Electric Black Sheep: 1977 Sterling Kit Car

I have to admit that I’m not looking forward to the electric future. Yes, gasoline powered cars are inefficient, hard to operate safely, and pollute…and are eventually going to be replaced with super efficient Teslapplefacegoog cPods (TM) but I’m not looking forward to being zipped around on the electric superhighway in something that reports my serotonin levels to the Bene Gesserit. If I’m going to drive something powered by electrons, it’d better have a steering wheel and look like it is ready for Mad Max 17, Mel Gibson’s Revenge. Find this 1977 Sterling Kit Car converted to electric bidding for $6950 in Sparta, NJ via eBay.

From the seller:

If you’re looking for a vehicle that gets a TON of attention wherever you go, this is the one for you.

This Sterling originally came into the world as a 1968 Volkswagen Beetle.

The Sterling body kit is one of the original California Component Cars from 1977. In 2013, the paint was blasted down to the original gel coat to inspect the body and build back up, topping it off with Satin clear coat over black to give it the unique “batmobile” look.This car was converted to FULLY ELECTRIC and only the Volkswagen transaxle, suspension, and steering components are OEM.

There are NO DOORS on this car. The roof is raised and lowered by a 12V hydraulic motor (specifically, the convertible top motor from a Mustang — if it ever fails you can find a replacement at any auto parts store). A wireless keychain remote allows you to raise and lower the top with the push of a button from outside.

You may have noticed there are no side mirrors on the car either. If you’ll take a close look at the “tall” photo of the side, you’ll notice a small barely visible circle — that’s a side camera. The side cameras can only be seen at eye level, and a screen in the dashboard permanently shows both side cameras and the rear camera. The side cameras are fantastic, and eliminate all blind spots regardless of the driver height.

This Sterling is now powered by a Series wound DC motor and 40 LiFePO4 batteries. Range is approximately 36-40 miles depending on terrain, and I usually just drive it in third gear around town, fourth gear on the highway. If you wanted to increase the range, you could ditch those batteries and go with Tesla battery packs, but that’s up to you. It can be charged from 110 household, or 220 (you would need an adapter, I always just used the 110).

The interior is a blank slate, I never did anything with it. It was cleaned up during the blast and painted with a texture spray, but I never bothered doing carpet or anything because I couldn’t decide what I wanted to do.

This car has been a lot of fun, but I hardly ever drive it anymore. I’m starting the listing at $5,000 with no reserve — I have over $30K in it, but I would rather see someone else enjoying it than see it sitting around as a garage queen. This is your chance to get an awesome car that looks unlike anything else on the road for a great price.

Since it’s electric with a limited range, you will need arrange transportation if you’re the winning bidder. Payment must be made IN FULL before arranging pickup. If you want to pick up in person, we can meet at the online exchange area at the Police Station in Sparta, NJ AFTER payment has been received.

The car has been garage kept since the 2013 rebuild, and has never seen rain. I opted not to reinstall the windshield wiper, but do still have it and it goes with the car (the wiring is in place to reconnect it easily, I just prefer the way it looks without it.). It is registered and titled as a 1991 STERLING (not as a Volkswagen) in New Jersey, and currently insured through State Farm, so you shouldn’t have any trouble registering and titling it in your state. At the moment, there are no seat belts installed but I do have them and they will go with the car, or you may prefer to pull the seats and do harnesses. Up to you.

It’s being sold as-is. It runs and drives, and there aren’t any problems with it. I don’t know the mileage, but I’ve only ever driven it around town a few times a year. It may very well be less than 3,000. It’s not like you can take a cross country road trip in a car with a 40 mile range, lol…

It is a kit car. It rides like a kit car. If I was going to keep it, I would probably look into better shocks than the stock-style Volkswagen ones, but other than that there really isn’t anything I would change.

FULL DISCLAIMER: YOU WILL GET ATTENTION WHEREVER YOU GO IN THIS CAR. People will ask you questions every time you stop somewhere, no matter where it is or for how long. You could drive out to the middle of the desert, and when you get out of this car suddenly there will be a dozen people around you taking pictures and asking questions.

See a better way to drive something electric? tips@dailyturismo.com