Fully Loaded! 1971 B&Z Electra King

This 1971 B&Z Electra King EV is almost like a Dr. Dolittle Pushmi-Pullyu (push me pull you), if anyone remembers Dr. Doolittle. Hello? Is this thing on? It’s hard to tell which end is the front and which end is the back, at least from this angle. The seller has this one listed here on craigslist in Bell Gardens, California, just southeast of Los Angeles, and they’re asking $4,000. Thanks to Pat L. for sending in this tippy tip!

These are really unique vehicles and for being vintage EVs, they were made for a longer period of time than a lot of old battery-powered vehicles were on the market. Just think, in 1963 you could have gone into a showroom and gotten a Chevrolet Corvette split-window coupe or a B&Z Electra King. That’s a tough choice, said no one, ever. I really like these cars but I’d prefer a four-wheel version over the three-wheel model.

Sadly, we don’t see the passenger side at all which is always a huge disappointment, especially given all of the photos that the seller has uploaded to the listing. But, we do see what’s underneath those two black-painted pieces of plywood in the trunk, and this is it. My Magic 8 Ball didn’t have an answer as to why there are two speakers pointing down at the ground, hidden under plywood in the trunk of this five-decade-old B&Z Electra King.

The Electra King was made from 1963 to around 1980 and the interior looks good and relatively fancy in this example. The seller says that this one is loaded, which meant a steering wheel rather than a tiller for steering, lights, turn signals (which nobody uses anymore anyway), and they mention that there’s an added stereo! That explains the speakers in the trunk, but not why they’re pointed down at the ground.

It looks like there are a couple of Hydra marine speakers under the dash and what looks like a Boss MC900B (just a guess) Bluetooth amp. That’s cool and it would help to drown out the whirring sound from the electric motor which is just behind the batteries under the seat. Seeing a 50-year-old electric car with a Bluetooth digital audio system is like seeing an Amish guy with Google glasses on, but it’s always handy to have hands-free chatting ability, even if you’re only going 25 mph.

Here are the motor and batteries. The seller says that the batteries are a year old which is good news and, as always, you don’t want to get into a head-on crash in an Electra King. But you don’t want to do that with any vehicle. Have any of you driven one of these things or, better yet, owned one?

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Comments

  1. Ken Carney

    I’ve never owned one but I’d like to. Just
    right for short trips to the store. That’s
    fine for us as Walmart is less than a mile from our house. Don’t think I’d want
    to use it on Palm Bay Road though. The
    way folks drive here in Melbourne, you’d
    think they were qualifying for the Daytona 500 or something like it. Despite all that, I’d still like like to have it
    just to cruise around my neighborhood
    or load it up for cruise nights at Old town, where it would be a great conversation piece to be sure. Who knows, I might even get a date with it!

    Like 3
  2. chuck

    Well, …. I might end up in divorce court, or under 6 feet of dirt in the back yard, but, I want this car. I mean, yeah, I really want it. People use golf carts to get around our community, so why not this car? And, the added plus, I can take it out onto the highway. I might not be able to do 70 like the big cars, but, hey, I have the right of way, right? Right? Right!!

    Like 4
  3. Jimmy Novak

    I believe the speakers are aimed downward and outboard in order to entertain gas-station customers refueling their vehicles alongside while you browse the aisles within.

    Like 2
    • Scotty Gilbertson Staff

      Ha!

      Like 2
  4. Blake Young

    Run some vroom vroom noises through the speakers in back, play like you’ve got a Hemi. Or flathead. Or Hayabusa. Or the squeak of a hamster wheel going round and round. Lots of fun possibilities.

    Like 3
    • Cattoo

      I’d play something similar to ice cream truck music while driving around. The kids will run out and see you drive by.

      Like 1

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