PCH, Electric Edition: Electric Escort or Lectric Leopard?

Illustration for article titled PCH, Electric Edition: Electric Escort or Lectric Leopard?

We're not really surprised that the goat-damaged Torino fastback trounced the Katrina Special Road Runner in yesterday's Choose Your Eternity poll; after all, it's not fair to put a Malaise Era car up against a 60s fastback. Today we're going to get all green on your fossil-fuel-swilling asses and make you choose between a couple of cool- yet totally nightmarish- electric cars! We'd all love driving a Tesla, of course, but why pay all that money when you can build your own DC demon?


First up is this electrified '89 Ford Escort. It may not look like much, but this car was converted by Sandia National Laboratories, of nuclear weapons fame. Yes, atomic scientists were involved here, so we figure this Escort probably has an experimental superconducting motor that belts out at least 1,000 horses, not to mention its own liquid-sodium-cooled breeder reactor in the back supplying the electrons. Well, maybe not; all the seller tells us is the short-and-to-the-point statement "needs work." For $499, that description covers all you need to know. But just imagine this thing packed to the rafters with all the surplus NiMH laptop batteries you can find in bulk, feeding 880 volts to an electric motor the size of a 55-gallon drum... through the front wheels. Look out!

If you're willing to pay a bit more (top bid is $1035 at the time of this writing), you could go French with your Tesla-whuppin' electric machine. That's right, here's your chance to purchase an actual 1980 Lectric Leopard! Based on the Renault Le Car, the Leopard has achieved cult status among electric car aficionados, so right there you'd have a network of folks to share your pain give you helpful tips as you wrench on your new silent ride. This one needs new batteries and has no paperwork, but don't let that deter you from dropping an atomic bid on it ASAP! Think of the shocked bystanders at the dragstrip when you show up with your Lectric Leopard stuffed with thousands of fire-prone lithium ion cordless-tool batteries and proceed to torque-steer your way to glory!

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Renault please! I have fond memories of this vehicle in Spain and electric? I'd love to engage in this automotive hell! By the way folks, if you can't post comments, I found a work around while the glitches are solved. If you try to log in when posting a comment, it won't work. At the top of the homepage type in your login info and you will be able to post or google your screenname and log in that way.