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Go for highest voltage battery you can get. I think the HPEV / curtis AC systems are available up to 144V. don't go less than that if you want decent highway speeds. +1 on leaf or volt battery pack. If leaf, reconfigured for 144v at 120ah would give 60-70 mile range in a 2200-2300lb total weight car.

as already suggested, keep the tranny. However run full synthetic oil in it and the diff, and if you are adventurous you might be able to make internal mods to it to reduce friction. But if its a standard 4spd, probably best to just put new seals and syncros in it and run it as is. get the alignment done and all the ball joints and suspension redone and put good LRR tires on it. You can also mess with gear ratios by adjusting the rear axle ratio. IIRC there are several swap options available for the 02's. Due to the comparatively rev happy electric motor you might want to spec a higher ratio rear end than the stock one.

I had a '71 BMW 1600 for a few years. Neat little car. I sort of wish I had kept it but I sold it when I had to move, before I caught the EV bug.
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