1970 Legrand Electric Car: Own a Piece of Seventies Kitsch

Are you (1) a white man with an afro, (2) wear flared trousers or (3) would say your favorite band is Jefferson Starship? If you answered, "Yes," to any of these questions then boy do we have the car for you.

Built by Glenn Legrand over a five year period and presumably completed in 1970, the Legrand Electric Car is a one-of-a-kind electric car for the '70s obsessive. According to the seller, Mr. Legrand got the plans from Popular Mechanics Magazine, back in the days when the magazine did that sort of thing.

Underneath that Johnny Cab body are the simple, reliable mechanicals of a Volkswagen Beetle, though the Legrand is three feet longer and two feet wider. The body is made out of a combination of polyurethane foam and fibreglass.

The mechanicals are fairly standard for a homebuilt electric car. Power comes from an 8 hp (6 kW) electric motor and twelve 6 volt batteries (for a total of 72 volts) connected in-series. The former is bolted straight onto the drive shaft. The Legrand uses a manual gearbox, though there are no gears: just forward and reverse. The accelerator is used to control how much current goes to the motor, which in turn changes the vehicle's speed.

There's also a single 12 volt battery to power the lights, turn signals etcetera. The seller claims that Legrand has a range of 50 miles (81 km) and a top speed of 55 mph (89 km/h), although he has, "never had it at that speed." Which could mean it's either impossible or too scary to attempt.

It's all very standard and should be easy to maintain, though the comment about, "many special order and hand made parts," is a worry. The Legrand comes with a solid walnut and grey cloth interior (classy) and is painted in a colour I'd describe as, "Tangerine".

The seller is also including a framed article from a period Illinois newspaper on Mr. Legrand and his car, which should make for a nice pool room memento. It can be yours for the low, low price of $US4,200 (€3,016).

By Tristan Hankins

Link: eBay