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‘Future-proofing’ a classic or ‘taking away its soul’: Ferraris enter 21st century with electric engines | Climate News

Owning a classic car is a sensory experience.

Purists say it’s the feel of the leather, the smell of the fuel, the growl of the engine that brings a classic car to life.

But on an industrial estate in Newtown, mid-Wales, that growl is silenced.

Three Ferrari Testa Rossas, a Maserati Ghibli and a Land Rover are all getting their old engines ripped out and electric motors put in.

Ferrari Testa Rossas at the Electric Classic Cars plant

At this workshop, or “toyshop” as the owner, Richard Morgan, calls it, they’re bringing vintage vehicles into the 21st century.

“We’re future-proofing classic cars to be able to be used regularly.”

There’s a clear production line, with cars getting their engines gutted by the door and then moving into a fabrication area.

Here, bespoke motors are built.

Apart from the engine, nothing in the original car is changed.

One of the classic cars being 'future-proofed'
This classic car is getting its original engine fixed up to get back on the road

Instead, a team of fabricators play Tetris with batteries, motors and wires, building bespoke engines for every vehicle.

They weld boxes and supports to fit the new electric engine around the car, then bolt them into place.

A Maserati Ghibli is one of the classic cars getting their old engines ripped out and electric motors put in
A Maserati Ghibli is one of the classic cars getting an electric motors put in

But it’s not just the classic car that is upcycled.

Around 40% of the batteries put into the classics are recycled from other, usually crashed, electric cars.

electric vehicles
A Maserati Ghibli

They’ve used so many, they say they’ve exhausted the UK supply of second-hand EV batteries.

But for Richard, the founder of Electric Classic Cars, it’s not actually about saving the planet.

“It’s about being able to have the confidence to get into a classic car, and use it as a daily driver.

“When I started doing this years ago, the reaction was, ‘Oh my God, I can’t believe you’d do that to a classic car. You’ve ruined it, you’ve taken out the soul.’

Installing an electric engine

“But as time goes on, and more and more people are driving electric cars, they’re starting to get it.

“They’re starting to understand, ‘Oh, it’s got a bit of poke. It’s quite nice to drive around in a nice, quiet, smooth car’.”

A Ferrari Testa Rossa with an old engine

A Ferrari Testa Rossa with an electric engine

He sees it like modernising a home – and the cost of fitting one of these motors could pay for a house deposit.

It can range between £20,000 and £120,000 to have your old engine replaced by Richard’s team.

“It’s not done because it’s going to save you money. It’s done because you want to future-proof the classic car for future generations.

“If you live in a really old house, you don’t have your original coal fireplace, you put a modern central heating system in, or you put in double-glazing or a sewage system.

“It’s like that for me. You’re improving the internals to make it more enjoyable and easier to live with on a day-to-day basis.”

Read more:
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Many petrolheads in the classic car community remain unconvinced, including Jason Mills, the founder of Vintage Vehicle Restorations over the border in Ludlow.

“Purists would argue that it came out of the factory with that engine,” Mr Mills said, “so to restore it with an electric motor just doesn’t seem right.”

The mechanics here have been restoring vehicles for decades, and although they can see the value in making them cleaner and more reliable, it’s the old engine experience that they love.

“It is the sound, the speed, the noise, the smells,” Mr Mills said.

Purists aside, future-proofing these old classics could keep them on the roads for longer – a reliable, clean and extremely indulgent ride.

Eileen Cotter: Man, 80, jailed for manslaughter of woman he strangled nearly half a century ago | UK News

An 80-year-old man has been jailed for manslaughter after strangling a young woman nearly half a century ago.

John Apelgren has been convicted after his DNA was flagged as a match in the historical case when he was cautioned for assaulting his third wife in 2019.

The case of Eileen Cotter’s death had been reopened in 2012 when DNA was extracted from her body and compared with a then-prime suspect who was ruled out.

Apelgren hit Ms Cotter, who was a sex worker, in the face and throttled her before throwing her body out of his car, the Old Bailey heard.

Her partly naked body was found on 1 June 1974 outside garages known to be a sex worker haunt.

The 22-year-old’s death in Islington, north London, came two years after Apelgren sexually assaulted an 18-year-old guest at his own wedding to second wife Ann in October 1972.

Prosecutor Alexandra Healy KC had told jurors the incident only came to light years later when police interviewed Ann Apelgren as part of the re-investigation into Ms Cotter’s death in 2012.

Eileen Cotter
Eileen Cotter

The trail went cold for seven more years until 2019, when former minicab driver Apelgren came to the attention of police for attacking his third wife.

He accepted a caution for the assault and his DNA was flagged as a match to the historical killing, which happened just six weeks after the birth of his first child with his ex-wife Ann.

She went on to reveal to investigators he had mistreated her too – and once applied force to her neck with both of his hands.

Apelgren, from Sydenham, south London, declined to give evidence in his trial.

He was acquitted of murder but found guilty of manslaughter and indecent assault.

On Friday, Mrs Justice May jailed him at the Old Bailey for 10 years for the killing and a further six months for the earlier assault to run consecutively.

Read more UK news:
Man guilty of murdering police officer
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The garages in Islington, north London, where the body of Eileen Cotter was found in 1974
The garages in Islington, north London, where the body of Eileen Cotter was found in 1974

Ms Cotter’s death led to the breakdown of her parents’ relationship and her five-year-old brother Patrick Cotter was taken into care.

In his statement, he said: “No-one ever spoke to me about my sister’s death. I have no memory of her funeral.

“I have no idea where she was laid to rest… As a result of the traumatic event during my childhood I shut down emotionally. It’s made it difficult for me to form close relationships.

“I only have very faint memories of my sister but I believe she cared for me.”

He concluded: “To sum it up in simple terms, the impact of Eileen’s killing had on my life: I was not only deprived of a sister I had little time to get to know, the knock-on effect also meant I lost my mother to suicide and my father to mental illness and alcoholism, all brought about because John Apelgren took Eileen’s life.

“I would like to see justice for Eileen whose life was cruelly cut short 49 years ago.”

Tens of thousands of nurses to strike today in first mass walkout in a century | UK News

Tens of thousands of nurses are going on strike today for their first mass walkout in a century across England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

The action, a bid to secure above-inflation pay rises, is going ahead after talks to avert it ended in a deadlock.

Picket lines are being set up at dozens of hospitals and thousands of NHS appointments and operations have been cancelled, with the health service running a bank holiday-style service in many areas.

Share your NHS experience – how are the strikes affecting you?

The Royal College of Nursing (RCN) has said it will still staff chemotherapy, emergency cancer services, dialysis, critical care units, neonatal and paediatric intensive care.

Some areas of mental health and learning disability and autism services are also exempt from the strike, while trusts have been told they can request staffing for specific clinical needs.

When it comes to adult A&E and urgent care, nurses will work Christmas Day-style rotas.

Saffron Cordery, interim chief executive of NHS Providers, said agency NHS trusts were “pulling out all the stops” to lessen the impact on patients.

She said: “But it’s inevitable that some operations or appointments will have to be rescheduled, and trusts are pulling out all the stops to minimise disruption.

“The cold snap has ramped up demand that was already at or close to record levels, but on strike day NHS trusts will do everything they can to ensure that essential services are properly staffed and patient safety, always the number one priority, is safeguarded.”

Read More:
How strike will impact A&E and other NHS services – and which hospitals are affected

RCN chief executive Pat Cullen has accused Health Secretary Steve Barclay of “belligerence” after he refused to discuss the issue of pay – because the government has already accepted recommendations made by the NHS Pay Review Body (PRB) to give below inflation pay rises of around 4%.

This would have seen them get a pay rise of around £1,400.

Health Secretary Steve Barclay in Westminster, London, ahead of his meeting with Pat Cullen, the head of the Royal College of Nurses (RCN), as he tries to avert strike action. Nurses have voted to strike in the majority of NHS employers in a row over pay, the first UK-wide strike action in its 106-year history. Picture date: Thursday November 10, 2022.
Health Secretary Steve Barclay has been criticised by the head of the Royal College of Nursing

The RCN has been calling for a pay rise at 5% above inflation, though it has indicated it would accept a lower offer.

When it submitted the 5% figure to the independent pay review body in March, inflation was running at 7.5%.

But inflation has since soared, with RPI standing at 14.2% in September.

‘A tragic first’

Meanwhile, in Scotland, RCN members are being consulted on a revised pay offer from the Scottish government.

Ms Cullen said: “Nurses are not relishing this, we are acting with a very heavy heart.

“It has been a difficult decision taken by hundreds of thousands who begin to remove their labour in a bid to be heard, recognised and valued.

“It is a tragic first for nursing, the RCN and the NHS.

“Nursing staff on picket lines is a sign of failure on the part of governments.

“My plea to patients is to know that this strike is for you too – it’s about waiting lists, treatments that are cancelled year round and the very future of the NHS.”

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Royal College of Nursing leader Pat Cullen says the government’s ‘turned its back’ on nurses

The RCN has also raised the issue of huge staff vacancies in the NHS, with 47,000 nurse roles empty in England alone. And it has warned strike action may need to continue into January if the government does not re-negotiate on pay.

The health secretary said nurses were “incredibly dedicated to their job” and that it was “deeply regrettable some union members are going ahead with strike action”.

Mr Barclay added: “My number one priority is to keep patients safe – I’ve been working across government and with medics outside the public sector to ensure safe staffing levels – but I do remain concerned about the risk that strikes pose to patients.

“Nevertheless, the NHS is open and patients should continue to seek urgent medical care – and attend appointments – unless they’ve been contacted by the NHS.”

He said paying nurses more “would mean taking money away from frontline services at a time when we are tackling record waiting lists as a result of the pandemic.”

Read more:
Who is striking this winter and why?

But pressure is mounting on the government to find a compromise on pay, with former Conservative Party chairman Sir Jake Berry saying it “is going to have to improve its offer”.

“We need to find a way as a government, and the union does too, to get to that centre point, that point of agreement straight away,” he told Talk TV.

During the strike, nurses will man picket lines at major NHS hospitals, including Guy’s and St Thomas NHS Foundation Trust in London, Addenbrookes Hospital in Cambridge and University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust.

Several trusts have already given details of cancelled outpatient appointments and planned treatments.

The Western Trust in Northern Ireland said it had “regrettably taken the decision to cancel some non-emergency services”, with 587 outpatient appointments postponed across Altnagelvin Hospital, Omagh Primary Care and Treatment Centre and South West Acute Hospital.

The trust said there would also be reduced staffing in community nursing services including rapid response nursing, district nursing, community respiratory nursing and continence services.

A view of signs from the Royal College of Nursing during a protest outside the Conservative Party conference at the ICC in Birmingham, England, Monday, Oct. 3, 2022. (AP Photo/Rui Vieira)
Pic: AP

In Wales, the Welsh government said non-urgent or routine appointments are likely to be postponed.

On Wednesday, the head of NHS Employers said “real concerns” remain about the level of cover nurses will provide for cancer patients during the strike.

In a letter to NHS leaders, Danny Mortimer said some aspects of talks with the RCN had been disappointing and warned that “unless the government indicates a willingness to negotiate on pay-related matters, further strike dates will be announced by the RCN for January 2023 and beyond”.

A second RCN nurse strike is set for 20 December, while thousands of ambulance workers will go on strike on 21 December.

The RCN has urged agency workers not to cover for striking staff.

Members of the Rail, Maritime and Transport union (RMT) began the first of two 48-hour strikes at Network Rail – and 14 train companies – on Tuesday, which will last until Friday.

There is also industrial action planned in a whole number of UK spheres, including paramedics, postal workers, Border Force agents, firefighters, driving instructors, bus operators, airport baggage handlers and even coffin makers.