QotW: Would you EV your JNC?

It’s National Drive Electric Week, and Nissan has just unveiled their new Leaf sporting new styling and a longer battery range. The Leaf has a ways to go before it can be considered as a JNC, but with the trend obviously moving towards EV vehicles — and emission regulations getting tighter globally; what will you do with your JNC? What if there is a time when you can no longer run a dino juice-powered motor? The only option may be to own your own secret island or EV it. What say you:

Would you EV your JNC?

The most entertaining comment by next Monday will receive a prize. Scroll down to see the winner of last week’s QotW, “What JNC emblem/logo needs to come back?

Mike, I think if the QotW was which emblem has stood the test of time, you would have won. Great comment about Subaru not budging with their badging despite a large number of their customers not understanding the logo on the grille.

Same goes for Fifty5engineering with the nod to the wild decal packages of the 80s and early 90s. Here in Japan, we still run across some limited editions that are more mission statements than simple badging. With the spread of alphabet soup badging, I fear we are near the end of the the wild edition era.

John Moran gave us a great rendition of the “Bingo” song with his bid for the NISMO logo. I think Nissan indeed needs to bring back the NISMO logo, if only to snap the focus back to creating the small, lightweight (and fun!) rockets of the past.

The winner this time is the Celica dragon badging. more than Nissan, Toyota needs to also bring it back to give us all a zippy cruiser that will take us out of the vanilla era and back into rocky road. Sure, we have a Supra on the way, but for who? Most (present company included) cannot afford it. Toyota was all about the economical yet fun J-tin for decades. It’s time for that again.

I threw the names in a hat again, and pulled out SaveTheDragons. Congrats!

Without a doubt – the Celica dragon !


The celica needs to return, be affordable, be fixable, be rear wheel drive.

Now the entire set of old rear wheel drive Celica’s are starting to be saved.
Tag is #savethedragons

Omedetou! Your comment has earned you a set of decals from the JNC Shop.

JNC Decal smash

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25 Responses to QotW: Would you EV your JNC?

  1. Brett says:


    Not ever.

    Not in any circumstances.

    Did I say ‘No’, because if I didn’t I will say it now; NO!

    I feel like I am not making myself clear; I would only consider it on the day that the Devil goes to work in a snowplow.

    So: NO!

  2. Nigel says:

    Honda CITY Turbo w/ Methane or Propane. (If I still had my Civic…no & no).
    (See the 70’s film “The Last Chase”…)

  3. Tom Westmacott says:

    I respect the achievement of those who do a good electric conversion, ( eg http://www.zeva.com.au/Projects/RX7/ ) but it doesn’t interest me. Running my car on biofuel or hydrogen would be more appealing options, if we can no longer burn petrol.

    To me, converting my RX-7 to battery-electric would be like having a favourite pet stuffed after they die. Without the living, breathing, barking combustion engine, the the body is there, but the spirit is gone – it would no longer be alive.

  4. Viney Choy says:

    Yes…….if I could drive my JNC for the next 50 years.

  5. thelacerati says:

    I love the sound of the growl of 50-year-old carburetors sucking air as much as I love the throaty bark from my exhaust. I love the smell of the heated engine; the combination of gasoline combustion, heated oil, and the hot air off the headers.

    That said, I’d convert to EV with little hesitation.


    I’m waiting for an EV system that includes a spot-on, surround-sound recreation of those auditory pleasures. And I’m even daydreaming that this system incorporates something like the 1960’s cinema effect, Smell-o-Vision.

    That’d be the best of both worlds, though I’d definitely miss the wrenching.

  6. Taylor says:

    In all honesty, with all the miles I commute in my Z31, there are days where that’s a tempting idea. Not sure I’d actually do it, but there are definitely days in Bay Area traffic where it’s tempting.

  7. Steve says:

    Oh, Hell, no!!

    Unless, that is the only way to keep driving. For instance, if gasoline and/or IC engines become outlawed.

  8. Yuri says:

    Without a doubt. The L28E in my S30Z (despite being rebuilt and having low miles) has been the one of the most problematic parts of the whole car. I would love the endless torque and reliability of a modern EV drivetrain in that car. Plus with the L-jetronic fuel injection system, it’s not like I’d be losing a nice exhaust note or anything by switching over.

    Other advantages include being able to setup the weight distribution how you’d like it. Most EV conversions place the motor right where the transmission would be, meaning you’re moving the center of the inertia towards the middle of the car, making it handle much better.
    I’d also never have to worry about smog again.
    I really don’t see any drawbacks, and in addition the car would make a fantastic daily driver, especially if you ran an AC system with it’s own dedicated electric motor driving the pump.

    I’d hesitate on pulling the excellent little hamster on meth that’s the 4AGE out of my AE86 GTS, but I wouldn’t hesitate to give my 280Z some ZZZAP.

  9. speedie says:

    Nope. EV retrofits are really just putting the original shell of the car onto a new chassis, and for what gain? I would rather see a good JNC non-running in a museum than running on the street like a beast from the labs of Dr. Frankenstein. To paraphrase Aragorn:

    “There will be a day when the internal combustion engines is no more. It will be a day when the courage of men fails, when we forsake our friends and break all bonds of fellowship, but it is not this day.”

  10. jivecom says:

    I’d avoid it until there were literally no other options left for keeping my truck on the road, but I love my truck so if it becomes mandatory eventually, I’d have to I suppose.

    However, if it ever becomes mandatory to make your car fully Autonomous, I will have to become a criminal. And then, in the second act of this scifi dystopia film, I’ll put the 2.4 back in and get myself killed in a chase sequence, while the hero looks on stoically

  11. Leon says:

    Nope. N.O. No……

  12. Punto8 says:

    I have contemplated an EV conversion for a long while after seeing an Electric Datsun run the 1/4 at break neck speed. I am waiting for a longer lasting battery technology that is easier to charge/ replace. The future is electric so we should embrace renewable energy.

  13. Randy says:

    Only if there is *NO* alternative.

    Now, if you have the money/time, maybe play with a non-classic to get your techie-self satisfied.

  14. CobaltFire says:

    Cars are emotional, and this is an even more emotional aspect. There are a few aspects I’ve considered, as My JNC (S30) is there for me to share and make experiences with my children.

    Am I doing them a service by running an older, polluting drivetrain? They get to live with the consequences far longer than I.

    Is it any more original than, say, replacing the engine with an RB/SR/LS/etc.? Often those require more modification than the electric drivetrain.

    Does it dilute/change the experience any more than the other things we do, or just in a different fashion? Many times we are intentionally changing the experience via chassis adjustments, suspension, wheels, tires, etc. A modified S30 drives nothing like a stock one.

    Does it impact the driving range in a meaningful way, as compared to any of the other options? Provided you build the vehicle to take common charging standards and keep to populous routes, you can easily make good time. You could make the argument that to drive a JNC requires a certain mindset of it being about the journey anyhow.

    I cannot answer those questions for anyone aside from myself, and I know the answers for me. I’ve been researching options to install an electric drivetrain in my S30 already.

    • Randy says:

      How often do you drive it? Do you put on 50K a year, or is it for nice weekends/day off/when you just need “mental health time?”

      Here’s where I’m going with that:
      Forty years ago, there were a pretty fair number of them running around, and even then, they weren’t belching black smoke all over the place, AND they were far from the worst, emissions-wise.

      Among all the vehicles sold every year, do you really think your little 3-liter, that sees MAYBE 3K/year is going to do anything that even registers? If you have it tuned up, it’s fine. Here’s an idea: if it’s pre-cat, put the convertor on it, unless you’re someplace that still uses leaded fuel. BTW, if you ARE in one of those still-leaded-fuel places, that’s a whole different pollution issue.

      If you don’t slap it with huge stickers that say “ELECTRIC!”, the crazy-green people are still going to get pissy about it. Of course, these are the same people who’d get apoplectic about an electric Escalade, ’cause: “You don’t NEED that!” because somehow it’s THEIR business. You’ll NEVER get “caught-up;” there’s always some new tech that promises to do more on less. Much like buying the hottest, newest, bestest computer; by the time you get it home and plugged in, you’re already behind.

      You’ll do more by making sure your house is well-insulated. Put a white roof on it.

      I’m not saying you should or shouldn’t do the switchover, but don’t go feelin’ guilty because somebody else TOLD you you’re evil for driving an internal combustion vehicle.

      So Lithium batteries? That could make it a “hot” ride! 🙂

      • Randy says:

        Had an afterthought: Convert it to run on ALCOHOL!

        Look up: Alcohol Can Be A Gas.

        Great read!

      • CobaltFire says:

        I work on aircraft that burn more fuel than I do in a decade for a training flight and have no emissions regulations (military). I am more than a little familiar with how little, or much, my little 2.8l pollutes. It’s the attitude in the aggregate that matters, and those with classics have an outsize impact on public perception and acceptance of alternate deivetrains.

        It’s also ridiculously hard to keep a carb’d motor tuned well enough to have a cat attached to and have it run clean without setting the floor mats on fire…

        All that said, you seem to be taking this topic personally. I acknowledged that I can neither judge nor answer for anyone else, nor do I claim that electrification is a panacea.

        My home is sealed, and not only that, as HOA President of my condo I get to both baseline a solar install and install a white roof on the whole building next year. Good enough for your judgement against my desire to possibly do a little more? If it’s not, I ride my bicycle to work more often than not, more for health than anything (DD gets 40mpg and is brand new, you could probably breathe the tailpipe; it’s not a hybrid and is a stick).

        • Randy says:

          I’d say the closest I get to taking it “personally,” is that there are a lot us who can’t afford $30K+ vehicle when the FAAARRR left decides they officially want ALL ICE engines off the road, and we have no choice. It’s an incremental thing, like every other regulation or law. Pick an area, and we’ve seen it happen time after time, from the Income Tax, to the EPA being able to declare ANY of our properties a “wetland,” thereby destroying any value it had, while you still have to pay the mortgage, or, at best, you get to LEAVE.

          I just got the feeling that you feel guilty about driving an old ICE car, when it does minimal damage, and I don’t believe anybody should feel guilty about their life, or what they like. We only average about 79 years here, so I want people to ENJOY what time they have here, and not feel guilty, basically for being alive. Everybody has enough screw-ups and slights in this life to feel guilty about; enjoying a machine that makes you happy shouldn’t be one of them.

          If I’m judging anybody, it’s “THEM” who can NEVER be appeased; watching them over the years: You can’t wear leather, ’cause it’s wrong. Non-natural fabrics are made from oil; oil is evil. You shouldn’t drive because of CO2. You shouldn’t eat meat, because cows = methane. Shouldn’t use coal for electricity, because coal is evil. Don’t use natural gas for electricity, because fracking. The only long-term non-polluting source for electricity is nuclear, but “NUCLEAR!? How dare you! ‘Nucular’ is evil!” (Just ask Jackson Browne.) Never hear any of “them” talk about Geothermal for steam to run turbines to generate electricity, or any solutions to any problem, except to go live in a cave and weave your own clothes out of organically-grown hemp. None of “THEM” would survive a week without their i-Phones, made of evil oil, built by evil industry, and powered by evil-sourced electricity.

          None of those “evils” is beyond engineering.

          I’ve been a fan of turbine engines since I “discovered” them. Will run on any flammable liquid; they don’t need oil for fuel source, foreign or domestic. Bio-fuel; Bio-Diesel; Napoleon Brandy; marsh grass!

          There was a thing I saw ONCE, decades ago, in like, Car Craft, or somesuch that claimed to act as a catalytic convertor, but used an electrical charge to create a plasma to burn off whatever comes out of the engine.

          I had a discussion about CO2 a few years ago. Plants seem to really LIKE CO2. To this day, I find no end of amusement that the 2 who seemed the most “concerned” drove V-8s as their every day vehicles… (MB S-something sedan, and an O.J.-era Bronco, so 302 or 351…) I drive a 1.5l four-banger, but THEY are concerned about CO2…

          As long as a person is alive, they are going to use resources, and I’m tired of “THEM” trying to make me feel guilty about that. Been there; done that. There’s only one way to zero out your impact, and I don’t think I know anyone signing on for that…

          Like I said – I just hate when it sounds like people feel guilty – have been made to feel guilty – about enjoying something. If you want to go electric, go for it, but please, don’t feel guilty. That was actually the whole point… Hell, I’ve thought about a fuel-cell vehicle for the quick-fill-ups, and limit the motor to around 8K rpm, and hook it up to a manual transmission, so I can have it all – and enjoy it! (I want a cut of the action if anyone does that, ’cause I said it first!)

          As for the condo – GREAT! You’re probably ahead of most of the people in this country, and possibly most of the world… Ever notice how many people don’t get the connection between saving energy and saving money?

          From your description, your DD is probably on my short list for my next DD – presently thinking “Mercury Gray.”

          By the way – Thank you for your service! Bet there’s some interesting stories there, but that’s for another time.

          • CobaltFire says:

            We were just talking at cross purposes then, and think much alike.

            The DD is a Yaris iA, aka a Mazda2 sedan. 2400lbs, 105HP, 6-Speed. Reasonably fun little car, with a performance envelope very close to a Miata or S30 (stock).

          • Randy says:

            Yeah – I think we’re all pretty much on the same path… I apologize if I wasn’t clear in my thoughts; I sometimes inadvertently bury the main point…

            So the iA really gets that kind of mileage? Hmmm… I’m actually leaning toward the Mitsu Mirage hatchback; I need the space for the big shopping trips to Sam’s! It’s Metro-ness and low price don’t hurt for a daily driver, and I just can’t justify spending more on something that’s going to see the abuses of a D2D.

  15. Jeremy A. says:

    If I could do something like plug a Leaf battery pack and put a Leaf motor under the hood, I’d electrify my Z. The 100% torque at 0 RPM would make it a gas to drive, and having the motor routed through the existing transmission and drivetrain would keep it fun to drive. Sure, I would at times miss the roar of the inline 6 and the scream of the turbo, but when it was new in 1983, it was one of the ‘bubble cars’ full of the latest technology. I don’t think it violates the spirit of what Nissan was doing to give it a significant upgrade like that, which stays in the vein of being a high technology but very sporting car.

  16. Scotty G says:

    I would buy one, converted by a tech college class in North Carolina..





  17. Keaton Belliston says:

    How about a Subaru Sambar???? An arrangement with the batteries in the floor would free up a lot of space where the engine used to be, plus the lack of front radiator grill already gives off the appearance of an EV. It’d be the ultimate city/delivery vehicle!!

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