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Enfield 8000 Restoration


Will on Syros
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Here is one of between 15 and 30 Enfield 8000 "Electric City Car"s that are still about in the World. About 120 were made on the Greek Island of Syros between 1973 and 1976. All were shipped back to the UK for battery-fitting and sale, with the majority sold in the UK and others making their way to Australia, South Africa and the U.S.

I bought this car at the beginning of February and it is the subject of a 4-month restoration at Steven Cato Classic Car Restorations in Norfolk.  It will then return home to Syros.

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Edited by Will on Syros
correct a typo
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The steel chassis is fortunately in very good condition.  The car had one owner from about 1980 through to 2017, who used it and maintained it.

The seats and trim are at the restorers. The electrics and circuitry are also in good condition and 11 new Trojan T105s have been ordered.

Steve has been attending to the bodywork...

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Great to see not just one, but two of these cars now surviving with forum members! Looks like you're progressing well with getting this back on the road.

3 hours ago, Will on Syros said:

The car was originally white...then red...and the blue.

This logo for "BEI" was discovered on the boot lid. Any idea what it means?

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Any thoughts on whether this BEI logo might relate to the lighting firm, @LightBulbFun?

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1 hour ago, anonymous user said:

There was/is a company BEI that did streetlighting amongst other things, so it could have had something to do with them. I expect our resident lightbulb expert may know.

According to Companies House,  BEI Lighting of Bridgend acquired the name in 2006...so it seems unlikely. 

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1 hour ago, anonymous user said:

There was/is a company BEI that did streetlighting amongst other things, so it could have had something to do with them. I expect our resident lightbulb expert may know.

 

22 minutes ago, Datsuncog said:

Great to see not just one, but two of these cars now surviving with forum members! Looks like you're progressing well with getting this back on the road.

Any thoughts on whether this BEI logo might relate to the lighting firm, @LightBulbFun?

 dont think so, as the Lighting firm your thinking of is BLI, British Lighting Industries (which was Thorn Lighting Ltd by the time of this enfield)

but the thing that nags at me, is I recognise that logo but I just cant quite place it

 

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I'd suggest "British Electricity International Ltd" which was set up by the Electricity Council in 1976, to develop overseas consultancy in all things electrical.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electricity_Council

Interesting BBC article and documentary on the Enfield here:
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-25117784

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38 minutes ago, spartacus said:

"There's a lightbulb expert ?"

Ah, the innocence...☺

 

Great thread. Does it need much mechanically?

A simple sealed electric engine..no oil, no petrol, no cooling system. The main upkeep is for the set of 12 batteries. They'll need regular topping up with water and rotating now and again to spread the load. Brakes and suspension are like a petrol car.

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3 hours ago, Mrs6C said:

I'd suggest "British Electricity International Ltd" which was set up by the Electricity Council in 1976, to develop overseas consultancy in all things electrical.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electricity_Council

Interesting BBC article and documentary on the Enfield here:
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-25117784

Oooh....you're a Star, Mrs6C....Thank you so much. I think that's it.  According to Companis House they went insolvent in 2018. Seems they published the "definitive" 12 volume set of books on Power Station management.  By the 90s, the logo had progressed...but it was still BEI and a globe.

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57 minutes ago, bezzabsa said:

you thought of modernising the batteries?? 

I did...but decided against. The cost was just too high to do it at the moment and there just arent enough charge points here to make it worthwhile. Maybe in some years, if the technology improves I'll upgrade it.

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Delighted to see another one on the go.

You must be one of the first people in the world to consider traction battery choice when restoring a classic car.  In twenty years time people will be agonising over period correct chemistry and the correct type of crimps for maximum concours points on their early Tesla.

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39 minutes ago, cort1977 said:

Delighted to see another one on the go.

You must be one of the first people in the world to consider traction battery choice when restoring a classic car.  In twenty years time people will be agonising over period correct chemistry and the correct type of crimps for maximum concours points on their early Tesla.

There aren't many cars like the Enfield 8000 that was designed and built to be powered with traction batteries, though. It's a big part of the car's charm...hearing the solenoids clicking away... despite being a bit shite range-wise. 

I had this idea of getting a set of Tesla batteries and a controller in it and driving it from the Isle of Wight to Syros...a pilgrimage.  I realised that even if I managed to get 130km range, I'd still not be confident that once I arrived on the ferry in Patras that I'd be able to get to the next available charge point in Corinth.   I was also quoted a price well in excess of 10k for the conversion.  

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2 minutes ago, Will on Syros said:

There aren't many cars like the Enfield 8000 that was designed and built to be powered with traction batteries, though. It's a big part of the car's charm...hearing the solenoids clicking away... despite being a bit shite range-wise. 

Oh very cool yours has the original speed controller setup

do you have a video of you or someone driving the car? id love to hear all the relays/solenoids clicking and clacking away :) 

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10 minutes ago, LightBulbFun said:

Oh very cool yours has the original speed controller setup

do you have a video of you or someone driving the car? id love to hear all the relays/solenoids clicking and clacking away :) 

I've not even seen my car...its in the UK...and I live on Syros, in Greece.   If all goes to plan, I'll meet the car when it arrives in Greece at then end of May....assuming I can find a way to get it here.  I've seen the one that is in the museum here on Syros, but not driven in it.

Enfields have this stepping-up system...so the solenoids keep adding in extra batteries to the chain supplying the motor as the power it needs increases. It's a funny business.  The set supplying the lowest speeds get the most use, so the batteries should be rotated every few months to spread the load.

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Not at all sure...it's all a bit new to me.  The Enfield 8000 club on weebly.com has a page containing all the wiring documentation...and I'll need to delve into it so I can understand it all better. Go have a look there...they also have lots of other original documentation.

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40 minutes ago, Will on Syros said:

I've not even seen my car...its in the UK...and I live on Syros, in Greece.   If all goes to plan, I'll meet the car when it arrives in Greece at then end of May....assuming I can find a way to get it here.  I've seen the one that is in the museum here on Syros, but not driven in it.

Enfields have this stepping-up system...so the solenoids keep adding in extra batteries to the chain supplying the motor as the power it needs increases. It's a funny business.  The set supplying the lowest speeds get the most use, so the batteries should be rotated every few months to spread the load.

interesting system :) 

I would have thought that as you went down in speed and it removed batteries from the chain

it would then add those removed batteries back but in parallel to help load balance thing and keep the range up

rather then just leave them disconnected

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Crikey, that would have been anachronistic even when the things were new, thyristor tech was coming in at that point allowing quite sophisticated solid-state motor controls for efficiency and giving the batteries an easier time. The Lucas Taxicab supposedly used thyristor control.

42 minutes ago, LightBulbFun said:

interesting system :) 

I would have thought that as you went down in speed and it removed batteries from the chain

it would then add those removed batteries back but in parallel to help load balance thing and keep the range up

rather then just leave them disconnected

That's how ww2 subs did coarse speed control; motors parallel and batteries series for highest speed, vice versa for slowest speed/best endurance.

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