RVSD December 2015 : Page 118

T R AV E L & R E C R E A T I O N ri d e s Calling all collectors. A San Diego company resuscitates the vintage Volkswagen for the eco-friendly set. It’s Zelectric! By AnnaMaria Stephens Photography by Robert Benson CHARGED UP refurbished 1959 ragtop Beetle, from $70,000; a mint-condition 1964 VW bus, from $120,000, features technology that promises eco-torque; founder David Benardo in the rare model. Teslas may be a top status symbol in San Diego, but one local company is vying for the title of coolest when it comes to plug-in cars. San Diego-based Zelectric Motors (zelectricmotors.com) retro ts mint-condition vintage classics like the Volkswagen Beetle for the ultimate Southern California ride. “We’re taking midcentury-modern designs that we love and combining them with modern technology that makes the cars more reliable, dependable and fun,” says founder David Benardo, who lives in Point Loma. Zelectric seeks out stock cars in stellar shape, and replaces the gasoline engine and tank with electric components. “It doesn’t even look like anything has been modi ed,” says Benardo. “ e Beetle lends itself especially well to this rebuild.” With new disc brakes to compensate for faster speeds, an upgraded suspension and a refurbished manual transmission, the tricked-out cars o er an incredibly smooth ride. Zelectric also rebuilds old-school collectibles like the VW Microbus and Karmann Ghia, and various Porsche models. “With electric, you don’t even have to shift that much,” says Benardo. “You feel like you’re coasting.” e longtime car guy adds that going green was never Zelectric’s main goal. “ is is more about performance,” he explains. But the eco-friendly angle is de nitely a bonus. “It’s the best of both worlds,” says Benardo. “It’s recycled and rechargeable, but it’s also attractive and will only go up in value.” Zelectric’s clients include a Hermosa Beach collector who sought out a VW ing with the perfect beach-worn patina. “ at was hard to nd,” says Benardo with a laugh. Another client just shipped his 1967 Microbus from Martha’s Vineyard. With a starting price of $70,000, Zelectric’s conversions tend to attract well-heeled car connoisseurs. “ ey might have a little car collection but haven’t thought about VWs in a couple of decades,” he says. “When they nd out what we’re doing, it just clicks right away.” 118 MODERN LUXURY SAN DIEGO DECEMBER 2015

Travel & Recreation Rides

AnnaMaria Stephens

CHARGED UP

Calling all collectors. A San Diego company resuscitates the vintage Volkswagen for the eco-friendly set. It's Zelectric!

Teslas may be a top status symbol in San Diego, but one local company is vying for the title of coolest when it comes to plug-in cars. San Diego-based Zelectric Motors (zelectricmotors.com) retrofits mint-condition vintage classics like the Volkswagen Beetle for the ultimate Southern California ride.

"We're taking midcentury-modern designs that we love and combining them with modern technology that makes the cars more reliable, dependable and fun," says founder David Benardo, who lives in Point Loma.

Zelectric seeks out stock cars in stellar shape, and replaces the gasoline engine and tank with electric components. "It doesn't even look like anything has been modified," says Benardo. "The Beetle lends itself especially well to this rebuild."

With new disc brakes to compensate for faster speeds, an upgraded suspension and a refurbished manual transmission, the tricked-out cars offer an incredibly smooth ride. Zelectric also rebuilds old-school collectibles like the VW Microbus and Karmann Ghia, and various Porsche models. "With electric, you don't even have to shift that much," says Benardo. "You feel like you're coasting."

The longtime car guy adds that going green was never Zelectric's main goal. "This is more about performance," he explains. But the eco-friendly angle is definitely a bonus. "It's the best of both worlds," says Benardo. "It's recycled and rechargeable, but it's also attractive and will only go up in value."

Zelectric's clients include a Hermosa Beach collector who sought out a VW Thing with the perfect beach-worn patina. "That was hard to find," says Benardo with a laugh. Another client just shipped his 1967 Microbus from Martha's Vineyard. With a starting price of $70,000, Zelectric's conversions tend to attract well-heeled car connoisseurs. "They might have a little car collection but haven't thought about Vws in a couple of decades," he says. "When they find out what we're doing, it just clicks right away."

BEETLE JUICE Clockwise from top: A refurbished 1959 ragtop Beetle, from $70,000; a mint-condition 1964 VW bus, from $120,000, features technology that promises eco-torque; founder David Benardo in the rare model.

Read the full article at http://digital.modernluxury.com/article/Travel+%26+Recreation+Rides/2330488/282055/article.html.

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