Car Revival According to Tesla

Frankencars are built from the parts of several cars to make one usable vehicle. [Jim Belosic] has crossed the (finish) line with his Teslonda. In the most basic sense, it is the body of a Honda Accord on top of the drive train of a Tesla Model S. The 1981 Honda was the make and model of his first car, but it wasn’t getting driven. Rather than sell it, he decided to give it a new life with electricity, just like Victor Frankenstein.

In accord with Frankenstein’s monster, this car has unbelievable strength. [Jim] estimates the horsepower increases by a factor of ten over the gas engine. The California-emissions original generates between forty and fifty horsepower while his best guess places the horsepower over five-hundred. At this point, the Honda body is just holding on for dear life. Once all the safety items, like seatbelts, are installed, the driver and passengers will be holding on for the same reason.

This kind of build excites us because it takes something old, and something modern, and marries the two to make something in a class of its own. And we hate to see usable parts sitting idle.

Without a body, this electric car scoots around with its driver all day, and this Honda doesn’t even need the driver inside.

44 thoughts on “Car Revival According to Tesla

  1. Thanks Brian McEvoy,
    Been thinking on this re a Holden Barina/Opel we took the
    petrol engine out of, could be fun if only more time…

    I must I must collect more laptop batteries, house them, arrange
    suitable safety electronics and do a Tesla mass of em etc

    A good thang project would be an adaptive battery tester that
    reports battery change as well as capacity in Ahrs and reports
    its charge/discharge efficiencies as well as track it via barcode
    ie prints new barcode for each battery and tracks it via scan
    when its returned for confirmation suitability…

      1. Hmmm, since no change to the body structural integrity then I am guessing not an issue.
        Though I do concede the engine and the pattern of its mounting might well offer stiffness
        as part exploit to increase crash worthiness and seems logical for structural engineering
        to maximise that without additional members. Good point, will review that, I imagine more
        triangle fractals around the electric motor ;-)

          1. Here’s a beautiful restoration/conversion of an old VW Beetle. Its a HUGE project, not for the faint hearted. Many car conversions have ended in divorce so keep that in mind. (keep the wife involved so she doesn’t think the car is your new mistress) It’s well worth the trouble, though, if you are mechanically inclined and love make stuff. If not, just go with a used Nissan LEAF. Its an excellent EV at a wonderful used cost. <$9000. (not as cool as a classic car conversion though) … Yes, the host in this video played the part of Kryton in the British Sci-Fi series Red Dwarf. :-) 🦊

  2. Love the drivetrain, the front end makes me itch – pretty close to a suicide front axle there and not even control arms to stabilize the solid axle.

    Holy….it kinda is (yes, I realize a true suicide FE has a transverse front spring):

    “So, Belosic sourced the front steering and suspension parts used on Fords between 1928 and 1941 to make it all fit.

    The Ford straight axle and leaf springs took up far less space in the front of the car than the stock Honda parts. The new assembly moved the front suspension further inboard and made the front steering radius a bit tighter. Yet actually turning the car will take some effort. A manual steering box from a Chevrolet Vega was found to mate with the rest of the Teslonda’s front end, and it takes a full five turns to go from lock to lock.”

    If he drives that much, he’s going to have arms like Popeye.

    1. Clearly you have little experience with driving cars with out power assisted steering. Appears that this car will end up being lighter than four door sedan from the 50s and 60s, so the steering is going to be fairly effortless, so the the turns lock to lock is a non issue.

    1. With several hp it just can’t classify as a “bike”…that’s a motorbike, just…very light…

      100kW (even if only peak) with sub-200 pounds is just electric-powered insanity :D

    2. So basically a motorcycle without the same reinforced frame, wheels, contact patches, etc–sounds like a really bad idea.

      But I’d love to build a proper electric motorcycle. Here’s what I don’t understand–Almost all the electric motorcycle builds I’ve seen simply replace the gas engine with an electric motor and are done with it. Still driven by a chain, still rear-wheel drive. Still even has a gas tank for some reason.Why not put the motors in the wheels and make it all-wheel drive? Get rid of the tank and other useless junk to move the CoG way down low? I haven’t found any builds which do that yet. I really don’t get it, why keep all the disadvantages of the gas motor? Seems like a big lack of imagination.

      1. Other than the crazy power/weight ratio, lack of signals and non-ideal suspension, they’re just as safe as crotch rockets. A motorbike’s larger frame is just due to weight (4x as much).

        Unsprung weight is why hub motors are a bad idea. You’ll wipe out on every corner with every bump.

        Dual wheel drive is not worth the weight or cost considering the rear wheel will be doing 99% of the work anyway.

        Production bikes unfortunately have to comply to DoT rules made for heavier bikes. That’s why they’re all expensive and heavy. Electric bicycles don’t, so are better. Unfortunately they have even more nonsensical prices than E-motorcycles.

      2. The chain drive has quite good efficiency – that’s the reason it is used on bicycles with their very limited power. Having the motor in the wheel (hub motor) sounds good until you drive it. I once tried an electric scooter-motorbike, I thought about buying. The hub motor has quite a high (unsprung!) mass, even at only 5kW and you need gears anyway, otherwise it will get even more heavy. One strength of an electric motor lies in it’s high revs because there are no oscillating pistons. That allows you to get quite high power out of small, light motors. They can do 20000rpm if you want. But you need gears: Even with quite small wheels with a circumference of 1,5m you would go supersonic with 20000rpm at the wheel: Around 1800km/h or near Mach 1,5.

  3. This article reminds me of these guys
    http://www.lefthandutes.com/
    who are taking a Pontiac GTO, a Pontiac G8 or a Chevy SS/Caprice (the US market versions of the sedan/coupe vehicles built by GM Holden in Australia) and putting the body of the Australian market pickup truck (or Ute as us Aussies call it) and produce the closest thing its possible to get in the US to a modern version of the Chevy El Camino…

      1. I Understand your concerns :) … However if it is any consolation the car was a burnt out hulk and was pretty much destined for the scrap yard…Thus no Ferraris were harmed during the electric transplant. I guess one way to think about it is that the car was resurrected …Franken-Ferrari perhaps …

        1. Yes please don’t hurt working classics to make your electric cars. Also HaD article on keeping our old cars going without fossil fuels and without hardware changes (making the magic fluids)

  4. Not too long ago an individual in NJ wanted to own an EV converted Delorian. However he already owned a fuel powered one and did not want to convert it. He promptly bought one with a seized engine. And promptly converted it, it uses the powerplant from a Baker lifttruck (fork lift) and its batteries and even the ESC functions for it.

    And why not do one about the guy who “got root”: on the Linux system who manages most of these Telsa designs?

  5. From all that I’ve read, this is a big upgrade in the reliability and fit-and-finish departments, I bet the doors of that old honda are better aligned and smoother than the doors of the tesla, and the radio probably works a lot better, too.

    1. When I get spare time and cash, I’ve been kicking around the idea of grabbing one of these drivetrains and dropping it into some kind of off-road buggy (like the Ariel Nomad – properly capable!). The (relatively) cheap source of utterly unreasonable amounts of torque gets me all worked up just thinking about it! (And i can deal with a reduced/old battery pack since I probably won’t be making cross-country off-road trips in my buggy).

      1. I doubt anyone will be replicating first overland on electric for a while
        note to electric car people keep your nice grease and oil free hands away from land rovers (Defenders and pre 2000s only-don’t care outside of that)

  6. Respectfully while I appreciate the effort that went into my build, but IMO the result is a poor implementation of a street/strip car. While I never seen anything to use a reference to judge the ride height by it appears the headlight could be annoying to other drivers. Where narrowing the track of the rear axle would be difficult fairings over the rear tires is in order.

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