Electrifying Find! 1980 CommutaCar

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Ok, maybe I’m over-hyping this little find in the title, but I like them. We have written about these little electrics before and I find them fascinating. This one was found by our own Jeff L. and is up for sale in Arlington, Texas. It’s listed here on eBay, where bidding at this point is well under $1,000 but it has yet to meet the reserve.

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Although the car is shown in these two pictures stored outside, it has actually been stored inside for the past four years. Believe it or not, somewhere around 4,400 of these little cars were manufactured under various names from 1974 to 1982.

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I’m always struck by the so very fake hood scoops on these Commutacars or CitiCars (as they were called earlier in the design’s history), especially considering they are all electrically powered! Here’s the car next to it’s HMV Freeway stablemate in storage. We’ve covered those as well! The seller is either keeping the Freeway or at least has not listed it yet. They are selling the CommutaCar due to personal injury after intending to restore it. Six years ago, the seller purchased eight new batteries and replaced all the battery cables and the car ran. However, it appears nothing has been done since then. There are also a set of four new wheel cylinders included in the auction. I guess with a top speed of 30 mph or so, small drum brakes are adequate.

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Needless to say, interior accommodations are pretty austere. I remember from writing up others for sale that at least some of the switch gear is Lucas stuff from MG’s. Why an electric car company would choose Lucas electric items is a question well beyond this British car fan. Perhaps that’s a question for the eventual refurbisher/restorer of this unique vehicle? In any case, it might be fun to use as a city car, or maybe as a first car for a 16 year old in a family of Tesla owners?

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Comments

  1. Scotty G Staff

    Nice! I’ve wanted one of these for years. I wonder if they’d do a two-for-one with the HMV Free-Way next to it in the garage?

  2. Bill

    Lucas switches are fine, I have 40 year old and older ones that work fine… the issue is mostly the bullet connectors. they corrode like it was on sale.. thus the prince of darkness issues.

    that out of the way, This would be fun. perhaps an upgrade though as for the running gear and safety feature(s)

  3. Blindmarc

    The show Counts Customs did one of these up.

  4. Chris in Nashville

    A college buddy swapped a motorcycle engine and tranny into one of these when his parents gave him one and he found the 30 mph a little too limiting. They were pissed to say the least but considering he started a vehicle engineering company right out of college and now lives in a 50,000 square foot home, he did pretty well for himself.

    Oh and he still has the CitiCar with the motorbike engine.

  5. Jeff G

    My cousin had one of these at our work shop for a few years. To give an idea of their value, it was given to him and he eventually gave it to someone else just to get rid of it. It had an old solar panel on the roof to charge the batteries. The 6 year old batteries could have a little value.

  6. Joe

    Roli approves of this find.

  7. jim shoe

    the guy rollie on counting cars had one

  8. Charles

    Where would you drive this thing, except in your driveway! Can’t see me on the interstate with this; even now when I see a “Smart” car, I get away from it ASAP because I don’t want to be a witness to an anything larger than a another “Smart” car hitting it!!! SCARY!!!!!

  9. Steven C

    For once I am actually looking foward to an SBC swap comment.

  10. Harold Wood

    I think I might have seen these about six months ago I ran up to Arlington to pickup a couple of Gas Powered Yamaha golf carts that some guy was selling on craigslist or Ebay one or the other and there were two things that looked about like these, although I didn’t look too close at them as I was in a big hurry and something caught my eye that interested me a lot more, it was one of those six wheel things that goes on land or water that was sitting between me and them. none of them were for sale at the time, either. I was using an old trailer of mine that was known to have lights that came and went as far as working and I was in a hurry to get back before dark. He did have a shop full of oldball stuff.

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