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(504 posts)
Sat Jan 27, 2024, 11:46 PM Jan 2024

An idea for what to do with Classic cars

So I am a car guy. I have a bunch of them. my wife tolerates them very well. All British some are just parts some are finished restored. I have a old mini that is literally thousands of hours worth of work.
I see the writing on the wall. We are transitioning to electric and even I approve of it. There will be a time (soon) where just starting a gasoline internal combustion engine will be offensive to some. I could try and do a electric conversion but really I have a fondness for reciprocating parts.
What about Alcohol ? I could do a conversion to my MG that only gets a couple hundred mile a year at the most. Ten gallons. it could be 20 dollars a gallon. That's still only a couple hundred dollars. From what I understand alcohol is a 9 to one mixture I am sure I could convert a carb to work and do the distributer modifications. I would like to think that this is a good idea since it would keep the cars running but you could still enjoy how a classic car drives. Yes I understand that it's still burning a fuel but I do know its a lot cleaner than gasoline. tell me what you think ! Your my test subjects. Hydro

12 replies = new reply since forum marked as read
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Ferrets are Cool

(21,216 posts)
1. IMO, you are worrying too much. "Some" will Always find something to be offended about.
Sat Jan 27, 2024, 11:51 PM
Jan 2024

Enjoy your classics. Gas is not going anywhere for many, many years.


(17,003 posts)
2. I think collectible cars will always be wanted.
Sat Jan 27, 2024, 11:52 PM
Jan 2024

Plus by 2035 if not longer who really knows what it will be realistically.


(3,364 posts)
3. We have an acquaintance that has just
Sun Jan 28, 2024, 12:15 AM
Jan 2024

Started a company that converts classic cars to not only be electric but to have more modern conveniences such as air conditioning and Wi-Fi/bluetooth connectivity. It’s a small start up right now and only doing a few select cars such as bugs and VW vans. But, seems to have a bunch of interest. Based in San Fran. They are also sourcing/identifying parts from all over the US and once an order is placed, they already know where all the old parts are located. They plan to expand to other models.


(4,950 posts)
10. The term for such a car is "RestoMod"
Wed Jan 31, 2024, 08:55 AM
Jan 2024

Lately, the RestoMod cars (if well done) have been commanding more $$$ at auction than ones with OEM restorations.

A modern gas engine with computer controlled ignition and fuel injection is pretty efficient, especially when compared to their ancestor engines.

You're not going to 100% get rid of classics completely, they're too much in demand and some of the concourse level cars price into the millions.


(10,068 posts)
4. More work than you think
Sun Jan 28, 2024, 12:28 AM
Jan 2024

E85, E100 (ethanol), and methanol all require some changes
to the fuel system. They all absorb water compulsively, and water makes them attack various things. There are alcohol carburetor conversions readily available for American engines.
But, gasoline will be with us fa long time yet! Aviation and leaded racing gasolines are very storage stable, save many headaches vs. street gas for stuff that doesn't run much.


(12,234 posts)
9. Yes, using alcohol fuels in cars that are in frequent storage is a terrible idea
Sun Jan 28, 2024, 10:36 AM
Jan 2024

You would likely need to drain the entire fuel system on a regular basis

gay texan

(2,603 posts)
6. Alcohols an awesome fuel
Sun Jan 28, 2024, 01:19 AM
Jan 2024

It way higher octane than pump gas. You can make some good power playing with jetting and timing. E85 is a poor boys race fuel.

Only down side is that it can be corrosive to aluminium.


(9,752 posts)
7. Your screen name has me smiling with an old memory and slightly off-topic comment
Sun Jan 28, 2024, 02:10 AM
Jan 2024

Way back when and after a bunch of Brit bikes, my very first car was a 1969 Austin America with....hydrolastic suspension. Gosh, I loved that thing, drove it all over the place until a Buick center-punched me and totalled it.

I think gasoline fuel will always be around in some form. Maybe convert some of your stable and keep the rest as God (and the Prince of Darkness, all hail Lord Lucas, Squire Smiths and the Whitworth Wizards) designed them. Sounds like you've got the chops to deal with both situations.

Think. Again.

(11,566 posts)
8. Keep the working ones as authentic as possible!
Sun Jan 28, 2024, 06:05 AM
Jan 2024

Yes, we need to stop building new vehicles that emit CO2, because we need to stop burning CO2 as much as we can and as quickly as we can. Everyone knows that.

But we certainly don't need to pretend we never built the beauties that we did build, or deny ourselves the pride of the ingenuity we expressed before we fully realized the big mistake we were making.

Okay, so it's time to change up the design of some of the moving parts of cars that we build new, time to put our ingenuity to the test, and it's always time to challenge our creativity.

But we certainly don't have to destroy the work we've accomplished already, just not use it as much. We certainly don't want to put excessive wear and tear on those classics anyway.

Personally, I'm hoping this transition will result in an even greater appreciation of classic auto styling and I would love to see more of the georgeous cars that aren't mechanically sound anymore be saved and swapped to electric rather than parted out. The best examples of our previous successes should be glorified not destroyed. It's the current workings of run-of-the-mill daily drivers that we can (and have to) do without.

People create beautiful new works of skill and creativity in obsolete technologies all the time, but you won't see intricate spring-based timepieces threatening the need for efficiency in today's fast-paced business world. Let's preserve that craftmanship of automobiles too, while also being mature about the changing reality we all have to face.

But please preserve those surviving examples as well as you can, and remember that in the not too distant future, the best examples of this new era of ingenuity will also be prized possessions of another generation of Gearheads.


(14,408 posts)
11. I say keep it as close to stock as possible
Wed Feb 7, 2024, 08:14 PM
Feb 2024

If there's a better part, or you want something more comfortable or convenient, go for it. I tend to think that excessive customization leads one quickly down a path of perpetual maintenance of the modifications.


(25,167 posts)
12. I don't own an old classic car, but wouldn't they require lead base gasoline?
Thu Feb 8, 2024, 06:51 AM
Feb 2024

I have an old 1969 Evinrude outboard engine. I buy a lead additive to mix with gas to safely operate it. Wouldn't that be the same if I owned an older automobile?

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