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Get your kicks in a Lincoln hybrid September 30, 2008

Posted by Ron Warnick in Music, People, Vehicles.
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Here is a combination I never thought I’d see together: a 1959 Lincoln Continental, hybrid technology and rock musician Neil Young.

But it’s happening. Undercover.com reports that the Lincvolt is a new project by Young’s Shakey Pictures.

Together, they are transforming the engine of a 1959 Lincoln Continental Mk IV convertible into a new series hybrid system. [...]

“Neil’s whole thing is big people and a big country need a big car”, L.A. Johnson told Undercover during his recent visit to Adelaide. “If we can get a car to do 100mpg what is the difference? Why have a little car that weighs nothing that you can hardly get into? It is not about size, it is about efficiency,”

“Some of the experimenting we are doing is building this engine that is going to have a turbine on it,” he said. “It is going to generate the power to generate the battery, but there is a guy in Adelaide who has found a way to eliminate batteries which is a whole other thing”.

Once they finish in the shop, “the plan is to drive the car to Detroit where the car was made originally,” he says. “We are going to take the car back to the empty shutdown plant where it was born. The car goes back to its homeland, then it goes back to Wichita and then Neil and I will drive it on the same road we drove it from San Francisco to Wichita back on Route 66.”

The Lincvolt Web site is here. Here’s a live Webcam in Lincvolt’s garage in Wichita, Kan.

Here’s a video with Young and two of the developers. It sounds like the Lincoln will be running on a combination of compressed natural gas, ethanol and a third fuel source that will be revealed later. It also contains an electric turbine.

I read a biography of Young a few years ago, and he’s serious in his love of Route 66, the environment and classic cars. (He has a full-time classic-car restorer on his staff.) So this seems to be a natural outlet for him.

More of this, please September 29, 2008

Posted by Ron Warnick in Highways.
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CBS4.com in Florida is reporting that a group is pushing for historic designation of U.S. Highway 1.

The Florida Keys Scenic Corridor Alliance is a volunteer group that thinks the Key’s portion of U.S.1 should be on the list of historic highways. CBS4’s news partners at the Miami Herald report the group has spent more than a year preparing their proposal as to why the 106 mile Overseas Highway, which strings together the islands that make up the Florida Keys from Key Largo to Key West should be on the list. This is the first time a bid will be made to have the highway listed.

It’s good to see the historic highways movement continue to gain traction. U.S. 1 is a terrific route — it goes through 15 states and 2,300 miles through varied terrain and has the added advantage of never being decertified.

Attendance at Springfield festival remains stable September 29, 2008

Posted by Ron Warnick in Events.
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Crowd numbers at the International Route 66 Mother Road Festival in Springfield, Ill., this past weekend were about the same as last year, reports the Springfield Journal-Register.

The three-day event, which ended Sunday, had an attendance of about 70,000 people, with 847 paid, registered cars on display and more than 1,000 vehicles participating in the Friday night parade, he added.

“In this season of car shows and gas prices, there have been up to 30 percent less attendance at car shows across the country,” he said. “We feel really good that we’re close to last year with participants.”

You can click on the newspaper’s link to check out the winners of the car shows.

And a longtime roadie, Roadmaven, posted a video from the festival’s cruise:

‘That’s a really good sandwich’ September 29, 2008

Posted by Ron Warnick in Businesses, Food.
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A couple of fellows hear about a sandwich-maker at the historic Star Cash Grocery on old Route 66 in Commerce, Okla., who’s been there for 66 years. The two decide to hit to road to order one.

They came away impressed.

Note: There also are really good hand-made sandwiches at Eisler Bros. Store in Riverton, Kan., which is less than a half-hour away, also on Route 66.

For more about the Star Cash Grocery, go here.

“Never Been to Spain” September 28, 2008

Posted by Ron Warnick in Music.
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But I’ve been to Oklahoma. And Needles, too.

This is Elvis Presley, in 1972.

Paul Newman, R.I.P September 27, 2008

Posted by redforkhippie in Movies, People, Sports, Vehicles.
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Doc Hudson, as voiced by Paul Newman.

Doc Hudson, voiced by Paul Newman.

Here’s a startling fact about actor Paul Newman, who died Friday of cancer at the age of 83.

“Cars,” the hit Disney-Pixar animated film in 2006 that helped spur new interest in Route 66, wound up being Newman’s last acting film role.

Not long after that film’s release (plus a “Cars” short titled “Mater and the Ghost Light”), Newman announced he was giving up acting because he felt he could no longer perform at his best.

Around the time of the release of “Cars,” Newman explained why he accepted the role of Doc Hudson, the mayor of the fictional Route 66 town of Radiator Springs.

It was quite a casting coup for the folks at Pixar. Not only did it gain a 10-time Oscar nominee for a crucial character as the town’s grizzled and grouchy patriarch, but Newman’s extensive racing background gave the role a lot of credibility as well.

Former professional racer Darrell Waltrip, who has a role in “Cars” as a television announcer, has quite a story about Newman during the film’s premiere at Lowe’s Motor Speedway.

My favorite Newman roles were as a drunken lawyer in “The Verdict” and as a crusty blue-collar worker in “Nobody’s Fool.” He had about 50 films to his credit, which isn’t a high number for a man who worked for so long. But he chose his roles so well, he made an indelible impression on Hollywood anyway.

But Newman’s lasting legacy will be his Newman’s Own, a food company which has given hundreds of millions of dollars to countless charities.

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