California: They turn ’49 Mercurys and Shelby Cobras into EVs, one Tesla carcass at a time

In a garage near South Los Angeles, metal fabricator Greg Abbott fits battery packs borrowed from a decommissioned Fiat 500E under the hood of a 1965 Mustang.

In Oceanside, Calif., former AAMCO mechanic Matthew Hauber combines the suspension system and battery packs from a totaled Tesla to make an 800-horsepower, all-wheel-drive Shelby Cobra.

In an unlikely marriage of classic car culture and green technology, sophisticated hot-rodders — mostly men, mostly Californians — are cannibalizing crashed electric cars and using their batteries to create electrified sports cars and muscle cars.