We have now completed a full overhaul of body, chassis and other major mechanical components, which mostly meant taking our old off-road truck back to bare basics. A solar-electric makeover for a vehicle like this may be a lot of work, but it’s been coming along nicely. Completing this first chapter means we’ll be able to go into the development of the electric drive, expedition shelter and solar system with the peace of mind of having a professionally restored base vehicle.
We’ve mentioned this before but it bears repeating: Project ECARUS™ is based on a true off-road legend. The Pinzgauer 712M was designed by Steyr-Puch, the ingenious car manufacturer who also created the G-Wagon (in cooperation with Mercedes). These trucks are known for being sturdy, low-maintenance and practically unstoppable beyond the tarmac. As long as you look after them a little, you can run them for decades. Our Pinz was originally commissioned in Oman, during the 1980s, and we’ve brought it to the United Arab Emirates for restoration.
With the help of the crew at Butterfly Cars Care, we peeled back layers of dust, rust and dirt, refurbishing the base vehicle with a number of repairs and replacements. While all this was going on, we began working on plans for the upcoming electrification, expedition shelter and solar rig. We also dug into the history of the Pinzgauer, meeting some of the people who were involved in its original design and engineering, back in the 1970s. More on that in an upcoming video, so stay tuned.
But before we get to all that fancy stuff, first things first. Here’s what ‘back to bare basics’ meant for Project ECARUS™:
Stripping down soft top and side panels
Separating body from chassis
Fabricating a custom wind screen
Getting the truck ready for shipping
And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. But, as we keep telling ourselves, it’s got to get worse before it gets better, right?!