Smashitup Smashitup Smashitup!

After all my agitating for small, cheap, fuel efficient cars (and automotive metaphors), I figured I had to post this picture (and a few others) from the demolition derby at the Hopkinton Fair a couple weeks ago. My video of the four-cylinder event is at YouTube. Extra: I don’t know where it fits in your […] » about 100 words

DeLoreans Are Back In This Future

If the DeLorean looks at all like a Lotus Esprit, it should. Both of them were designed by Giorgetto Giugiaro, and much of the engineering work was done by Lotus founder Colin—to add speed, add lightness—Chapman. Amusingly, John De Lorean also owned a company that manufactured snowcats under the DMC name. Owners and wannabes can […] » about 400 words

Rocket Cars Make Better Fireworks

I pointed out this Jet Turbine Powered Toyota MR2 a year ago, but now I’ve discovered Ron Patrick’s Jet Powered VW Beatle. The story is well told in a San Francisco Gate article from April (with bonus video), which describes the builder: Patrick is a 48-year-old Stanford-trained (Ph.D.) engineer who owns ECM (Engine Control and […] » about 400 words

Fuel Efficient Vehicles

People looking for oversized pickups, ridiculously large Russian Army trucks, even jet powered speedsters have it easy. But what about people who have some understanding of the Hubbert peak and don’t want SUVs? 50+ MPG cars have been available in Japan for 30 years now, and can be bought used in Canada for under$5000. But US law forbids importing them to the US! Heck, the Smart, the super-efficient line from DaimlerChrysler, has been available in Europe (and now Canada) for about ten years now, but it too can only be imported with a lot of restrictions. Don’t talk to me about Priuses, either. They’re selling on ebay for almost $30,000.

Face it, there just aren’t any affordable fuel efficient vehicles in the US.

Energy Crisis

Mike Whelan posted the above photo to his Flickr photostream recently. Back in April, when gas prices were still well below the $3-per-gallon mark, it looked like sales of SUVs were starting to slow. Interestingly, we’ve crossed the threshold Keith Bradsher quotes in High and Mighty, his book detailing how the US auto industry became […] » about 200 words