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Hemmings Motor News Blog

Hemmings Motor News has been around since 1954. We're proud of our heritage, but we're also more than the Hemmings full of classifieds that your father subscribed to. Aside from new editorial content every month in Hemmings, we have three monthly magazines: Hemmings Muscle Machines, Hemmings Classic Car and Hemmings Sports and Exotic Car.

While our editors traverse the country to find the best content for those magazines, we find other oddities related to the old-car hobby that we really had no place for - until now. With this blog, we're giving you a behind-the-scenes look at what we see and what we do during the course of putting out some of the finest automotive magazines you'll ever read.

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I Spent More on a Parts Car for My Project Car than I've Spent on Many Daily Drivers

Posted June 22, 2021 3:00 AM by dstrohl
Pathfinder Tags: electric vehicles nissan

t's rust-free, I didn't have to evict a homeless person from it, and it's the only vehicle I've ever bought with less than 100,000 miles on the odometer. The 2011 Nissan Leaf I just bought may be the most sensible used car I've ever owned, and it's certainly one of the most expensive (thanks, post-pandemic runaway inflation!). So, naturally, I plan to tear it all apart.

From the start of my Chenowth project a little more than a year ago, the plan had been to electrify it somehow. Even after a few months of rebuilding the sand rail's Volkswagen components, I still only had a rudimentary idea of how exactly I'd electrify it. I knew DC motors were out, and that I wanted to find a good used modern electric vehicle (EV) to scrounge the lithium-ion battery pack from, but which model exactly?

Teslas are the go-to choice for a lot of people electrifying EVs these days, and the specs for a Tesla certainly sound attractive. However, the prices, even for components removed from junked Teslas, did not. Limited supply on the second-hand market meant it'd be difficult to get my hands on less expensive alternatives like a Kia Soul EV or a Ford Focus Electric. I even briefly considered hybrids, but the extensive integration of the motors to the drivetrains and the limited battery capacity versus a pure EV meant they'd be unsuitable for this project.

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