The 1966 Cadillac DeVille was one of America’s favorite flagship luxury cars, powered by a massive 429-cubic-inch big-block V8 engine and known for its passenger comfort, amenities, and plus-sized dimensions. One attribute it was not known for was its efficiency. A custom car builder has turned the tables 180 degrees from that notion and converted a mid-1960s DeVille convertible into an all-electric luxo-convertible. Oh, and the electrified Caddy has even more power than it had when it was new.
Legacy EV, based in Tempe, Arizona, was established in 2019 under the mindset of “Honor the Past, Protect the Future.” The company offers electric vehicle conversion kits for a number of platforms. While the environmental benefits are readily visible, the performance gains as seen in the case of this “dEVille” (emphasis on the “EV” in that nameplate) are a compelling side benefit.
Legacy’s 1966 Cadillac was originally built for the SEMA show in Las Vegas in 2021. Dubbed an “electro-mod,” this car is classified as lot number 1036.1 at this year’s Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale Auction at WestWorld of Scottsdale. It will sell on Friday, January 26 at no reserve to one lucky bidder.
How does it all work? In place of the previous big-block V8, the car is now powered by triple NetGain Hyper 9 electric motors linked together to produce 394 horsepower and 1,000 lb-ft of torque at the rear differential. A one-speed automatic transmission puts the power to the ground, and an NMC Lithium Ion battery pack (55kwh) works with SmartView software to get the juice flowing.
The creation and existence of this unique Cadillac mark an important milestone in the collector car community: The company’s website states, “The transition to electric vehicles does not mean we have to give up the cars we love and the auto shops we trust. With support from Legacy EV, builders around the world are ensuring the transition to EV both honors the past, while protecting the future.” Taking one of the largest American gas-guzzlers and converting it to a fully electric vehicle was a bold move, but with this build, Legacy is sending a clear message that the EV transition doesn’t mean we have to abandon our love of classic cars.
The classic cars of the future may sound and perform a little differently, but the timeless lines remain unchanged. Along with the powertrain conversion, this custom Caddy received an air-ride suspension, LED headlights, and custom wheels. By the way, if you want to see the car in action, you can check out a 2022 video from The Fast Lane Car. It is a real trip to see this big boat whirring along without any V8 engine noises!
Is there a classic car from your past you’d like to see electrified? I have a few ideas. I’d love to get Legacy to work on an Acura Legend or Honda Prelude and give it the same electro-mod treatment! Stay tuned to The Journal and we’ll let you know how the auction goes for the one-of-a-kind electric Cadillac.