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Enfield 8000 1970's Electric Car, Second Car Acquired


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its interesting how many times I have accidentally ran into these enfield's during my research for various things

I quite like them in a quirky way

so quite happy to see one end up on Autoshite :) 

pretty sure I have seen this one before, I remember finding its DVLA page rather amusing because it some how has ended up with a date of manufacture 2 years newer then its date of first registration LOL (and also marvelling at how such a vehicle was seemingly just abandoned on the side of the road like that)

image.thumb.png.086c825a9c06aed2bd4a8f58931a9bf2.png

 

so whats the plan for it? :) I do personally hope its kept relatively stock in all its shite glory, id be quite interested in knowing exactly how it works

ie what motor it has and what type of speed control it has etc :) 

(does it have the motor laying horizontally or pointing up vertically with the batteries going around it or such?)

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I was “ lucky” enough to drive one of these, when nearly new.

Several  were purchased by the Electricity Council, of which I was a ‘ valued’ employee. I used to motorcycle  in from Surrey everyday, Sumer or Winter, so was asked if I wanted to take one home  for  the weekend -& detail my experiences. Guess they felt I was hardy/ street wise enough! 

The A3, on a Friday afternoon - was not a pleasant experience.
It was dangerously slow, rattled & banged like a kit car,  ventilation was dire and I was properly concerned for my safety,  several times.  It’s instrumentation was vague, or not working , and the overall interior was thin, or tatty, already.  It had covered less than 1,000 miles but was looking tired.  Battery condition could not be accurately established -& I was warned of ‘ dire consequences’ if it ran out of charge ( as happened subsequently to my Boss!) 

I did use it, at the weekend, to visit my local - but bottled out & drove it home before it got dark! 

The return journey, on Monday, was little better ( despite a VERY early start).  At least this tine I was ‘ prepared’. Hazards on- from Tolworth to Roehsmpton.!  

I made my report - which wasn’t favourable. I wasn’t asked again. 

Just too far ahead of its time, I guess. 

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Interesting Enfield site link, includes brochures, magazine articles, road tests, etc.

https://enfield8000.weebly.com/documents.html

3FuxRtt.jpg

Autocar article dated Feb 1976 mentions sales price £3024, which is equivalent to about £21,900 now.  

As a guide comparison  -  in 1976 a Fiat 126 was about £1200,

a 2CV was under £1400,

Mini 1000 or a basic Honda Civic was about £1500,

Allegro, Avenger, Chevette, Escort, etc all around £1700 to about £2300, 

RS2000, Cortina 2.0 Ghia, and Capri Mk2 3000S all around £3100.

But, can you compare it with a petrol-powered car?

 

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Sounds like you have some idea of battery replacement cost, what's the plan?

Are used lithium ion packs available from Nissan's etc?  Would think a li-ion pack with the right voltage would be ok with the old controllers and so on  just not very efficient.  In some ways the old school control gear is part of its charm but you would want to make it safe and quick enough for IOW traffic at least.

 

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4 minutes ago, cort1977 said:

Sounds like you have some idea of battery replacement cost, what's the plan?

Are used lithium ion packs available from Nissan's etc?  Would think a li-ion pack with the right voltage would be ok with the old controllers and so on  just not very efficient.  In some ways the old school control gear is part of its charm but you would want to make it safe and quick enough for IOW traffic at least.

according to wikipedia they have a top speed of 48Mph which is much quicker then I was expecting!

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Enfield_8000

and im still somewhat doubtful about, if its an 8Hp motor, and it has a top speed of 48Mph, then that means it probably weighs about 300kg, which seems awfully light given its full of lead acid batteries!

(but im basing this off the fact an Invacar Mk12 with its 8.6Hp Villiers 11E has a top speed of about 50Mph, and those weigh ~300Kg but tbh I dont know if their speed is gearing or power limited)

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23 hours ago, LightBulbFun said:

so whats the plan for it? :) I do personally hope its kept relatively stock in all its shite glory, id be quite interested in knowing exactly how it works

ie what motor it has and what type of speed control it has etc :) 

(does it have the motor laying horizontally or pointing up vertically with the batteries going around it or such?)

The motor is horizontal and mid mounted in the transmission tunnel with a short propshaft and rotaflex coupling onto the (bond bug) rear axle.

Four 6v traction cells under the front bonnet and another four in the boot with an auxiliary battery under the rear seat to run the lights etc.

Original control system was done with a huge array of solenoids switching the 6v batteries in various combinations of series and parallel to provide voltage based speed control.

Due presumably to its previous ownership its had a lot of chopping and changing done to the wiring and currently has a Sevcon MOS90 controller fitted in place of the solenoids although the installation and wiring leaves a lot to be desired!

 

21 hours ago, Tayne said:

May I recommend the OpenInverter forum if you wish to update the drivetrain (and I think you should).

Thanks for that I'll take a look when I've got a moment, 

 

21 hours ago, Dick Van Diesel said:

Great little find and interesting that it's returned to it's proper home. Is there much online about their history? What are your plans? 

 

4 hours ago, adw1977 said:

Fantastic purchase!

What, the previous owner was using it for a daily commute until 2016?  Legend!

 

3 hours ago, cort1977 said:

Sounds like you have some idea of battery replacement cost, what's the plan?

Are used lithium ion packs available from Nissan's etc?  Would think a li-ion pack with the right voltage would be ok with the old controllers and so on  just not very efficient.  In some ways the old school control gear is part of its charm but you would want to make it safe and quick enough for IOW traffic at least.

 

 

I'll be lazy and try to answer all the above questions in one post!

 

This car is chassis number 67 and was built in June 1974. The first 66 cars were ordered by the electricity council and used for their research project.

This car was registered by Joseph Lucas Ltd in Birmingham who owned it up until October 1986 at which point it was sold on to a lady who ran a funeral directors (the car was in fact registered to the funeral parlours address) She seems to have sold it around 2010 and passed away the following year aged 87.

It then went to a chap who bought a new set of batteries and used it daily to commute to work for about five years until around 2016 when he changed jobs, and its languished in the road outside his house with flat tyres and a missing rear window ever since. (I believe it features in LordSterlings spotted thread from a few years back)

A friend who's also into cars made me aware of it a year or two ago and I've made a point of knocking on the door whenever I've been in birmingham but never managed to catch the owner at home. I've hassled my friend regulary to go around and pop a letter through the door and during the start of lockdown he went round and saw the owner and managed to persuade him to sell. 

 

Condition wise the traction control wiring is a mess and appears to have been modified repeatedly so i'm assuming lucas probably used it to evaluate and test  EV systems. Its had its original throttle control and main power control systems removed along with the onboard charger and currently has a MOS90 motor controller fitted although the way its wired up makes me doubt this was done during its ownership by Lucas, Charging is curently setup to be done from a large external forklift truck charger but again the wiring is horrible with various battery cable terminals disconnected and just wrapped in electrical tape floating around under the car.

The chassis is suffering from serious corrosion around the front (hilman imp) subframe mountings and the sills have been badly replaced in the past and are also rotten along with most of the front floorpans. 

Dashboard wiring is hacked about a bit but should be fairly easy to return to standard. As its already missing its original control gear my plan is to use a modern control system (to begin with I may retain the MOS90) but make a decent job of integrating it with the original dashboard wiring, handbrake safety interlocks etc etc 

Depending on its performance I may look to either replace the motor with something more powerful or keep the motor but increase the voltage which is something they tried during the electricity council research project with good results.

I would like to go Li-on battery packs but think cost might be an issue. £1200 buys me a full complement of Trojan lead acid traction batteries, or one and a bit tesla battery segments of which i would need about six in total.....

 

Time wise its probably going to go into hibernation for a few months whilst i try to finish the capri which I've just ordered £1200 of panels for.....

 

9.jpg

 

 

2 hours ago, adw1977 said:

If my experience of driving on the Isle of Wight is typical then a top speed of about 25 should be fine.

On the island I think some would describe 25mph as excessive ?

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