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Old 11-21-07, 07:38 AM   #1
Air
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Pimp my hybrid

Some good stuff

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Gas guzzlers get new lives -- as tire-smoking hybrids

By Sean Callebs
CNN

WICHITA, Kansas (CNN) -- On a beautiful, crisp late fall afternoon, rock icon Neil Young took his 1959 Lincoln Continental for one last spin before a team of mechanics ripped out its gas-guzzling engine to make way for an electric motor.

Car buffs may think it's sacrilege to tear apart an automotive classic, but Young wants it to have a new life as a fuel-efficient hybrid.

"If we're going to make a difference, truly make cars more environmentally friendly," Young said, "we have to make that emotional connection."

Young said everyone has a connection with an old car like the Lincoln.

It only took about an hour for Johnathan Goodwin and his four-man team to pry the engine out of Young's Lincoln. He'll have the new engine installed in 45 days. Video Watch Goodwin show off a biodesel hotrod

Talking about the old motor, Goodwin says, "Of course, it's not fuel efficient at all. It's a big polluter, one of the biggest rawest forms."

The Lincoln's new electric engine will power the car and when it begins to lose juice, Young will simply flip a switch and the car will run on biodiesel fuel until the electric motor is recharged. "A 19-foot-long car, the longest car ever made at its time. Two and half tons, the heaviest car at its time," Young said, "And it can get 100 miles to the gallon, not 10 miles to the gallon."

Young renamed his car Linc-Volt, and is making a movie about the transformation, which he hopes to release next year.

Goodwin is making a name for himself -- and his company, H-Line Conversions -- by turning gas-guzzling behemoths like Hummers, Cadillac Escalades, Jeeps and other big American cars into clean-power machines.

The first thing he does is remove the old inefficient engine -- even if it's a brand new vehicle -- and replace it with a diesel engine that can run on biodiesel.

"It's the transformation of what I call old technology to new technology," Goodwin says.

Here's his analogy: Remember 15 or so years ago when a cellular phone was the size of a brick. Now it's a lot smaller, because the industry underwent a ton of changes over the years.

The same kinds of advances are made in engines. But since it's so expensive, changes to cars are made in leaps, not tiny steps.

What's the drawback of his method? You guessed it. Cost.

"It's not cost-effective for someone to run out and spend $40,000 to double the fuel economy, but I have no shortage of customers," Goodwin says.

Including California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, who's having his Wagoneer converted to biodiesel.

Goodwin, 37, drives a 1987 gas burning Wagoneer, rents his home and will sheepishly tell you he didn't graduate from high school.

Expect to hear a lot more about Goodwin in the future.

Companies are knocking down the door to work on projects with him.

Goodwin's developing a download that can be installed in a car's computer and improve the mileage by five to seven mpg without losing performance. He expects it to cost about $200.

Ask Goodwin what his favorite project is, and he answers, "the next one" but the Linc-Volt project has been special. "We're going to prove you can have your cake and eat it too so to speak," Goodwin proudly boasts.
The video is pretty cool too.
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Old 11-21-07, 09:06 AM   #2
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That makevoer show needs to get hold of a real pimp and give him a makeover. Pimp My Pimp would be awesome.
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Old 11-21-07, 09:24 AM   #3
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More on Goodwin:

http://www.fastcompany.com/magazine/..._Friendly.html

CN:

Kansas hot rodder thumbs his nose at GM's "Can't be done" mentality. He's modified Hummers to run on Diesel, Biodiesel, and grease, upping both horsepower and mileage along the way. His current project is using a surplus gas turbine engine to drive a generator and fast-charging battery/capacitor system, to get a hybrid Hummer with bucketloads of torque. He thinks the US automakers are all idiots, because he can do it and they can't.

He's right.
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Old 11-21-07, 10:25 AM   #4
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The only thing is as he points out the extra $40k isn't trivial; but adding it from the factory should reduce those costs significantly.
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Old 11-21-07, 10:32 AM   #5
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"If we're going to make a difference, truly make cars more environmentally friendly," Young said, "we have to make that emotional connection."
I think Neil is wrong. Americans need to get over their affection with cars. Too many people base part of their identity on what they drive. It's actually very childish if you think about it.
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Old 11-21-07, 10:33 AM   #6
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I think Neil is wrong. Americans need to get over their affection with cars. Too many people base part of their identity on what they drive. It's actually very childish if you think about it.
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Old 11-21-07, 10:43 AM   #7
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I think Neil is wrong. Americans need to get over their affection with cars. Too many people base part of their identity on what they drive. It's actually very childish if you think about it.
I agree 100%. It's a car people, just a tool to help get you from point A to B.
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Old 11-21-07, 10:48 AM   #8
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I disagree.
This is America. Home of the hot rod.
Yes we need an alternate source of fuel.
Yes we love to feel power push us back into our seats.

An emotional connection is important.

You may disagree but you will never win over the hearts of car lovers, and they are the majority.
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Old 11-21-07, 10:51 AM   #9
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Yes we love to feel power push us back into our seats.
Ask your parents to take you to Coney Island to ride the Tornado.
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Old 11-21-07, 10:54 AM   #10
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Yes the emotional connection is the problem. It is what makes us buy the thing we don't need.

I grew up in the '70's. I have seen gas lines. Cars are nice, but I have no problem with alternative means of transportation.
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Old 11-21-07, 11:23 AM   #11
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What is with everyones fixation on biodiesel? I don't get it. It still makes CO2 as bad as anything else.

I've said it many times, hook a hydrolic accumulator to an engine's exhaust pipe, and use its energy to power the car. That could quadruple the mileage of any vehicle. Turn it into a hybrid, and you'd have one hell of an efficient car. 100 MPG after the battery has died with the speed of a Z28 the entire way would be easy.
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Old 11-21-07, 11:40 AM   #12
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I agree 100%. It's a car people, just a tool to help get you from point A to B.
So is a bike. So what's with some people blowing tens of thousands a year on bikes? Same thing.

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Old 11-21-07, 11:41 AM   #13
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anybody see "Who killed the electric car"?
Good flick.
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Old 11-21-07, 12:18 PM   #14
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I agree 100%. It's a car people, just a tool to help get you from point A to B.
Not necessarily true...I spend up to 2 hours per day in a car...I choose to enjoy the experience. By 'enjoy the experience' I mean plush seats, nice sound system, some raw power, a little flash, and something that I look forward to driving.

I can't seem to get that from a Geo Metro or something. I wouldn't consider my wiring flawed, but I take joy in certain things, and driving is one of them.
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Old 11-21-07, 12:21 PM   #15
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ps... the day that Chevy makes a 400 hp Electric/solar/hydrogen/noocular Corvette for the same price as the others, and can refuel for a comparable cost to premium, I'll buy it.
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Old 11-21-07, 12:24 PM   #16
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Not necessarily true...I spend up to 2 hours per day in a car...I choose to enjoy the experience. By 'enjoy the experience' I mean plush seats, nice sound system, some raw power, a little flash, and something that I look forward to driving.

I can't seem to get that from a Geo Metro or something. I wouldn't consider my wiring flawed, but I take joy in certain things, and driving is one of them.
As you can tell by my prior post, I agree.
There is nothing like hitting the apex of a turn or going through a turn sideways or spinning you tires in a raw display of horse power.
I don't think it has anything to do with the way I was brought up. It's just an awesome feeling that is easy to get addicted to. If I could do it all over again, I would try my hardest to make a career out of rally racing.
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