Meet the Company Turning Classic Cars into Electric Cars

Lunaz Designs Reimagines and Modernizes Vintage Vehicles

1953 Jaguar XK120
The 1953 Jaguar XK120 is one of two cars Lunaz Design is working to convert into an electric vehicle.
Vauxford/Creative Commons
By Tobias Carroll / October 12, 2019 6:00 am

There’s a reason that people still flock to see classic cars out in the world: the design and engineering of certain beloved vehicles has withstood the test of time. For some car enthusiasts, it’s enough to see how the aesthetics of an earlier decade have influenced the look of subsequent generations of autos; for others, classic cars offer a glimpse into styles and techniques that are no longer in wide use. 

But what’s a classic car aficionado who’s also concerned about emissions to do? Some states regulate emissions requirements for classic cars differently than they do most vehicles on the roads — which can also include limitations on the amount of time spent driving it in order to qualify. Which is understandable: a car built in the 1950s is probably not going to be the most environmentally-friendly vehicle out there. 

Now, a company called Lunaz Design has announced a plan to convert certain classic cars into electric vehicles, beginning with the 1953 Jaguar XK120 and the 1961 Rolls-Royce Phantom V. At Autoblog, Jonathon Ramsey delved into the history of this innovative company, and explored just how they do what they do. 

Lunaz conversions aren’t a matter of pulling an engine and installing a battery pack; Lunaz reengineers classics. Managing Director Jon Hilton oversees a team bringing experience from carmakers such as Aston Martin, Ferrari, Jaguar, McLaren, and Rolls-Royce, with Hilton’s résumé including six years with Cosworth Engineering followed by eight years in Formula One.

Founder David Lorenz named the company for his daughter Luna; he is himself a classic car owner, and was inspired to start the company after his own experiences with his car. Ramsey’s article notes that Lunaz’s conversions aren’t cheap. “The Lunaz conversion starts at £350,000 (about $430,000 U.S.), and based on the prices of the Jaguar and Rolls-Royce in question, we’re not clear on whether that figure includes the donor car,” he writes. But there’s something inherently exciting about this blend of classic automotive style and cutting-edge technology — and the innovative thinking that got them there.

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