Modified 72V 1980 Vanguard Comuta-Car

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Let’s hear it for the weird stuff! Anyone? Anyone except me like the weird cars? Well, Larry D does. He pointed this one out to us, and I gotta say thanks for doing so, Larry D. Sebring-Vanguard was inspired by the Club Car golf cart, and they decided to make a car out of it. Enter on the scene, the 1974 Vanguard Coupe. That didn’t immediately work out very well, so they redesigned it a bit, still using the golf cart mechanicals, and came up with this wedge of cheese–I mean the Vanguard Citicar. Commuter Vehicles purchased Sebring-Vanguard, and the Citicar became the Comuta-Car. You can find this Comuta-Car here on eBay.

The big deal with this example is that the previous owner upgraded the electrics from the stock 48V system to a 72V system. For the electric newbies, the short of it is that means you can fit a more powerful motor in it and/or get further on a charge, depending on what you do to it or what type of motor you get. It’s a lot more complicated than that, but you can compare that to how having double overhead camshafts and VVT mean you can get a more powerful engine. The camshafts are secondary to the performance, but their location, flexible timing, and the fact that you have two instead of one mean you have more ability to burn more fuel more efficiently, resulting in more power.

Inside, this is a not-terribly-aesthetically-pleasing exercise in minimalist design but is interesting nonetheless. There is no HVAC system, no radio, no power anything, only one gauge, two seats, and sliding windows. You do get wood paneling, though, and wood paneling is always a plus. You get pedals and a steering wheel, and honestly what more could you want?

The world of electric cars is exciting and bizarre and about to get a lot more commonplace, so it’s best to familiarize yourself with how they work. Here’s a link that’s a good place to start. It may look weird, and have no storage, and a short range, but what classic car isn’t impractical? And they say: beauty is in the eye of the beholder. I’m willing to admit it’s bizarre, but I love the weird cars, and you don’t get much weirder than this. A lovable, quiet, simple, fun, unique electric car that will be a guaranteed head-turner for decades to come.

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  1. jeff

    These things have sort of a 70’s dystopian aesthetic that I’ve always liked. That being said, the weirdly massive front bumper confuses and frightens me

    Like 7
    • Wayne Moyer

      The big bumper is what makes it a later CommutaCar versus a CitiCar. The later CommutaCar had the bumpers and they held extra batteries for more range. You know because the Pinto was just too safe.
      I say this and I actually want one of these. I really want the Commutavan. Which was bought by the USPS as the first EV delivery vehicle but never made it into anymore more than small scale service.

      Like 4
      • Keith

        The bumpers actually held all the batteries for the car and getting them out of the passenger compartment to save everyone from the fumes from the batteries. My farther in law had one before the ugly bumpers and in the summer was a fun car to drive but as it got cold in Ohio they were a not near the fun to drive.

        Like 3
    • Ike Onick

      Dalek. “Attack!”

      Like 4
  2. jeffro

    Unlike the Triumph TR7…this is the shape of things not to come

    Like 12
    • ADM

      The TR7, aka The Door Stop.

      Like 0
  3. Bob C.

    Looks like another giant Dirt Devil.

    Like 8
  4. William

    Lmao 🤣 somebody call rolli from counts customs in Vegas this is his type of car 😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂

    Like 6
  5. Neil

    That car was built 19 cars after mine, I have unit 546. Mine was upgraded to 60 volts.

    Like 0
  6. Steve Clinton

    Talk about a government mandated safety bumper!

    Like 1
    • Tman

      That bumper was considered to be a safety impact thing. They are filled with water and supposedly absorbed the shock of the impact and had little caps that would pop open. The water would gush upward. Not sure if the caps could snap in place after refilling

      Like 2
      • brian

        No, the bumpers held batteries.

        “The Comuta-Car was essentially a re-worked CitiCar, with the batteries moved out from under the 2-passenger bench seat and out into the front and rear bumpers and a more powerful electric motor.”

        Like 3
      • Wayne Moyer

        It must have been someone who modified it with batteries then. I didn’t know about the water filled bumpers.

        Like 0
  7. Peter

    I guess with no title this is only for track use?

    Like 3
  8. wcshook

    A casket on four wheels. No thank you.

    Like 4
    • Jimmy Novak

      But double the wheels of a Harley-Davidson.

      Like 2
  9. Howie Mueler

    Modified? So not a hemi. They have a blue one for sale also.

    Like 3
  10. That Guy

    That dangling rat’s nest of wires doesn’t inspire confidence.

    Like 3
    • Tommy Milton

      I like that it says “Ignition wiring needs work, ANY wire on that vehicle is an ignition wire (also a potential heater for cold weather. I drove one of these after doing a brake job on it, it used small aircraft brake units. I enjoyed it and have longed to own one, sadly I’ve aged worse than it.

      Like 1
  11. Hemistroker225

    Seriously what would all those wires be for? No radio, no AC, no power anything, headlights marker lights, and brakes in the turn signals

    Like 1
  12. Ken Carney

    Aw c’mon, show a little love will ya’! I like it but can’t buy one til we move. I’ve
    seen one on YouTube that has solar panels on it to increase the range. That’s what I’d do with this one. Would be just fine for those quick jaunts to the
    smoke shop or maybe the market. This
    would be great here in Florida after a
    hurricane when there is no power to run
    the gas pumps to fill your tank. And with a lot of these foreign run stations
    charging $10 or more per gallon after
    the storm, it would make a great alternative to walking or biking to get
    what you might need until the lights
    come on again.

    Like 0
  13. PeterfromOz

    Are you guys sure it’s a bumper? Looks more like a front bench seat for extra passengers or a seat to have a picnic on. Could also bond a heating element under the flat top and hook it up to the batteries to make an electric barbeque and cook straight on the top!

    Like 2
  14. Kevin

    Turdly death trap!,and really couldn’t get any more fugly, could it…🤮

    Like 0
    • Jeffro

      Speaking from first hand experience…give some south Georgia rednecks a keg of beer and a cutting torch….they wouldn’t disappoint. 😂

      Like 1
  15. Frank of Eden

    I bought one (used), and drove it to work for almost 3 years… given… work was only about 2 miles away. The car was made with with a “pipe” cage from bumper to bumper encasing the passenger compartment, like NASCAR vehicles. So I felt sort of safe in it. I could get about 27 miles out of a charge, so I took out the charger and left it at home, to save weight. If it ran out of charge… I sat on the side of the road for a few min.s and could then coax it to go another mile or so… got it home several times like that. It was perfect for a very low cost small town and slow speed “shopper” vehicle, six or eight grocery bags fit behind the seat. Mine was a ’77 I believe, the batteries were under the seat, I never smelled bat. acid. It had aluminum framed side curtains that you could pull off the doors to open the “windows” for summer driving, much better than those sliding plastic things for the heat of summer weather. The newer ones did have sort of a heater on them, the electric motor had a cowling around it to remove the heat that it made and a small fan pushed it to the inside of the passenger compartment… may have helped a little. It could only go about 30 MPH on a good day, but I did get it to go almost 45 one day (going down a long hill). The wheel base was so short if I moved the steering wheel slightly at that speed it would put the car in another lane… scared me to death. I vowed to never do that again.

    Like 7
  16. Steveo

    We see a lot of crappy old electric cars but would it really be prohibitive to yank out the old and stick in some modern batteries? Maybe even better motors?

    Like 0
  17. HoA Howard AMember

    The cobwebs tell the whole story. Go ahead and make fun, this was a really scary time in history. Oil prices quadrupled overnight, we truly thought our “gas guzzling days” were over, and innovators, more like shysters scrambled for a solution. The “band-aide on the heart attack” was the electric car, that still used 75 year old technology, and not much has changed, except now it’s 100 year old technology.. Didn’t one of these mini electric cars founders dress like a woman to get more sales? Anyway, this is just a glorified golf cart, that may have had some useful merits, but Americans weren’t so quick to give up their gas hogs, and just cut back somewhere else.( no new bike for little Howie,,)
    I think, as the world continues to deteriorate, and people start moving back into cities( it’s already begun in Denver, with “stackable ” housing) and travel just becomes too expensive, you may see something like this again, but for now, fill that diesel dually pickup plumb full of fuel, and blow big clouds of soot into the air.
    As a sidenote to Ben, the KING of all unusual postings was, and as far as I’m concerned, will always be, Scotty G.

    Like 6
  18. Chris

    Grandparent to the Smart car

    Like 0
  19. Frank of Eden

    An electric car started being built in Hadsund, Denmark in 1991 and was called the “Kewet” which became “The Buddy”. The little car became a high selling electric car in Norway.

    BUT the big thing is that the “Kewet”electric automobile was almost an IDENTICAL COPY of the “Citicar” built by Sebring Motors in the USA.

    It has never been explained adequately how it was such a close copy. Did they buy the plans, designs, and spare parts, or just copy one that was shipped to Denmark. You can google Kewet or “The Buddy” and find lots of pictures of their FIRST cars that look just like the Citicar. Their car did evolve into a more modern vehicle over the years… it is not at all clear if it is still being built today.

    Like 0

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