Italian Supercar: 1974 Elcar Zagato

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This is a car that I have been trying to find for a few years now, or one like it. This 1974 Elcar Zagato (yeah, that Zagato) can be found here on Craigslist with a $2,000 asking price. It’s located in the beautiful Wasaga Beach, Ontario, Canada area. That means that it most likely won’t end up in our garage, unfortunately. I would have no clue how to get a non-running car across the border. Thanks to Roger for taunting me with this great find!

There are only two photos of this car so I’m assuming that at the bare minimum it needs the 8 six-volt batteries or it would have been taken outside for photos? At least two of the rare-and-usually-broken door hinges are in place but I’d like to see the other side. These cars usually have a strap wrapped around them when they come up for sale because of broken hinges. I would think that with modern 3D printing and other similar technology that making a set of hinges wouldn’t be as crazy as it would have been in previous decades. Or, finding hinges for a car that they only made 500 of. I wrote about a “somewhat modified” (cough) Elcar Zagato recently which was cool, but I want (need) to find a stock, battery-powered car. The seller says that this one has been “converted to the latest system” but I don’t know what that means.

The Zagato Zele was sold briefly in the U.S. as the Elcar and as is often the case, Consumer Reports wasn’t a big fan: “The Elcar has yet another mark against it: Its suspension is too flimsy to cope with even the low level of performance of which the vehicle is capable. During hard braking tests from 30 mph, the front suspension collapsed, putting an empathetic end to our testing of the Elcar.” Suspension susmension! Who’s going to hard-brake with this thing?! Maybe if you see a turtle passing you in the left lane and they cut you off or something. With a top speed of 35 mph and around the same range, they obviously are just for neighborhood duty. Have any of you see one of these things?

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  1. CapNemo

    I’m willing to bet that the guy in the picture didn’t have a successful evening.

    Like 20
    • Coventrycat

      Because of the car, or his outfit?

      Like 14
      • CapNemo

        LMAO! I think both worked against him, but I blame the car a little bit more!

        Like 6
    • Kiemjp

      Certainly not in the backseat of that thing, he didn’t.

      Like 4
    • Buck Steele

      There is a company that makes a replacement hinge for the classic minicooper, think they may fit this
      Model as well.

      Like 2
  2. Brian Snyder

    I saved this one to my Favorites on CL because it`s only 2 hours away from me and I have an unfortunate addiction to microcars. Not that I own one because I don`t have the money to support my addiction. Probably a good thing. I also saved this person`s second ad for a 1964 DAF 750. I think I`d get along well with the seller, considering our mutual microcar problem. For those of us who don`t like to bother a seller when we can`t buy, it`s too bad they only posted 2 photos of each car.

    Like 5
    • Scotty GilbertsonAuthor

      I’m glad that I’m not the only one who likes these microcars, Brian! I sent a message to the seller but haven’t heard a word back yet which is always a little worrisome. I can’t see this one being a scam, maybe they just haven’t checked it in a while.

      Like 4
      • Beatnik Bedouin

        It’s just as well that it’s a day or two away or I’d be interested in looking at it…

        Let us know if you hear from the seller, Scotty.

        Like 2
  3. jw454

    When I saw the first two pictures I thought “It would have been nice if he had shown the whole car”. Then I saw the third picture with the original ad and realized, he did. LOL At six feet even and 270 pounds I doubt I could even get in it. And if I did, it may not be strong enough to pull me around.

    Like 3
  4. Tirefriar

    Perfect car if you live on Catalina Island.

    Like 2
  5. robjMember

    I think the suspension collapsed from laughter at the guys pants…

    Like 2
  6. Kenneth Carney

    Dammit Scotty, you did it again! I really
    like this one! The current owner must
    have converted it to lithium-ion batteries.
    If he did that, these would be 4 12-volt
    units that would weigh much less than
    the originals. As for the weak front
    suspension, you could indeed use a 3D
    printer to fab up some better, stronger
    pieces. As with the Comuta-car, I’d
    wrap it in flexible solar panels to help
    aid in recharging it while driving it.
    And yes, I’d take this thing to local car
    shows and cruise it! Great way to start
    my day!

    Like 2
  7. Ivan Utrera

    I have probably the only ZERO MILES Zagato El Car left on the world. 100% there. Just a few minor scratches on the left side from transporting it to Utah in 1974. I debate whether to fix those (easy fix) or leave it as is, as part of the vehicle history. Thinking of taking it to auction.

    Like 4
    • Ian Evans

      Seen one? Actually 2. Years ago in Riverside CA. Wonder what became of them.

      Like 1
    • Scotty GilbertsonAuthor

      Ivan, I can take care of those scratches when it’s in our garage.. (hee hee) (wringing hands)…

      Like 2
  8. Todd Last

    Hmm, Auto-correct must have struck again as I don’t think “texting” was invented when Consumer Reports tested this car.

    Like 2
    • Scotty GilbertsonAuthor

      Ha, good catch, Todd! I copy/pasted that quote and I should have checked it more carefully.

      Like 0
  9. Robert Tashijan

    I live in Indiana and have one of these Elcars and would be interested in selling it.

    Like 0

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