Electric vehicles have an issue. They can be a little dull, save from the acceleration and torque when compared to the internal combustion engines. Tesla may be ahead of the pack in crucial technological areas, but what if all of your mates have one as well? This is something AVA intends to address with its Signature line of electric automobile conversions. The headlining act is a redesigned electric AC Cobra, which has a distinctive design and a story to tell, and some are even pieces of art. This Cobra was inspired by the iconic 1966 Carnaby Street Swinging London Cobra, once owned by Tara Browne, Guinness’s heir. The Cobra was remarkable not just because of its astonishingly swift performance but also because of its rainbow paintwork by Dudley Edwards of BEV (Binder, Edwards, and Vaughn) Design, which was described as “LSD on wheels.” Dudley Edwards is also known for painting Paul McCartney’s “Magic Piano,” with a similar vibrant look.
The Cobra automobile was seen as so artistic that it was shown at the Robert Fraser Gallery in Mayfair’s Duke Street. This vehicle, however, has a melancholy backstory, as its owner died early in 1966, just a couple of months after his Cobra was born. In fact, Tara Browne’s death in a Lotus crash was so well-known at the period that it inspired a passage in The Beatles’ song “A Day in the Life.” The accident details are described in the sentence, “He didn’t realize that the lights had changed.”
However, AVA will not be modifying the original Cobra chassis. According to Norman Crowley, the creator of AVA, they did not want to destroy the original car. However, Dudley Edwards has also been enlisted to repaint the new vehicle in rainbow paint. This may be Edwards’ final major work, and it’s fitting that he’s depicting the Battery Electric Vehicle (BEV).
An electric Cobra is a huge improvement. The initial car was the Mark 3 289, which had a 4.7-liter V8 generating 271bhp and a 0-60mph sprint pace of 5.6 seconds, which was extremely fast for 1966. To minimize weight, the new AVA version will initially feature a 20kWh battery as well as a 60mph sprint speed of well below 3 seconds. In September, the car will be launched at the Salon Privé in London, before travelling to London Fashion Week (yes, baby!) and then to New York Fashion Week. This is before getting auctioned in the 4th quarter of 2021. Although the added weight will add around half a second to the sprint pace, the final model will have a far greater range of over 200 miles and an 80kWh battery.
AVA is also working on a Signature Land Rover Defenders line, beginning with the “Croxford Defender.” The story behind this car, as well as the others in the series, is that they were all prompted by the story of a wounded military man. Stuart Croxford lost a limb in Afghanistan yet started his own company and even competed in an Iron Man competition, which was the inspiration for the Croxford Defender.