Rare electric car prototype from the 1980s sells for $40,000 (17 photos + 1 video)

Category: Retro cars, PEGI 0+
4 October 2023

An unusual and almost unknown electric car, Electrek Uncar, released in 1980 with a circulation of only 50 units, was put up for sale. According to the seller, this is one of only three cars that have survived to this day in decent condition. They are asking $40,000 for the rarity.

The Electrek Uncar was developed by Unique Mobility in the late 1970s as a means to combat the fuel crisis. The electric car was based on a space frame with fiberglass body panels, and the mechanical components for it were chosen, as they say, from scratch. For example, chassis parts were borrowed from VW Fox, a number of other spare parts from Chevrolet of that time, and instead of a “stove” they used an ordinary household hair dryer.

The car was driven by a 32-horsepower General Electric engine, operating through a 4-speed manual transmission and powered by six lead-acid batteries. They were hidden inside a massive central tunnel. In an ideal situation, Electrek Uncar could travel up to 160 kilometers without recharging.

The authors of the unusual electric car counted on market success, as they developed two modifications at once: a passenger one with four seats and something like a commercial van with blank panels in the rear of the body. However, the fuel crisis did not last as long as Unique Mobility expected, and in the end they managed to collect, according to various estimates, from 35 to 50 copies.

The owner of the Uncar that is up for sale claims that only 13 cars have survived to this day. Only three of them are still able to move independently, and the closest to the original version is the one that can be bought. Perhaps this is due to the biography of the specimen: at first after assembly it was used as a show car, then as a car for every day, and when the standard batteries became completely unusable, it was packed into a garage, where it stood for about a quarter of a century.

The current owner has replaced the batteries with new ones, but the buyer will still have to work hard to correct a number of minor defects.

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