Amongst my many tried and tested work avoidance techniques is trawling eBay for things I can’t afford or don’t need. This morning I hit a cool seam of small cars in the classic car section.
It started with this a “Mini EL” electric trike, which has a sort of ’80s vision of the future’ vibe to it. A more practical (but still single seater) Sinclair C5. Needs work to get running, and then lots of forms filling out to register to drive on the road.
The Mini EL led me to this Lambretta micro van, which looks just like a yellow version of Postman Pat’s van. Ugly but endearing, and sort of practical.
The micro car theme continued with this Vespa, which has the cutest little face and rear opening ‘suicide’ doors. It needs a lot of work, with the floor all but gone and engine seized, but it’s just begging to be lowered a little, painted a deep glossy red or blue and powered by a new bike engine.
This Goggomobile isn’t as cute as the Vespa, but it’s in better condition. Again, it needs a new engine, but if you’re already on eBay, that shouldn’t be a problem.
So, that’s how I waste time on a Sunday morning. These are just the cars I looked at that I could string together a theme about. I expect one of you with more money, space and mechanical ability to take one of these and produce an awesome miniature kustom car. Or wait until I’m selling enough books to afford to do the project myself.
(All images taken from the relevant eBay listings, therefore belong to the sellers. I’m sure there’s some version of fair use I could cite if I knew more about that sort of thing.)
Joining the ranks of ever greener motor sports is Green GT, with their battery powered Le Mans prototype. Amongst their plans they would like to start a Green GT series, the races would be silent but for the squeal of rubber on the road.
If you must use a car, then you should at least try to use it as efficiently as possible. Jalopnik has some simple suggestions for improving mileage. Obviously, I would have put “Don’t use your car when you don’t have to” at the top of the list, but I don’t have a car, so it’s my only option.
Should I ever need to get a car I’ll be looking for something I can run on biodiesel, or possibly a biodiesel/ petroleum diesel mix because you can’t always get to a green fuel pump. I hanker for a Volvo estate or small van to cart my bikes around in. Efficiency isn’t such a concern with a closed circuit fuel supply like biodiesel, but VCACarFuelData.org.uk, allows you to search for your next ride by this and other criteria. If I could forgo the space considerations then the Citroen C1 would be worth considering, the most efficient of the cars currently listed on there.
Of course, another option is to do something as inventive as this Russian driver, who replaced his Opel’s engine with a 50kw motor and filled all the spare space with batteries.
The Velozzi is a concept car promising supercar performance- 0 to 60 in 3 seconds and a 200mph top speed- with 200mpg fuel consumption. It achieves this by recharging its batteries with a micro-turbine which can use any “heavy fuel”- such as gasoline, ethanol, methanol, diesel or bio diesel. It’s also super light, being built out of composites and liquid metal.
The research and development company behind the concept wanted to produce the most spectacular demonstration of the technology possible. The use of a turbine to charge the batteries means the car isn’t tied to electrical supply points and the versatility of teh fuels means it can use the existing petrol infrastructure. Everyday production vehicles are going to be heavier and less efficient, obviously, but still a vast improvement on current motorcars.