Twenty-Seven days ago I tagged along with a friend to London, where we picked up a very rare and historic EV – a 1984 VW Golf City Stromer.
For the next few weeks this car sat on my driveway while my friend worked hard to get it back on the road after over two years of not being driven. The golf, who has been nick-named “Tigger”, had been dismantled by the previous owner as part of a restoration project, but never finished.
After working out what went where, my friend Adam has managed to fit all sixteen, six volt batteries and Zivan charger, giving a total pack voltage of 96V nominal. He also refitted the motor, and completely re-wired the electrics to take advantage of a replacement power controller. He even got a new set of tyres.
And fantastically, after two years of being off the road, this excellent, five seat, town EV hit the road again. This morning we took it to a local MOT test station and Tigger passed with flying colours. No problems at all! She was road-legal!
With some pretty aged batteries (Adam’s had to replace one out of the sixteen after one failed) I wasn’t sure how Tigger would drive. After a two-hour top-up charge I followed Tigger back to her new home. I need not have worried.
Not for a single moment following the grey VW Golf on the seven mile trip to Adam’s family home did I feel that the factory-built EV was slowing down traffic. It happily accelerated to 30 mph. It even went to 40mph… And then approached 50mph. And it just felt like I was following a regular gas-powered car.
It’s good to see that this extremely rare car, of which we think this is the only surviving right-hand drive example, is being driven again. And being treated as a regular car, not a cotton-wool toy which needs mollycoddling. As I followed this twenty-five year old car on it’s trip to a new home, I couldn’t help but see the huge EV grin of the man at the wheel. And I couldn’t help wonder why, twenty-five years on, we’re still waiting for a car like it. A proper, five seat, decent range, well built, quiet EV. Why do people have to get an EV grin from a car which was made when I was five years old?
Ah well, maybe in another twenty-five years we’ll still be able to behold the great engineering of VW’s EV team. But let’s hope we have a more contemporary car by then.
Well done, Adam!