GM’s EV1 electric car is a real milestone in the history of EVs. In fact, I’ve pegged it as the car that started our current electric car renaissance era. I’m also the only Jalopnik writer to have actually driven an EV1, as far as I know. Plus, the vast majority of EV1s were crushed by GM around 2003, with about 40 drivetrain-removed ones being donated to museums and universities. Very few seem to have survived. That’s why when one pops up for sale on Facebook Marketplace, it’s a big deal. I’m just not sure the ad is real, though, but the car is, and it’s an especially interesting one.
A reader named Steven sent us this ad, which now appears to be gone, though it’s preserved in the metaphorical amber of screenshots:
I think the ad is fake because of lines like “from what I heard my car was pretty rare” and “please no low ballers.” Anyone with an EV1 would, as is said in the native Craigslistese, “know what they got” and all of this seems to be just a goofy joke done by some mischievous gearhead, perhaps with the goal of having this featured on some high-visibility automotive ... website ... hey.
Well played, “Colin JM.” Well played.
But, really, the goofy ad isn’t the real story here; the real story is the car in those pictures, which our man Steve already dug into a bit, doing a reverse-image search that led him to a website dedicated to keeping the few surviving EV1s alive.
The car in the ad — the British Racing Green one missing most of its front bodywork — seems to have a name: the Beata EV1.
Here’s what the site says about the car:
The Beata Collection’s EV1 ...
... is made from over fifty (50) different EV1 parts sources to date, and, at 80% complete is getting closer to free-range every year. We are currently (as always) searching for a number of OEM parts and always appreciate leads for same. Here is a list in order of importance of the parts we would like to obtain to help bring our chassis a bit closer to survivor status.
We already have parts from all three versions of the EV1, including the ‘94 LPF4 PreView ‘Impact’ series (Limited Production Fleet), and the ‘97 and ‘99 production EV1 badged vehicles.
The Beata EV1 is usually in some sort of flux, building and/or rebuilding one system or another. Currently we are working on RXT-G style series-hybrid modifications (see this site’s prototypes section) as well as several other wiring and systems projects.
So, it appears that the car shown in the ads is actually the Beata Collection’s (which seems to be a private collection of ‘90s-early 2000s-era EVs based in Vail, Colorado) car, which seems to be an EV1 chassis that is being painstakingly rebuilt with scrounged surviving OEM parts, and with the goal of one day becoming a complete, drivable car.
I reached out to the Beata Collection, and got this response confirming that, no, they’re not selling the car:
Those pics are indeed taken from our site, but not from us. It is a scam ... $15k … they could at least be more creative than that. We are not on facebook but you are welcome to flag it as a scam and request it be removed.
As for project updates, our web site is, unfortunately, software corrupted and has not been updated in many years (old stuff). No project updates available as we are not interested in net publicity.
Thanks for the alert, shame on all the scammers out there. Keep up the good work on all things EVs.
As far as the likelihood of the Beata Collection getting this EV1 operational again, I bet they can pull it off. Based on what I can tell, they seem to be extremely knowledgeable about EV1s and have what may be the best supply and network of parts access anywhere, including original factor tools like this one:
If anyone can pull this off, I bet these kooks can.
Based on all this, I don’t see that ad being real. But the car in the ad, well that is clearly very real, and far more interesting than some fake Facebook Marketplace ad, which turned out to be how I found out about this car and collection, so, if you’re looking for a justification to place fake car ads in Facebook Marketplace, I guess there you go.