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Enfield 8000 Restoration


Will on Syros
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7 hours ago, somewhatfoolish said:

WHS.

https://m.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10158662225685091&id=597210090&set=p.10158662225685091&source=43&refid=56&ref=m_notif&notif_t=feedback_reaction_generic

Link to the photo...and maybe you can message him.  He told me today that he's looking for a good home for it.

 

Go on....you know you want to!

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12 minutes ago, Dick Longbridge said:

Stunning! One thing though,  why leave glass/handles fitted? 

Steve, the restorer, didn't want to risk removing the screens...I know of two people whose screens cracked when they removed them for restoration (Johnny Smith, the journo, and another restorer in Oz).  I guess he doesn't think the handles need taking off...they've been in place for near 50 years already.

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3 minutes ago, Will on Syros said:

Steve, the restorer, didn't want to risk removing the screens...I know of two people whose screens cracked when they removed them for restoration (Johnny Smith, the journo, and another restorer in Oz).  I guess he doesn't think the handles need taking off...they've been in place for near 50 years already.

Ah, makes sense. I remember the other chap on here who owns one and who mentioned Jonny's screen commissioning/large costs involved. Wise choice in that case! 

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I never knew these had Hillman Avenger doorhandles or that they had aluminium panels - I always thought they were GRP. 

I’m also not surprised the design passed a crash test easily, that’s a very solid looking chassis structure they have. 

Why were they built in Greece, out of interest? Were the authorities over there interested as well, or did they all get distributed back in GB? 

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On 13/03/2021 at 01:10, AnthonyG said:

I never knew these had Hillman Avenger doorhandles or that they had aluminium panels - I always thought they were GRP. 

I’m also not surprised the design passed a crash test easily, that’s a very solid looking chassis structure they have. 

Why were some built in Greece, out of interest? Were the authorities over there interested, or did they all get sold/distributed back in GB? 

Of the 120ish Enfield 8000s made, only the first 10 or so were made in the UK and the rest were made on Syros.  The owner of the Enfield Automotive company, Giannis Goulandris, was one of the big Greek Shipping Magnates at the time, and he owned the Neorion Shipyards here on the island.  He stopped production in the UK but had a contract with the British Electricity Council to make about 65 cars for them, and I'm not sure he expected to make any more than that.  The generally accepted opinion is that the Greek Socialist Government that controlled Greece at the time were no friends of Goulandris as he was too much a friend of the exiled King. They refused permits for the car to even be tested on Greek roads, let alone for them to be sold here. All the 100ish cars made on Syros were shipped to the Isle of Wight for battery fitting and testing before being sold.

The oil industry in the US had pressured the Greek government to get production of the electric car stopped, and Goulandris's shipping business was threatened and so he made the choice to stop production of the car, despite having received an order to make 100 for the US market.

The Enfield was designed by Greeks, and the company was owned by Greeks...and people who knew Goulandris say that moving production from the UK to Greece was just to fulfil his dream that the car should also be built by Greeks.  There's no doubt he enjoyed the project, and all the workforce say he spent a great deal of time on the factory floor.  The story of this little pioneering vehicle is romantic, happy, sad...a real piece of automotive history.  One of the world's first mass produced electric car...handbuilt by Greek shipbuilders on an island that's 5 miles wide and 10 miles from north to south.  It feels an honour to own one of the 10 or so left running on the world's roads.

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10 minutes ago, Will on Syros said:

Of the 120ish Enfield 8000s made, only the first 10 or so were made in the UK and the rest were made on Syros.  The owner of the Enfield Automotive company, Giannis Goulandris, was one of the big Greek Shipping Magnates at the time, and he owned the Neorion Shipyards here on the island.  He stopped production in the UK but had a contract with the British Electricity Council to make about 65 cars for them, and I'm not sure he expected to make any more than that.  The generally accepted opinion is that the Greek Military Dictatorship that controlled Greece at the time were no friends of Goulandris as he was too much a friend of the exiled King. They refused permits for the car to even be tested on Greek roads, let alone for them to be sold here. The oil industry in the US had pressured the Greek Junta to get production of the electric car stopped, and Goulandris's shipping business was threatened and so he made the choice to stop production of the car, despite having received an order to make 100 for the US market.

The Enfield was designed by Greeks, and the company was owned by Greeks...and people who knew Goulandris say that moving production from the UK to Greece was just to fulfil his dream that the car should also be built by Greeks.  There's no doubt he enjoyed the project, and all the workforce say he spent a great deal of time on the factory floor.  The story of this little pioneering vehicle is romantic, happy, sad...a real piece of automotive history.  The world's first mass produced electric car...handbuilt by Greek shipbuilders on an island that's 5 miles wide and 10 miles from north to south.  It feels an honour to own one of the 10 or so left running on the world's roads.

interesting story behind them, never knew that they where forced to stop making them like that

It really really boils my piss how they got suppressed like that, reminds me a lot with the GM EV1 etc

I hate it when a big company pressured another into stopping something fun and exciting, its not like this car would have really ruined the US Oil industry LOL

that sort of thing should be illegal... 

 

as a side note tho, are they really the first mass produced electric car?

about 2182 AC Model 64 Electric invalid Cars where produced between 1958-1972 for example :) 

s-l1600 (2) copy 3.jpg

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Fascinating stuff, thanks.

I had always assumed that a small firm like Reliant or AC had assembled them to make some cash during a tough time, and/or keep their workers busy.

Aston Martin even refurbished a load of stored unsold Lancias at one point! (The Beta ‘HiFi’ Coupes circa 1980)

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TBH the ‘first mass produced electric car’ would probably have been American and made in the 1900s I reckon, they were pretty popular in urban areas until the Ford Model T wiped out most of the competition. 

The name ‘Detroit Electric’ comes to mind.

Edit: I remember now, they started to fall out of favour after Cadillac introduced a car with an electric starter in 1912, prior to that ‘starting on the button’ had been a unique selling point of an electric car.

Like now, electric cars were pretty expensive compared to petrol ones, so on reflection I don’t think the Model T would have really been in the same market sector, even at launch. Electric cars were for the upper-middle class, if not the actual upper class.

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5 minutes ago, LightBulbFun said:

 

as a side note tho, are they really the first mass produced electric car?

about 2182 AC Model 64 Electric invalid Cars where produced between 1958-1972 for example :) 

s-l1600 (2) copy 3.jpg

I guess the claim is based on it being the first mass-produced car that they hoped could challenge the petrol car market.  

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5 minutes ago, Will on Syros said:

I guess the claim is based on it being the first mass-produced car that they hoped could challenge the petrol car market.  

I park next to the factory often, and there's a memorial there.  It says "in this place, the first electric car in Greece was built from 1973 by the company Enfield Neorion".  On some Greek webpages they say the first electric car, or first mass produced electric car in Europe, and others say in the World.

20201016_151730.jpg

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On 3/11/2021 at 10:46 PM, Mrs6C said:

How about this, @EmperorPigeon? Not a Model 70, but bags of character, electric traction and as rare as hens' teeth!

Yep. I do love the Enfield 8000s, I remember hunting for one before Jonny Smith came along and then the prices went sky high each time I'd find one. Pah! But definitely the kind of thing I'm after. :) EDIT: Just realised that its for sale. Thanks again for the heads up @Mrs6C :)

I'm of the mindset to just build my own battery powered light quadricycle, part in protest and part in defiance of the price tag of the Citroen Ami heavy quadricycle (EDIT: Every reviewer, regardless of their pedigree and with the exception of EVM, doesn't realise that UK legislation requires that a light quadricycle be 350kg or less unladen, not including batteries in the case of an EV. The Citroen Ami EV without the battery pack is still around 420kg, thus a heavy quadricycle here in the UK).

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1 hour ago, EmperorPigeon said:

Yep. I do love the Enfield 8000s, I remember hunting for one before Jonny Smith came along and then the prices went sky high each time I'd find one. Pah! But definitely the kind of thing I'm after. :) EDIT: Just realised that its for sale. Thanks again for the heads up @Mrs6C :)

I'm of the mindset to just build my own battery powered light quadricycle, part in protest and part in defiance of the price tag of the Citroen Ami heavy quadricycle (EDIT: Every reviewer, regardless of their pedigree and with the exception of EVM, doesn't realise that UK legislation requires that a light quadricycle be 350kg or less unladen, not including batteries in the case of an EV. The Citroen Ami EV without the battery pack is still around 420kg, thus a heavy quadricycle here in the UK).

@EmperorPigeon, the seller is based on the Isle of Wight...and he told me on FB today that he has someone coming to view the car next weekend.  You'd better get a move on....

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20 hours ago, AnthonyG said:

TBH the ‘first mass produced electric car’ would probably have been American and made in the 1900s I reckon, they were pretty popular in urban areas until the Ford Model T wiped out most of the competition. 

The name ‘Detroit Electric’ comes to mind.

Edit: I remember now, they started to fall out of favour after Cadillac introduced a car with an electric starter in 1912, prior to that ‘starting on the button’ had been a unique selling point of an electric car.

Like now, electric cars were pretty expensive compared to petrol ones, so on reflection I don’t think the Model T would have really been in the same market sector, even at launch. Electric cars were for the upper-middle class, if not the actual upper class.

Doesn't Jay Leno have one of those wonderful early electric cars?

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2 hours ago, Will on Syros said:

@EmperorPigeon, the seller is based on the Isle of Wight...and he told me on FB today that he has someone coming to view the car next weekend.  You'd better get a move on....

Well, I taken the plunge and sent a message to the seller on FB, we shall see. I have a feeling my lunacy should have me locked up and the key thrown away :P But, well, if I didn't take the chance...

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32 minutes ago, EmperorPigeon said:

Well, I taken the plunge and sent a message to the seller on FB, we shall see. I have a feeling my lunacy should have me locked up and the key thrown away :P But, well, if I didn't take the chance...

It's not lunacy at all...it is just that you have the wit and wisdom to recognise that this car is special.  Well done, sir.  Please keep us informed of how it goes.

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1 hour ago, Tadhg Tiogar said:

I don't think there's a car that he doesn't own!

There were 3 that were flown out to California in the early 70s at the request of the Governor of that state...someone called Ronald Reagan (!)....in support of the Clean Air legislation at the time.  What happened to them is a bit of a mystery.  Konstantinos Adraktas, the engineer who helped design the Enfield, was convinced that they were all destroyed at the request of the nasty evil oil industry...but who knows...maybe one ended up with Jay Leno. 

A couple were sold in Canada, but I believe they're accounted for (one seems to be in private hands in British Columbia, and the other was rumoured in a museum in Vancouver...though i can find nothing online about it), so not likely they made their way south of the border.

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25 minutes ago, Will on Syros said:

There were 3 that were flown out to California in the early 70s at the request of the Governor of that state...someone called Ronald Reagan (!)....in support of the Clean Air legislation at the time.  What happened to them is a bit of a mystery.  Konstantinos Adraktas, the engineer who helped design the Enfield, was convinced that they were all destroyed at the request of the nasty evil oil industry...but who knows...maybe one ended up with Jay Leno....

It wouldn't be the first time that the Americans have destroyed things that weren't invented by them,

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23 hours ago, Will on Syros said:

It's not lunacy at all...it is just that you have the wit and wisdom to recognise that this car is special.  Well done, sir.  Please keep us informed of how it goes.

The seller got back to me and I have asked a...battery... of questions (sorry not sorry :P ) its starting to look like a possibility? We haven't talked about price yet, as its all about getting an idea of the real condition of the Enfield and if this is within my budget/skill to bring back to the road. The other interested party, as mentioned, may have more money and/or otherwise give the impression that the car is better with them than I. The way I see it, as long as the old girl goes to a good and loving home (preferably mine) then all is good.

And thanks for the support, very much needed. :)

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