Tony Hawk Shows Jay Leno His Fully Electric 1964 Corvette: Video39
GM is pivoting to all-electric powertrains, which means big changes for a number of classic GM nameplates. Indeed, even the vaunted Chevy Corvette is destined for electrification, as GM Authority covered previously. Now, however, it looks like skateboarding legend Tony Hawk has beat GM to the punch with his full-EV 1964 Vette, as seen in the following feature video.
Hawk recently paid a visit to Jay Leno to give the former Tonight Show host a chance to check it out for himself. This particular example hails from the 1964 model year, and was outfitted with a new electric powertrain courtesy of California-based EV conversion specialist EV West. Of course, you wouldn’t know that latter bit just glancing at this thing while parked. Pop the hood, though, and you’ll notice the 327 V8 is missing, replaced by a modern EV battery pack juicing a rear-mounted, single-speed Tesla drive unit. Output from the setup is rated at roughly 300 horsepower.
“I don’t think the Corvette purists are gonna like this very much,” Hawk admits. “But I’ve never been one to hold on to just all the original parts, even though we still have them.”
Interestingly, nothing on the car was cut to accommodate the conversion, and apparently, the old ICE components can be refitted at any time, if desired.
After a brief walkaround, Hawk and Leno climb into the cabin and take the all-electric 1964 Corvette for a drive. All in all, Hawk says the steering, handling, and ride are quite familiar – the only real difference is the lack of a V8 rumble and the unsatisfied urge to row some gears.
Check out the full feature video right here:
Of course, we’d be remiss if we didn’t at least mention the inevitable arrival of the new Chevy Corvette C8 E-Ray, which is slated to offer a hybrid-electric drivetrain and all-wheel drive, straying even further from the original Corvette formula and surely spurring on an outpouring of opinions from the purists. Interesting times, indeed.
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American Muscle on ICE Only!
If you buy a C2 Corvette, be sure you ask permission from the rest of us before you do what you want to your car…
Figures…Leno lives in California. The state is going all electric in a few years. Good luck with that. It will fail miserably like most everything California mandates. Oh…forgot, GM is doing the same. RIP GM.
California, and at least 18 other states, will be mandating that all NEW cars sold be all electric by 2035. ICE vehicles will still be available on the secondary market, not to mention the tens of millions of ICE cars that will already be in the hands of owners. I would imagine that the demand for brand new ICE vehicles in those states will easily outstrip supply in the final years leading up to the 2035 ban.
The new problem is that those states are slowly starting to ban the building of new gas stations as well as preventing existing stations from installing additional pumps. So, while ICE cars will still be on the roads in those states well after 2035 the ability to actually fill them up will be the challenge. With the average ICE vehicle lasting 10-13 years, it isn’t going to be until 2050 that those states truly become “EV only” in any appreciable fashion.
“Fail miserably like everything else that California mandates?”
Oh, you must mean when California was years, if not decades, ahead of the federal government eventually mandating things like:
Seat belts, shoulder harnesses, airbags, improved mpg, reduced ICE pollution, tobacco restrictions to reduce cancer rates, etc.
Yep. Each and every one of these common place, life saving, everyday, publicly accepted things STARTED in California. Whether in research and development or mainstream implementation. Long before the rest of the country stopped dying from the lack of access to these types of safety features.
OUCH! Be thankful it was OTHER, more enlightened, people who agreed to spend their state revenue to save your behind. 😀.
Now, stop trolling the internet, finish your homework, and go to bed. Tomorrow is a school day, child!😖
Once I realized this post was satire I found it hilarious. Well done.
But absolutely true regarding all those facts about California leading the rest of the USA, and world, in automotive and health technology.
All due to our citizens wanting (and being willing to pay for) a healthier, safer lifestyle…. long before the partisan grid-locked US federal government ever gets around to doing anything positive.
goes to show if you have enough money you can do anything. I don’t believe i’d want to meet him or the car.
Darn. I’m sure he’d love to meet you….
Does General Motors not understand that if a battery can be shoved into a car so easily that there would be far less need to manufacture new vehicles? Existing cars could be hollowed out and retrofitted with a universal battery drivetrain and get back on the road, like this one.
Problem with BE cars is that they have no soul. The intangible connection that a car has with its driver.
Don’t kid yourself about the environment. Electric cars are here because they’re cheap to manufacture. Right now they’re being sold as premium cars so the profit margin is ridiculous.
Personally, I own a 2021 C8, obviously an ICE.
Once battery charging speeds have improved, I would not be opposed to an EV. Especially when I already make ALL of my own electricity via my roof’s solar panels and Tesla storage batteries.
I would gladly prefer to spend $100 on some great adult beverages, and sun screen, rather than at the gas pump every week.
Charging speeds indeed are an issue to overcome. But the real issue that will plague battery electric vehicles is the life and replacement of the battery pack, the heart of every battery powered vehicle. A 10 year lifespan is just not going to cut it. Imagine your ICE vehicle’s engine degrading so many percent every year from Day 1 of your ownership. 5 percent degradation. 10 percent. Imagine your ICE engine losing range on a cold winters day versus what you got in miles per charge in the summer. These are just the tip of the iceberg issues that everyday BWV owners do not have a total grasp on. But they soon will learn.
Yeah, nothing says “soul” like being stuck out in the middle of nowhere ‘cuz one of the thousands of tiny, spinning parts in yer internal-combustion engine broke, so ya break out yer tools and become one with yer car….
Ha! I’m being downvoted for reminding people that internal-combustion engines are assemblies of compromise, with lots and lots of tiny, little parts that all have to work in concert with one another–a beautiful thing when it works, but with plenty of potential for failure. Granted, CNC machines, robots, and all the other methods of modern production have improved reliability immensely, but, still. My old BMW R60/5’s engine had something like 282 moving parts; my Yamaha R6 probably had five times that amount. The amazing thing isn’t that internal-combustion engines fail. The amazing thing is when they don’t.
EV cars have tens of millions of tiny, little parts that all have to work in concert with one another. They are electro chemical in nature with massive amounts of computer code down to the chip level and are regularly being updated via downloads in the attempt to fix the inevitable bugs or introduce features with their inevitable bugs. None of this can be diagnosed or fixed at the side of the road or in your driveway; and even simple things such as tire changes require going to the dealership. ICE cars are not ‘assemblies of compromise’ or they would not last hundreds of thousands of miles to in the millions. Never mind that ICE are still on the ground floor of their evolution.
Tell all of this to owners of 2017 Bolts that have had no issues whatsoever. I know 2 owners. All they’ve done is buy snow tires, summer tires, cabin filters and that’s it. BTW they change their own tires at home. ICE cars have to do the same. It is rare that ice cars last millions of miles. You must live on another planet.
Irv Gordon of East Patchogue, New York set the world record for most miles on a personal car by racking up over 3.4 million miles in his 1966 Volvo 1800S. Gordon, who said he bought the Volvo in 1966 for $4,150, estimated that he drove over 100,000 miles per year visiting car shows as far away as Vancouver, Canada.
You are correct, all GM is doing is marketing EVs. Last night on TV, I saw two commercials from GM touting their EV lineup. Get your ICE Corvette while you still can. Can’t order a Z06 and I doubt they will ever make enough to fill the waiting list. EVs will be part of our future not only our future. At some point, this climate controlist will realize everything can’t run on batteries.
All you is true. Except maybe the environmental comment. All this was said when people stopped riding horses.
It’s just another addition to the Specialty Auto Aftermarket and I’m ok with it. Just don’t tell us ICE lovers that we can’t have our gas-guzzling hot rods and lowered custom rides.
Plenty of people would have loved to have that car as it originally was. All it takes is one fool with too much money and not enough brains to completely ruin it. This is the only way any part of a Tesla will ever be associated with the word “classic”.
Anthony Frank Hawk, nicknamed Birdman, is an American professional skateboarder, entrepreneur, and the owner of the skateboard company Birdhouse. He is worth $180,000,000.
Not enough brains and a fool, I don’t think so. He is definitely smarter than you.
I think is a great idea and planning a few projects around it. Electric has more torque, instantly, makes a car way more of an all around driver. I can drive a classic more days, less maintenance. Becomeenlightened and see the future is a blend of old, and new.
Peace, and Save the Wave.
What a waste of a Corvette
Its not your car. He can do what he wants.
I Just wondered how would he heat the car or defrost the windows or in the heat of the summer how would he run the air conditioner, if this car has any of those features as the car likely had originally.
Great way to F__k up a C2 roadster.
Perfectly said. Anyone that does that to a classic doesn’t understand classic cars. Probably doesn’t even realize that his ’64 has ’65 wheel covers on it.
Okay, so you’re one of those people who wants to tell everyone what they can and can’t do with their cars….
Per your mentality, the same thing could be said about any hot rod/custom shop, or performance mods. Why is this any different?
I wonder what Zora would think? He would likely go , OK I’ll just figure out a totally clean fuel that can be abundantly produced without the need for fossil fuel.
Gosh the EV folks wouldn’t have to figure out how to make their hotrod sound and feel like a real hotrod.
The EV technology is fascinating, but even George Jetson’s car has a muffler.
C”mon gearheads , lets figure this out. Then we can honestly call our cars ” Green”.
I think he would’ve found the electric concept interesting. I don’t think Zora would’ve been much of an engineer if he would’ve began the design process in 1962 by limiting himself to technological parameters from 1902. Engineer’s aren’t typically overly sentimental, its there job to constantly innovate and build upon the best available technologies.
I am envious of California and their folks with how they innovate and adapt. As a previous owner of a 63 split window Vette, I would have killed to have my Vette converted into an electric to cruise around in. Instead I pretty much bastardized my Vette by dropping in a loaded 396, Turbo 400, and disc brakes. I gave away the original 327 & powerglide and threw away the drum brakes. I then got drafted during Vietnam, the only time I ever won the lottery in my life. I never met Zora but I strongly suspect that he would have been an EV guy. If gm would have listened to Zora the vettes would have been mid engine back in the eighties. Finally, too bad that the Porsche Taycan motor wasn’t chosen for Tony’s 64. It is a better EV motor than the Tesla’s and it comes with a two speed tranny.
I’m not sure why this, or anybody else’s electric cars, offends people so much. How is this any different than any other custom car, or hot rod? If you don’t like electric cars, don’t buy one. After all, you don’t have to like this Corvette, it’s his car…
I find it funny that an electric motor is desecrating a classic car, but most other mods are totally acceptable.
What’s the difference?
Now Tony saves money by not needing any oil changes or gasoline. He can “fuel” it by charging it with solar energy for free.
People can do whatever they want. Look the other way if it gets your panties all bunched up. No different than the guy who puts a V8 on his lawnmower with a cup holder, although the cup holder is a bit much honestly.
Yesterday I posted a comment what Zora would think? The replies were great and you guys are all absolutely right.
I wasn’t trying to offend anyone and yes if Zora was still here , he would most likely be working on a higher performance version of whatever was in place. It’s obvious there are two different worlds with performance and collector cars. I grew up with 55 Chevy’s and Chevelle’s with burned out Thrush or Cherry Bomb mufflers that constantly needed tuning, I loved it and wouldn’t change that experience for anything, but yes it would be nice to just get in one those cars drive on a minutes notice.
I am fascinated with EV technology, I have a 58 Buick Special 4 door sedan, it’s not a collector car or very valuable. It has massive amounts of chrome that makes it stunning to look at, this in my opinion is a perfect EV candidate.
However, recently I saw a news story about Chrysler corporation coming out with a new Challenger EV and they are seriously trying to make it emit sound like a muscle car , really? Why not leave noisey muscle cars what they are and come up with a new hi performance EV line with it’s own name and it can start a history of it’s own to build on? If someone converts a vintage performance car to electric, it’s still a cool car!! Thanks guys, sorry for the rambling.
What all the tree huggers don’t seem to understand is that most of our current electric grid is generated by fossil fuel and when we all plug in at the same time when we get home from work the whole thing is going to crash and burn like what has already happened in oh so forward thinking california. Everyone thinks that you just plug your vehicle in and it’s all free like the air we breath. If you pay attention to all the commercials, you would think it only takes five minutes to charge a vehicle instead of the hours and hours it really takes. And it’s not free, nothing is free. Anything we do in this country to reduce fossil fuel pollution is so incredibly overwhelmed by most of the rest of the world except Europe. It’s just a drop in the bucket.