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British company restoring classics with electric power


A British company says it will “preserve the past by embracing the future” by converting high-end classic vehicles to electric power, albeit at a price, a price that begins at £350,000 ($435,625).

“The Lunaz mission is to define the future of classics,” company founder David Lorenz is quoted in the news release. “We preserve the past by embracing the future, making the most beautiful cars in history a relevant proposition.”

1956 Rolls-Royce Cloud begins testing to validate its electric powertrain

“Lunaz is answering the questions of reliability, usability and sustainability with the introduction of pinnacle classic cars, restored and converted to electric powertrains,” the company continued in its announcement of a “completely unique, proprietary powertrain” for vintage vehicles.

Lunaz Design said its technical team is led by former Renault F1 technical director Jon Hilton and includes engineers who formerly worked at Aston Martin, Ferrari, Jaguar, McLaren, Ford and Volkswagen.

Lorenz said he located the company in Silverstone, England, because of Britain’s historic leadership in automotive technology and innovation.

Lunaz said it is working on an eight-seat 1961 Rolls-Royce Phantom V, a 1953 Jaguar XK120 and a 1956 Rolls-Royce Cloud for “market introduction.”

The Phantom is getting a 120 kWH electric powertrain while the Jaguar will be fitted with an 80 kWH unit. The unit in the Jaguar will produce 375 horsepower and 516 pound-feet of torque, the company said.

1953 Jaguar XK120 during the restoration process

“Each classic by Lunaz represents an entirely custom restoration,” the company noted. Cars “are analyzed to the millimeter to ensure Lunaz’s engineers develop the most appropriate powertrain solution for the character of the car and the intended driving dynamics.

“The restoration and conversion process represents re-engineering from the ground up. It starts with an exhaustive inspection. Each corner is then weighed to understand the original weight distribution to the gram. This information informs decisions on chassis setup, powertrain packaging and suspension. The internal combustion engine and associated systems are then removed and the chassis is prepared for electrification.

“The car is then 3D scanned; this allows the engineers to create detailed CAD models to ensure technical perfection in every step of the process. The specifics of Lunaz’s electric propulsion technology is closely guarded, but each classic by Lunaz is designed, developed, engineered and tested in-house using the highest specification modules available for automotive applications.”

Cars undergo complete restoration inside and out, the company said, and equipped not only with electric power but with contemporary technology including wifi, navigation, etc.

Traditional coachbuilding and restoration skills are then employed and the car is stripped down to a bare metal shell. Even imperceptible body defects are addressed by hand before the surface finish process begins, according to Lunaz.

“I wanted a car like a 1953 Jaguar to be my daily driver,” Lorenz said. “We are innovating to create cars that are usable, dynamic and stand as the ultimate drivers’ classics.”

He added that he wants his daughter, Luna, “when she is of driving age,” to have access to a car like the Mercedes 190SL. 

“Without building Lunaz, this (roads without vintage vehicles) is the reality she faces.” 

Larry Edsall
Larry Edsall
A former daily newspaper sports editor, Larry Edsall spent a dozen years as an editor at AutoWeek magazine before making the transition to writing for the web and becoming the author of more than 15 automotive books. In addition to being founding editor at ClassicCars.com, Larry has written for The New York Times and The Detroit News and was an adjunct honors professor at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University.


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