Urban Legend in your Driveway? Almost.

Urband Legend in your Driveway -- Almost

You know the story: Some guy in the 1930s invented a carburetor that gets 200 miles to the gallon, but the oil companies and auto makers bought up the patent so they could supress it. We heard it on the radio from the late Jean Shepard, and you may have read it in one of Jan Harold Brunvand’s books, but millions have heard it from a friend of a friend of the guy who was sold the prototype test car by mistake, only they wouldn’t let him keep it. Man, they just won’t give the little guy a break!

Until now. Or soon, anyway.

You want a car that runs on air? You got it!

Okay, you might need a splash of gas or used cooking oil, but there are prototypes of Compressed Air Vehicles or CAVs on the road right now. For $20,000 you can tool around the neighborhood for up to 60 miles on a tank of air. Or cruise the highway at up to 68 mph — a little gas-powered engine will run an air compressor and keep your CAV pressured up. Go 160 miles before you to need a pint or so of fuel. The compressor engine can be powered by gas or biodiesel.

So start shopping for your CAV from Motor Development International (MDI). Tata Motors, the big Indian auto manufacturer that recently bought Jaguar and Land Rover from Ford, bought the rights to make the little Airpods. 

The Air Car be on the U.S. market as soon as they get it past the crash-worthiness tests. The solution seems obvious: Air Cars with airbags.

More on Jean Shepeard: Start at Flick Lives! 
Oysters form pearls around irritating bits of grit; urban legends often form around grains of truth. Read about the 200-mpg carburators invented by Charles Nelson Pogue in the 1930s. See Cecil Adams, the Times of London, Pogue patents (scroll down).

Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com. 

2 Responses to “Urban Legend in your Driveway? Almost.”

  1. Weer'd Beard Says:

    You must have flunked Physics, Mike.

    But we’ve been down this road before when you were preaching ethanol.

  2. Mike Licht Says:

    WB: It is true that I have preached a bit about ethanol. I have said that, in a starving world, converting food into fuel for your SUV is a perversion and a sin.
    I have also said that programs to pull up kudzu should let someone harvest that plant’s tubers to make fuel. The tuber is eaten in Asia, but we don’t have a taste for it here, and it isn’t prized enough for us to export.

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