Andrew McClary’s High Voltage Hot Rods gives new life to classic hot rods.
You’re a believer in the potential of electric vehicle technology, and appreciate that it’s better for our environment. But the idea of driving a Prius to work every day is, well, kind of boring… Then again, a gorgeous, high-powered Tesla electric car will set you back $100,000! What’s a more affordable solution that will also get your heart racing? A High Voltage Hot Rod!
High Voltage Hot Rods, founded by 100kGarager Andrew McClary, can take a classic Corvair, Mustang, Thunderbird and the like, basically any car that you may have a hankering for, and refurbish it as an all-electric hot rod — for a price tag around $50,000 (for car and new motor). The company rebuilds original classic cars, replacing the gasoline engines with state-of-the-art electric motors, and also collaborates with car replica manufacturers.
McClary explains, “We’re partnering with some of the best replica car makers to bring you all the style and class of a classic car but with the firm ride and performance of a modern car. We work directly with these manufacturers to create custom electric drive cars with equal or better performance than the originals. Each car can be customized to the buyer’s personality with a variety of performance options.”
An original car redo currently in process is on a 1966 Corvair. The project is called the Electrovair III — since the original car manufacturer tinkered with developing 2 electric versions of the Corvair back in the 1960’s. McClary explains, “Larry Mills, an electrical engineer from Boca Raton had a Corvair as a teenager and always wanted another one. As an electrical engineer he was a firm believer in the power of electric cars and currently owns two. He loves his Chevy Volt, but it just lacks the fun of real driving. He turned to High Voltage Hot Rods to combine the passion he had for his Corvair with the passion he has for electric cars. So began our all electric-powered Corvair project.”
McClary explains the role that his ShopBot Buddy CNC tool plays in rebuilding the ’66 Corvair. “We needed a shop tool that would allow us to precision-design and manufacture transmission adapter plates out of aluminum. I was familiar with ShopBots — my brother and I bought a full size tool years ago when we started a custom furniture business out of our garage.”
“For this car business,” McClary adds, “I needed a manufacturing tool that would be precise, easy to reconfigure, and not take up too much room in the shop — every square foot is prime. We already were familiar with the power and precision of ShopBots. Our new ShopBot Buddy takes up very little space. We chose the optional casters so we can move it around easily as needed — nice wheels!”
What’s next for this ShopBot Buddy? “The versatility of the tool will serve us well,” says McClary. “For the moment, we’re relying on the ShopBot for its ability to replicate adapter parts perfectly — they look and function just like OEM. Down the line, I see us using the software and tool to prototype dashboards, and cut out plates for custom instrument panels — pretty much whatever we need!”
Andrew and his team are busy preparing a TV show about High Voltage Hot Rods — in fact the first episode involves re-furbing the Corvair with the help of his ShopBot. Learn more about it at HighVoltageHotRods.com.
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