The world of the annual SEMA aftermarket parts and custom car show is a gasoline-lovers wonderland, where petty real-world necessities like fuel economy and affordability are left at the door. Yet green, alternative-fuel vehicles have been slowly working their way onto the show floor, include 1965 Ford Mustang with a home-built electric conversion.
Built by Larry Gareffas, the project started out as your standard resto-mod with a 347 cubic-inc V8 stroker engine under the hood. But as the project neared completion, Gareffas changed course, opting to replace the big V8 with an electric motor and a bank of 12-volt car batteries, using his own talents and off-the-shelf parts to do the conversion.
It took Gareffas eight months to finish the conversion, using an elevator motor for propulsion connected to the original 3-speed manual transmission the Mustang came with. With just 30 miles of range and the same performance as a six-cylinder Mustang, the result is underwhelming, though the ambitious builder hoped to land a few big-name sponsors at SEMA to finance a lithium-ion battery pack and a better motor.
There have been other electric Mustang conversions before, though this is by far one of the cleanest, primitive battery and motor technology aside. We’ve all seen how fast electric cars can go when built right, and I for one would love to see an electric Mustang conversion with better performance than even the big-block V8 models. Is Larry Gareffas the guy to do it?
Pictures: Tom Bobolts