Peter Curran has bought the 40 year old remains of a piece of motoring history. The Enfield 8000 was a prototype electric car built in the early 1970s at the height of the energy crisis, when the British Government feared that the country would grind to a halt at the hands of the oil producing nations of the world.
The car was the result of a secret deal brokered between a Greek shipping billionaire and the Electricity Boards, and was aimed at creating a revolution in the way we thought about transportation.
The Enfield 8000 was shorter than a Mini but had bold styling and came in a range of classic 70's shades. It was powered by four giant tractor batteries and applied the latest electrical circuitry to control the car. It had no gear stick, just a tiny toggle switch which flicked it instantly from forward to reverse. Just over a hundred vehicles were produced, and enthusiastic early owners talked about its delicate handling, impressive pick up speed and natty aero-dynamics.
Peter Curran tells the story of this ground-breaking British car and tries to breathe life into his 40 year old Enfield for one final challenge.
Producer: David Prest
A Whistledown production for BBC Radio 4.
Peter Curran tells the story of the Enfield 8000, Britain's pioneering electric car.