to Electric Leaf offered for $23000 in Pembina, ND via craigslist. Tip from Adam.

From the seller:
1979 Avanti converted to Electric 
VIN: RQ-B-2887 
condition: like new 
cylinders: other 
drive: fwd 
fuel: electric 
odometer: 20542 
paint color: custom 
size: compact 
title status: clean 
transmission: other 
type: coupe 

Avanti converted to totally electric car. A 2013 Nissan Leaf was the donor vehicle. The unibody was converted to a framed vehicle and the one-piece Avanti fibreglass body placed on to the new chassis. Leaf motor/trans-axle, inverter, charger etc were used. The new vehicle is a 2013 Nissan Leaf with an Avanti body. The new car has the Leaf dash and all electronics. Heater/AC, navigation system instrument cluster etc are all Leaf. It retains the Leaf charging system with the 110v and 240v charging port in the Avanti gas filler space. It also has a 440v supercharger port under the hood for 80% charge in 30 minutes. Range is the same as a 2013 Nissan Leaf .. about 85 miles. I have auxiliary charging cords so I can charge with any 110v outlet or any 220 v outlet: recreational park plug, electric dryer plug, welder plug etc. The “new” vehicle drives exactly like a 2013 Nissan Leaf as all suspension and steering components are 2013 Leaf. So, of course, it has front wheel drive, Leaf electric steering, two calliper disc brakes etc. The battery is under the floorboards, as the Leaf, still easily removable from underneath.There is room for a full sized spare in the factory Avanti spare tire well, under the trunk ... accessed from the trunk. All LED lights, cruise control, horn, wipers 
etc controlled by the factory Nissan steering column switches.

There are hundreds of sophisticated modifications too numerous to mention .. all done with precision and care. Under 20,000 miles on this virtually new car.

In 1963 Ian Fleming owned an Avanti (said it drove better than an Aston Martin DB7). So as an homage to the“James Bond” author, I have installed a smoke screen machine, flipping licence plates and machine guns which are hidden behind the front signal lights. All are controlled remotely so they can be operated form outside or inside the car.

The Glass is all perfect, the body has never been smashed, all chrome redone, paint was done in 2000. It looks good, but upon close scrutiny you can see it is not show car paint, but that being said I took first place at the “World of Wheels” competition as “ The Most Innovative Vehicle”. The car is a big hit at any car show, always gathering a crowd. No one wants to look at a $150,000 Tesla, they want to see the “one of a kind” Electric Avanti.

The 1979 Avanti was originally a Hawaii car I bought from the original owner in 1997 and used it for years until I did the conversion in 2016. 

I have spent over $90,000 doing the conversion but upcoming medical expenses dictate a sale. It was a tough decision between my 57 T-Bird and the Avanti. I have had the T-bird longer and my wife wants to keep it. My name is Lloyd, I’m 72 years old. I have many pictures during construction and an intimate knowledge of everything to do with the build of this one-of-a-kind vehicle. A first place plaque, show description poster and “build book”, with all pictures and details go with the sale.
do NOT contact me with unsolicited services or offers

 See a stranger thing with 4 wheels?


  1. What kind of demented Ayahuasca DMT taking JPL engineer built this?????

  2. Is this what hot rodding is going to become in 50 years if we run out of fossil fuels? Instead of pulling 350 small blocks or 2JZs from the junk yard, people will be looking for a full Prius, Leaf, or Tesla chassis in a running donor? I'll be glad to be dead by then. If I'm not dead, at least I'll be too old to drive.

    I was following the plot until it got to the part about the Ian Fleming homage. That's when the crazy train really went off the rails.

    This guy gets an "A" for effort (and probably for skillful execution as well), but he still doesn't get forgiven for destroying an Avanti. I can appreciate the work in this car, but you can't make me like it. To me, the modern dash is the worst part. The original was fantastic:

    [image src="" width="400px"/]

  3. I have to wonder if the builder was a rabid Gattaca fan. Somebody remind him it was supposed to be a dystopia.

    1. At least we have electric powered classic cars in our soon to be dystopia. Or something like that.

    2. always dug that citreon.

    3. Would take the DS ID Decapotable with or without Uma.

  4. Hahahaha!! This is the probably the best automotive thing I have ever seen. All the kudos to this man and I hope he gets his price to finance his medical treatments.

  5. So, you already know what I am going to say..... Geo Metro. OK, we're done!

    On the other hand, I could be interested in that Avanti chassis with the Nissan Leaf body. I think you can see it parked in his driveway in the photo with the body on the crane....

  6. Hey it was 1979 Avanti 2 not an original Studebaker Avanti so it was sort of an abomination to start with.

  7. I could never chop the top on a ‘34 Ford, but man I would love to own one. Could never cut up an Avanti, but if I hadn’t just bought a ‘66 Jag I would be considering this.

    Have a friend that hot rodded a Leaf. Man does that thing move.

    Would want a different color and figure out how to integrate some of the original knobs and levers.

    Wonder how finished it looks on close inspection? Gota hand it to this fellow. He didn’t put an old and tired Avanti on the side of the house to rot away, he followed his vision. My hats off to the gentleman.

  8. That there is some radical Mary Kaye cosmetology


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