The Start-Up

‘We’re giving classic cars a heart transplant’

After watching Prince Harry and Meghan Markle in an electric Jaguar at their wedding, Justin Lunny had an idea – why couldn’t the same thing be done for other classic motors? Andy Martin speaks to him about his new venture, Ionic Cars 

Wednesday 23 September 2020 11:42
comments
Lunny has spent nearly three years working on his venture
Lunny has spent nearly three years working on his venture

The marriage of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle has had many far-reaching consequences. The career of Justin Lunny is one of them. Lunny once lived in Windsor, right across the street from the castle. He used to watch Prince Philip driving a four-horse-powered carriage through town. But what really inspired him was the 250-odd horse-powered vehicle Harry and Meghan were driving on the day of their wedding: a sky blue Jaguar E-type convertible. A design classic. But also, crucially, fully electric. As it turned out, Jaguar weren’t quite ready for mass production and this prototype, the “E-type Zero”, was shelved. But a seed had been planted in Justin Lunny’s brain: if you could do that with an E-type, why not other similarly eye-catching classic cars? So it was that the wedding of Prince Harry to Meghan Markle was also the day that Ionic Cars was first conceived.

Lunny’s grandfather, Reginald Tredwell, was a fearless motorbike despatch rider in the Second World War. The young Lunny fancied following in his tracks, but his mother steered him away from bikes towards four wheels. He became an automotive prodigy: by the age of five he could identify and correctly name cars in the distance, even in the dark (from the shape of their headlamps). “I was probably an irritating kid,” says Lunny, “but at least it wasn’t ‘are we there yet?’”

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

View comments