Only 32 Miles! 1976 CitiCar SV-48

If Elon Musk would have had a battery-powered car at age 5 it may have been something like this 1976 Sebring-Vanguard CitiCar SV-48. This fantastic, funky little find is listed here on eBay in Clarksville, Iowa with an unmet opening bid of $2,999 and no reserve after that.

These are really unique cars, to say the least. We have seen quite a few of these here over the last few years and Josh recently showed a really, really (really) nice one, a Barn Finds Exclusive, that can be found here. That car had a mere 122 miles on it and looks almost like new. This yellow one looks almost as nice and it has a mind-blowing 32 miles on it!

This car is in amazing shape but the seller says that it needs work on the brakes from sitting for so long. And, as you always hear and expect, it needs new batteries. This one, believe it or not still has its original batteries from when it left the Sebring-Vanguard factory in Florida in 1976 and that’s super cool, or I think it is. Of course, they don’t work but I’d want to somehow photograph a battery label and make stickers for new batteries so they look original and then.. ok, yeah, that’s too much work. Remember to add at least $800 to the price for new batteries.

The photos are pretty grainy but this car looks like it’s in pretty much perfect condition, for the most part. The CitiCar had removable side windows as opposed to the Comuta-Car which came later and had sliding side windows. but there are a few problem areas in the ABS shell of this example. These cracks won’t be easy to fix and it would be unfortunate to have to repair and repaint it and not have an exact color match. I know, it’s just a “cheap little electric car”, but it’s almost a museum piece being in such perfect original factory condition – other than the cracks – with just 32 miles on it. The seller thinks that those cracks are from temperature changes which very well could be the case.

The is an SV-48 with a build date of 8-1976 and a 3.5-hp motor. The later models in mid-1976 had an updated 6-hp motor and fixed sliding side windows and a couple of additional improvements such as a heater. The company would be sold not long after the 1976.5-models came out and the later Comuta-Car is the one that a lot of us think of, it’s the one with the giant bumpers. The Comuta-Car bumpers were loaded with batteries whereas the CitiCar didn’t have those bumpers and I think it’s a much better “design” – if a person can use that word in relation to a CitiCar. This car is scarily close to me and I’ve wanted one for years, especially a yellow one. But, those cracks scare me. Have any of you repaired ABS plastic to the degree that this CitiCar needs in the windshield area? (and, if so, how much would you charge me?.. kidding)

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Comments

  1. Dickie F

    I know what would explain the fact it only has 32 miles.
    On its first run, it suddenly grinded to a halt.
    Help soon arrived but they couldn’t find the gas tank…..

    2
  2. craZee

    It’s probably been moved more miles on those dollies than on it’s own wheels!
    I wonder how many body shops stock ABS glue? LOL

    4
  3. Kenneth Carney

    Every time I see one of these, I want it! Just retrofit it with new lithium-ion batts, fix the charging system, the brakes, and then drive it. I’d also install some solar panels to the roof and bumpers for extra charging capability. Solar panels could
    allow you to trickle charge the car while you drive it. Saw one on YouTube at the cerealmarshmellows site not long ago. The car shown there had solar attatched to it and they did indeed work. However, that vehicle was in worse shape by far. The ABS shell was cracked in many spots and had several small holes in it as well. It was later sold to a high school student who started driving it almost immediately after he bought it so that shows me that the solar panels actually do aid in increasing the car’s range to a point. All that being said, this looks like a really fun way to get around town–which is all I’d need in the first place.

    4
  4. rod444

    For reasons known only to those with eyeballs, this is the best Citicar ever: https://i0.wp.com/www.oddimotive.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/DOH1.jpg?resize=825%2C510&ssl=1

    When you see under the skin, there’s not much too them. Looks like something a good welder could build in a day: http://www.evconvert.com/images/392.jpg

    4
  5. Tom Henderson

    Anybody know the range on these old things?

    1
    • OrphanGuy

      supposedly about 50 miles, under ideal circumstances

      1
      • Tom Henderson

        No wonder it only went 32 miles. Battery died, they pushed it home and bought a real car. An electric car needs to go 500 miles before I will buy one.

        1
  6. Maverick

    This is beginning to be yuppie finds .any economy box junk shouldnt be on barn finds.imop .keep it real.millinions.

    2
    • Audifan

      …….and why shouldn’t a cool economy box be on this website? Also, this is anything but a yuppie car.
      Not everybody is into 7mpg domestic behemoths from a bygone era.
      Obviously you are not too fond of millinions? Lol.
      Did you by any chance mean “millennials”?

      4
  7. OrphanGuy

    The article below provides some backround on the CitiCar. Full disclosure: I wrote it. https://www.makesthatdidntmakeit.com/sebringvanguard

    3
    • claudio claudio

      thank you for the link to your informative article

  8. ramblergarage

    I had one of these new in 1976 for about 2 weeks. The engine would overheat on the PA hills. I took it back and got a refund on my deposit. It was fun on the flat roads though.

    2
  9. PRA4SNW PRA4SNW Member

    Eddie’s car in Grounded For Life was the model with sliding windows and batteries in the bumpers.

  10. Sal

    I have nothing against this model of car. Collect as you like.

    But I am always terrified of cars with this sort of mileage. Because you’re either looking at a catastrophic failure or a seller that might be insane..

    Maybe it was their long lost relatives… but somebody looked at this car 43 times in a row and said ‘I bet this will be worth more $ next year’

  11. canadainmarkseh Member

    First of all there are plastic welding machines believe it or not. Second these just like the battary cars of today are nothing more than a novelty. I’d strip out all that EV stuff and put in a small gas motor with a snowmobile clutch system. Then you could travel more than 50′. Actually the truth is it’s really just a POS failed experiment and I wouldn’t want one even if you gave it to me. Its in nice shape though I guess that’s how it goes when you buy something that functions so poorly you never use it. So forget the gas motor and take out the windows park it in your front yard fill it up with dirt and plant some marigolds in it. When they bloom they will match the colour of the car.

  12. chrlsful

    thnx for da post BF !
    Thanx for all your ‘links’ guys…

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