Hagerty Classic Cars - Cal Poly Goes Electric

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life's better in a classic


Go-fast parts for the boys in blue

CHEATIN' THE WIND Wings for road and track

Fall 2014 | $4.95 U.S.a. and Canada

The toughest four-letter word on wheels





the hagerty education Program at america’s Car museum awards scholarships and educational grants to organizations committed to preserving and restoring collector vehicles. learn more at hagertyeducationprogram.org.

b y S t e f an L omb ar d

Club members Justin Witt, Max Kassan and Sam Cates with the 911, with no hint of what lies beneath.

Cal poly goes ElEctric in 2010, eight students and a faculty adviser formed an auto enthusiast club on the campus of California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo. A year later, a donor gave the Cal Poly Motor Car Association (CPMCA; calpolymca.com) his electric-conversion 1977 Porsche 911S Targa. That’s when the Hagerty Education Program at America’s Car Museum (then the Collectors Foundation) got involved. “They gave us the ability to develop our hands-on skills with the 911,” says club co-founder Max Kassan. “We had a vision and a plan but no money to see it through. But they shared our vision and their support allowed us to complete a cosmetic interior and exterior restoration.” The work totaled nearly $13,000 and included new bodywork panels and new vibrant green paint. The interior was completely transformed with bucket seats, lightweight cloth door pulls, and a racing steering wheel, echoing the look of classic rally cars.


Four years on, the club is now 40 students strong. In addition to managing the Electric Porsche Project, the CPMCA operates toward three distinct goals: to share the enjoyment and passion for driving cool cars among Cal Poly students, to build relationships with local and national automotive groups, and to help members find work in the automotive industry. Part of that relationship-building has allied the club with the California Central Coast Region of the Porsche Club of America, which has sponsored the club and has invited members as well as the project car to many of its events. Additionally, the PCA has donated valuable time and technical expertise for the restoration. The CPMCA is still working on the electric 911 and is actively seeking donations to help them source batteries and other electrical powertrain components. “We also focus on getting younger students involved on small projects for the Porsche,” says Kassan, “in order to

these students ProVe that Vintage Cars and Cuttingedge teChnology Can Coexist increase their familiarity with it.” As you read this, the group has expanded to include students using the car for their senior projects, which include replacing the transaxle with a directdrive limited-slip differential, adding a microcontroller-based digital dash and motor status system, and redesigning the wiring and battery storage to a more OEM look. When the Porsche is finished, the club plans to compete in the annual REFUEL race at Laguna Seca and show it off at events where they can demonstrate how sustainable electric technology is possible, even in a vintage sports car. Along the way, members of the Cal Poly Motor Car Association hope to promote the school’s “Learn by Doing” educational philosophy. And as club members graduate and start careers in the auto industry, their experiences through the project will give them practical knowledge and skills they can apply to electric vehicle projects around the world.


hagErty Education Program

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