Going green in a British classic

Look at the photo, and try to grasp that there’s indeed an electrical cord plugging inside the fuel door of this car, rather than a rubber hose attached to a gasoline pump. At some point, and it’s coming quicker than you may think, the world of cars is going to execute a tectonic shift from hydrocarbon to electrical power. For almost all of us, that conjures mental pictures of efficient sedans, hatchbacks and SUVs whispering down the road without emitting fumes. There are those who believe that the world of collector or historic vehicles is going to make the same kind of swerve, and are working in anticipation of that change. This car is an extreme example of what we mean, and it’s actually available to buy. The car is a Rolls-Royce Phantom V, one of the United Kingdom’s most venerated motoring icons.

If you’re unfamiliar with the lineage here, allow us to explain that the Phantom V is one of the most august, esteemed cars that Rolls-Royce has produced in its long and distinguished history. It’s a huge limousine, powered by a 6.2-liter V-8 coupled to a General Motors Hydra-Matic transmission. Just 832 were produced during its lifespan, which lasted from 1959 through 1968, the majority with Park Ward coachwork, with James Young furnishing the bodywork for the remaining cars. Owners have included Queen Elizabeth II, the Shah of Iran, John Lennon and Sir Elton John. In Great Britain, a Phantom V ranks with the holiest of the holy. That brings us to Lunaz Design, a British firm located in Silverstone, one of the hallowed sites of motorsports in England. Lunaz has commenced on a no-excuses, expense-irrelevant initiative to reinvent historic British automobiles, including the Phantom V, to full-electric operation. The Rolls-Royce Phantom V by Lunaz, as it’s called, takes one of these cars (the prototype dates to 1961) down to bare metal and adds a proprietary all-electric powertrain. It’s the first purpose-built, all-electric, chauffeur-driven car in the world. The Phantom V is then refinished with Midland Grey on the upper body and Cinereous Grey below, with new hides throughout the interior plus satellite connectivity. The powertrain transplant gives the car a range of 300 miles per charge, considerably farther than the typical chauffeured jaunt. Lunaz will offer the car in a global markets with a starting price of 500,000 pounds Sterling, which equates to $654,475.01 at today’s currency exchange rate. Lunaz also plans all-electric conversions to other immortal British legends such as the Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud, Jaguar XK120 and the Bentley S2 Flying Spur.

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