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Would you like to own a hybrid car?

Asked at Massachusetts Street on May 6, 2007

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Photo of Wayne Hawkins

“Yes. Mainly because of the environment, to make a stand against the burning of fossil fuels and to help save the planet. Saving on gas would actually be a secondary reason.”

Photo of Kelly Bubeck

“No. I think they’re funny looking. They would have to change the style of the cars.”

Photo of Jeff Listerman

“Yeah. I’d love to, but there’s no way I could ever afford one. I wish they would consider having really big state and federal tax breaks for people who are willing to invest in alternative energy.”

Photo of Jancita Warrington

“Yeah. I would like to because they use less gas, are better for the environment and you get a tax credit for buying one. I think it’s important for all of us to consider the environment when buying a new car.”

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Comments

Marion Lynn 6 years, 11 months ago

gccs14r:

I have done R134 conversions on three GMC trucks, several Chevy trucks, a number of Mercedes Benzes, two Rolls Royces, a number of mid sixties and early seventies Chevies, one MGB GT, a Ford Country Squire Station wagon, several Crown Victorias, a 1969 Chrysler 300 and more which I cannot remember.

I only had trouble with one of the GMCs which kept eating compressors but this problem was resolved when I replaced the compressor with one from a different manufacturer.

KawValleyKid:

Yep, you are right!

We make the mistake of USING all of the availble horsepower of modern cars instaed of driving them efficently.

Now a big-block Dodge is another matter and we're not going to drive it enough to make any difference in the pollution footprint.

I intend to maybe buy one new car in the near future and keep it for the next ten years or so but my regular drivers will be older stuff as I am just not that interested in the funny looking cars they build now.

I really want a good used Roller for going out, etc.

I was spoiled years ago when I made the mistake of giving some guy $1500.00 for a '46 Mk VI Bentley and it went downhill from there.

At a mere 21 I always got VERY good service on The Plaza because they thought that I had a lot of money!

It was to laugh!

I made certain to always tip at least 20% to keep up the image and the valets loved me because I would let them take the old wreck around the block now and again and ALWAYS tip them $2.

Some of the valets (Being a valet was a good job in those days!) remembered me from a few years before when me and my buddies would get into joints over there because we were all in my '39 Packard V-12 7 -passenger Touring Sedan which had flagstaffs on the front bumpers.

We would fly flags from some virtually unknown country and pretend to not speak English and they would let us right in!

A Packard like mine; this one belonged to Field Marshll von Mannerheim of Sweden:

http://www.mannerheim.fi/valokuva/13/packard.jpg

As with the Bentley, the Plaza fuzz finally got tired of us storming around the place and read us The Plaza Riot Act!

The final shoe which dropped was the right rear fender which fell off the badly rusted Bentley and landed right in front of some snazzy restaurant, irratating some of the clientle.

Some twenty years later I was driving my '48 Chryler New Yorker convertible on The Plaza and was asked by a then elderly officer if I was going to be up to my old tricks!

We enjoyed a good laugh together!

I'll get the new car but for the most part, I,m going to stick with the oldies.

Life is too short to drive dull cars!

Thanks.

Marion.

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Nick Yoho 6 years, 11 months ago

I love cars too Marion.Its ok to have them as a hobby.But the ones we love are a thing of the past.It's time to become responsible for ourselves and our footprint (whatever type).It breaks my heart. But we can at least try to be excited about the changes to come! Change is painful,I know,but growth comes through pain.Humanity is growing.and I am not talking about population.

My solution was to keep my car,it gets ok mileage,and to buy a Kawasaki Ninja 250cc. payment:$40 per month,Insurance,$55 per year.ear to ear smile,as you eat my dust,priceless.Of course,you'd catch up eventually as it tops out around 100mph. But,I didn't buy it to go fast,I bought it for the 65mpg it achieves, stock.Its only good for 4 or 5 months out of the year,though.But it is keeping all those miles off my 2.2 Chevy motor.making my car last many more years.every day I ride it saves 88 miles on my car,and saves me about $4 or $5 bucks in gas ,I pollute less,and enjoy it so much more.

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gccs14r 6 years, 11 months ago

"...which carb can be rebuilt on your kitchen table if you can follow the instructions which come with the readily available hygrade jiffy kit!"

The average driver, who can't be relied upon to even keep his tires aired up, isn't going to be able to do that. Most of the kids working on cars these days weren't even born when that car was built and aren't going to know what to do with a car with no diagnostic plug, so that limits the choice in mechanics, too. That car will need frequent service as its 30-year-old subsystems collapse, so the hapless owner will get to know his mechanic on a first-name basis as he puts the mechanic's kids through college.

Regarding the R-134a conversion, you have no idea. For starters, PAG and POE oils don't climb worth beans, so the compressor needs to be mounted low to keep it lubricated, which just isn't possible in most engine bays and is impossible for everyone who isn't a fabricator with a metal shop at his disposal. There are other problems with trying to do the conversion that just doesn't make it worth the effort, such as needing to clear every bit of mineral oil and clorine residue from every part of the system. Even if you do it right, by replacing the entire gas loop with all new parts, it still won't hold up, since R-12 systems weren't designed to be gas-tight for the smaller R-134a molecules.

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hometownhawk 6 years, 11 months ago

Hey Marion, have you no life? quit dominating a message board and do something constructive with your time.

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MyName 6 years, 11 months ago

First of all, the solution to the oil crises is good, affordable public transportation. You may not be able to run every car in America on biodiesel, but you could certainly move most of us around if you had a decent public transportation system that ran on renewable fuels. Of course, Detroit would hate that idea because they'd sell less cars, which is the very reason why you get these pie-in-the-sky ideas like hybrid cars, and hydrogen cars, and ethanol powered cars. Some of these ideas are doable, from a theoretical standpoint, but none of them would work half as well as a better public transportation system. Especially one that included one or more of these technologies.

And I'm sorry Marion, the numbers you put up only proved one thing: that the cheapest car you can find is the one you already own. If you'd actually compared the dollar for dollar cost of ownership of a SUV and a hybrid in your analysis, not the specious "energy cost" you cited by that college paper, but the amount actually paid by the consumer, you'd see why so many people are looking at hybrids with anticipation.

The cheapest car new you can own, in terms of fuel economy and cost of ownership, is a compact diesel. Depending upon how the technology goes, the hybrid may pass them up. But the only thing cheaper than the car you already own is not owning a car at all, and that's the wave of the future for most people: reliable public transporation.

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Marion Lynn 6 years, 11 months ago

gccs14r:

It may further interest you to know that I have recently completed the design and construction of special one-off intake manifolds and external exhaust for a 1936 Cadillac V-FREAKING TWELVE, utilising SIX S & U carbs, all linked with an equaliser system, individual air cleaners/silencers, as well as the ball-and-socket linkage, complete.

The manifolds have been designed with airflow in mind andthe design based on very precise calculations for best performance at all speeds.

We theorise that this carb setup when coupled with the other modifications will add some NINETY horsepower to the wonderful V-12, bringing its rated output up to around 225 horsepower; the .40 overbore, equalised fairly wide-open 3" dual exhaust; placing the now somewhat hotrodded V-12 well ahead of the published outputs of the monumental V-16; a mere 160 hp.

This coupled with two seater racing style coachwork and cycle fenders should result in a very interesting and fun to drive car.

Can't get the weght below two tons but that's OK as the incredible torque of the V-12 combined with the very, very rare tall "highway" differential which I found in Colorado will compensate for the tonnage.

The car will be an environmentalist's nightmare, however as the fuel consumption will most likely be around 8-10 mpg in town and maybe, just maybe, 12 mpg on the highway.

As though the driver or onlookers will care.

Oh.

The car is also being equipped with an exhaust cutout; a gizmo which bypasses the muffler so that the engine may breathe easier....................................................................

...AND make a LOT more noise!

Heh, heh.

Thanks.

Marion.

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Marion Lynn 6 years, 11 months ago

AND..........................................................

You don't know a darned thing about cars.

Thanks.

Marion.

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Marion Lynn 6 years, 11 months ago

gccs14r wrote:

"Good luck getting that variable-venturi carburetor tuned. Also good luck with getting R-12 to keep the A/C charged."

Marion writes:

You have AGAIN demonstrated youself to be a TOTAL HALFWIT bent only on SPIN AND DISINFORMATION! (Not to mention LYING!)

The 2300cc Ford 4- banger uses a Holley/Weber/Ford/Autolite 4100 series carburetor which is NOT a variable venturi model but rather a licenced version of the Weber two-barrell downdrafts and for which parts are readily avaialable and which carb can be rebuilt on your kitchen table if you can follow the instructions which come with the READILY AVAILABLE HYGRADE JIFFY KIT!

Hygrade Jiffy Kit instructions are generally printed in English, German French and Spanish but NOT IN HALFWIT, so I don't know what you would do faced with the issue of rebuilding one of the most ubiquitous carbs on the planet.

The VV (Variable Venturi) carbs were used on the larger cars equipped with 302s and 351s are quite easily replaces with more conventional Holleys or AFBs. Do NOT screw with me on this one; I've done a dozen or more such conversions AND on cars equipped with Automatic Overdrive!

FURTHER, you AUTOMOTIVE NITWIT, conversion of the A/C unit to R-134 involves ONLY vacuuming out the old R-12, replacing the receiver/dryer, possibly changing the orifice tube, pumping in hose conditioner and lubricant and then adding the R-134.

gccs14r:

You are a either a total idiot, a complete liar or a very poor propagandist for the Left.

Thanks.

Marion.

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gccs14r 6 years, 11 months ago

imastinker,

You may want to re-check your math. The only way you'd get that kind of fuel economy from the vehicles you listed is if you pushed them off a cliff with the engine not running. I'll give you a hint: 34km/L is about 129km/gallon.

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gccs14r 6 years, 11 months ago

Good luck getting that variable-venturi carburetor tuned. Also good luck with getting R-12 to keep the A/C charged.

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Marion Lynn 6 years, 11 months ago

Thanks Ella!

See, here's the thing..............................................................................

Should fuel prices radically increase, mere survival will become the primary issue with a lot of folks so the idea of driving a well-maintained older car will make a lot of sense.

I noticed recently a '78 Ford Fairmont Futura 4 dr sedan with only about 50K miles and a 2300CC four-banger; steeering, brakes, air and AM/FM for less than $1500.00.

Such a car, aside from being a bit of a collectibel would make a wonderful driver for many years and return excellent fuel economy.

Repairs and maintainence on this car would be very inexpensive and virtually all parts are readily available.

This is just an example of what is out there; fuel economy is NOT ALWAYS the primary consideration but people seem to have trouble with overall numbers connected with operation of a car, almost always placing fuel economy at the top of the list.

Thanks.

Marion.

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ella 6 years, 11 months ago

ella gives marion two thumbs up.

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Mkh 6 years, 11 months ago

Seriously Marion, get a grip!

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Agnostick 6 years, 11 months ago

Or, barring that, take the sensationalist route and dance around with aborted fetuses on a stick, spurting fluids all over the place.

Or, predicting that we'll all be overrun by hordes of Chinese while every skyscraper in America has a plane flown into it by Mullah Bullah Abdullah.

The most tried and true method of knocking something down is to point out its flaws against conventional wisdom. The New Idea is "too costly" or "too complicated" or "too dangerous" or maybe it's "against God" or "against the ideals our nation was founded upon." Or some similar blather.

Earlier, I posted some facts about the cornerstone of the American (and maybe, the global) automobile industry. No doubt there were farmers and other yokels who rode horseback, taunting the "horseless carriage" at every opportunity. "You'll just get stuck in the mud"... "You'll break your arm just starting it!"... "You need to find a gas station? Hell, my horse can eat anywhere on the side of the road/trail." Or some similar blather.

Guess who won?

Hell, for that matter, Marion, why aren't you out around town on a charming Apaloosa?

Thanks

--Ag

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Marion Lynn 6 years, 11 months ago

See, the cheapest way to garner support for even the most implusible of ideas is to say that "it is for the children" or some similar blather.

Thanks.

Marion.

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Agnostick 6 years, 11 months ago

"Of course, you can make it 'about the children' if you like but that is caca and you know it."


You mean it's "POST-PARTUM caca."

"Thanks"

--Ag

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Marion Lynn 6 years, 11 months ago

Voulez-vou Renault?

The later cars are a shame to the memory of Louis!

Ah!; for the days of the Tipo 8, the 40CV, the NN!

Now if you want to write about a crappy French car, let's discuss the Renault Dauphine...........

On second thought, let's not.

I just ate pizza and would like to keep it down.

Brothers and Sisters, Cognoscenti everywhere!

Let us face to the East; to Mosheim.......................

C'est Magnifique!

La Royale!:

http://www.bhvccc.co.uk/Bugatti%20Car%201.htm

Le decadance!

Spoken by Ozymandias but applicable to those who view La Royale; "Look on my works, ye mighty, and despair!"

Thanks.

Marion.

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Sigmund 6 years, 11 months ago

"The police said a total of 730 vehicles were torched and 28 police officers were injured in violent incidents from Sunday night to Monday morning. Police fought stone-throwing rioters with tear gas, but it was not clear how many rioters were injured, according to Radio France." http://www.breitbart.com/article.php?id=D8OVNTIG1&show_article=1

I suspect the car torching had more to do with the crappy French cars and less with the conservative, pro-American, anti-socialist election results.

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Linda Endicott 6 years, 11 months ago

It's kind of a moot point, as I will never be able to afford a hybrid anyway.

Maybe we should go in for pedal cars, or ones like the Flintstones had...

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Marion Lynn 6 years, 11 months ago

Mkh:

I think that you may have a problem similar to what this young fellow faced:

http://www.cnn.com/2007/US/05/07/spiderboy.ap/index.html

Thanks.

Marion.

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Marion Lynn 6 years, 11 months ago

Yes, and I will be driving my "lousy gas mileage" but essentially FREE Cadillac, Lincoln or SUV while you morons are paying $400-600 in monthly car payments, PLUS insurance, PLUS gas, PLUS high property tax and PLUS maintainence.

Ya'll have a nice day, ya hear?

And stay GREEN!

idiots

Thanks.

Marion.

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Mkh 6 years, 11 months ago

A new report released yesterday indicates that US gas prices have hit an all time high at $3.07 average. Experts say that $4 a gallon prices will be here very soon. In a few years though we'll look back on this and remember how cheap oil was.

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Marion Lynn 6 years, 11 months ago

Well, lemmee see here, Aggie.....................................................................................

The average person drives maybe 1200 miles a month.

Let's say the car that person dirves gets an real world average of 20 mpg(Which is much closer to the real world mark that you would think!).

This person currently has no car payment but is frightened by the rising price of gas and so runs out and buys the most fuel efficient economobile that he/she can find, resulting in the average US car payment of $378.00 per month.

(Source cited: http://www.finalcall.com/artman/publish/article_2267.shtml)

Add insurance of $100.00 per month if you are lucky.

Add $1200.00 or so of personal property tax, ending with a monthly cost BEFORE fuel of around $600.00 per month for this "gas miser".

Now the REAL FUN starts!

Let's say the new car gets 35 mpg and the driver is running 1200 miles per month............

That's going to be around 34 gallons per month but let's round it to 35 just for grins.

Let's say that gas rises to $4.00 per gallon so the new car's fuel costs are $140.00 per month.

The old car at 20 mpg would have burned around 60 gallons or $240.00 in fuel at $4 per.

The old car costs maybe $60 a month to insure and let's say $20 a month in personal property tax.

Let's even say that the old car costs $100.00 in maintainence.

All of this means that the old car costs right at $400.00 a month in total costs.

The new car costs $740 per month, including fuel.

Congratulations!

You just spent $340.00 MORE a month to "save" $80.00 in fuel costs.

WOO HOO!

Not to mention the environmental costs of building the new car.

Of course, you can make it "about the children" if you like but that is caca and you know it.

Thanks.

Marion.

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Agnostick 6 years, 11 months ago

See, now, what will happen is that the arrogant ones among us will foolishly run out and buy up all these ginormous cars which don't do too well on gas.

You will buy these cars at ridiculously low prices today, and a year or two from now, you will then go out and mortgage your future to the tune of $30-55k to buy gas at $6/gallon, to put in that "cheap" car that you thought was a "good" deal the day you bought it. Being a foolish, fearful, and superstitious lot, you'd rather dump your children's college fund into the gas tank of a Hummer, than take a few steps outside of your comfort zone to take a chance on something new.

The SMART ones will be judiciously monitoring emerging technology, and thanks to the arrogance of extremists like Marion, they'll have plenty of suckers on which to unload their "old-fashioned" internal-combustion engine vehicles. These folks may suffer a bit of "sticker shock" at first, but in the long run they'll be better off financially, and maybe the world their children inherit will be a bit better, too.

"Thanks"

--Ag

Heh, heh.

Thanks.

Marion.

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Marion Lynn 6 years, 11 months ago

See, now, what will happen is that the silly ones among you will panic and sell off your cars which don't do too well on gas.

You will sell these cars for whatever you can get above scrap metal prices and you will then go out and mortgage your future to the tune of $30-55k to buy a car that gets "good" gas mileage.

The SMART ones will be buying these gas hogs for a dime on the dollar, thanks to the panic selling of the dummies and will be much better off financially, even though the car gets "bad" gas mileage.

Heh, heh.

Thanks.

Marion.

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Agnostick 6 years, 11 months ago

"While the first few hundred cars had a water pump, its use was abandoned early in production. The manufacturer opted for a cheaper and more reliable circulation system based on the thermo-syphon principle. Hot water, being less dense would rise to the top of the engine and up into the top of the radiator, descending to the bottom as it cooled, and back into the engine. This was the direction of water flow in most makes of cars even when they did have water pumps, until the introduction of crossflow radiator designs. Water pumps were also available as an aftermarket accessory for the car."

===

There ya go. How many of you would invest in that kind of "emerging technology?"

Yeah, it's a "copy/paste with slight revisions." I'll conceal my source for now, see if you high-minded know-it-alls can figure it out. ;)

--Ag

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Agnostick 6 years, 11 months ago

"The car had a front-mounted, 177 in³ (2.9 L) four-cylinder en bloc motor (that is, all four in one block, as common now, rather than in individual castings, as common then) producing 20 hp (15 kW) for a top speed of 45 mph (72 km/h). The engine had side valves and three main bearings. According to the car's manufacturer, it had fuel economy on the order of 13 to 21 mpg . The engine was capable of running on gasoline or ethanol, though the decreasing cost of gasoline and the later introduction of prohibition made ethanol an impractical fuel.

"Before starting the car with the hand crank, you had to retard the spark - an action performed with a lever mounted on the steering wheel - or you stood a good chance of breaking your arm if the engine "kicked back". The crank handle should be cupped in the palm, rather than grabbed with the thumb over the top of the handle, so that if the engine does kick back, the rapid reverse motion of the crank will throw your hand away from the handle, rather than violently twisting the wrist. Most cars had the choke operated by a wire emerging from the bottom of the radiator where it could be operated with the left hand while cranking the engine with the right hand. Most cars sold after 1919 were equipped with electric starting.

"Ignition timing was adjusted manually by rotating the timer using the spark advance lever mounted on the steering column. The ignition was by trembler coil, powered by a flywheel magneto producing alternating current (broadly equivalent to a modern alternator). A battery could be used for starting current: at hand-cranking speed, the magneto did not always produce sufficient current. A certain amount of skill and experience was required to find the optimal timing for any speed and load. When electric headlights were introduced in 1915, the magneto was upgraded to supply power for lights and horn. In keeping with the goal of ultimate reliability and simplicity, the trembler coil & magneto ignition system was retained even after the car became equipped in 1919 with a generator and battery for electric starting & lighting.

"The car's 10 gallon (38 litre) fuel tank was mounted to the frame beneath the front seat; one variant had the carburetor modified to run on ethyl alcohol, to be made at home by the self-reliant farmer. Because fuel relied on gravity to flow forward from the fuel tank to the carburetor, the car could not climb a steep hill when the fuel level was low. The immediate solution was often to drive up steep hills in reverse. In 1926 the fuel tank was moved forward to under the cowl on most models.

[more]

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Agnostick 6 years, 11 months ago

Cantankerous political extremism aside, there comes a point when you have to look to the future, and stop clinging to the past. Here's some "REALITY" that both conservative and liberal extremists have a problem dealing with:

1) We once had a plentiful supply of fossil fuels. We got that plentiful supply because for 10-15 million years, maybe more... they sat deep in the Earth, untouched. We've now been drilling them out of the ground for a little more than a century.

2) The rate at which we drill fossil fuels out of the Earth and use them, is higher than the rate at which they can be replenished. Even if you start out with 1 million oranges, if you consume 20,000 a year and only grow 15,000, you will eventually run out of oranges, unless you eat fewer oranges... and/or grow more oranges... and/or start eating more apples.

The petroleum-fueled internal-combustion engine is ancient technology. In the 80 years or so since this technology has taken root, we've fought several wars... went through at least three different audio recording formats... moved from crank-style telephones to cell phones... put satellites high above us... and have moved from two-seater biplanes to seven-seater space shuttles, in between which a three-seater capsule landed men on the moon 6 times.

None of these technologies was "born perfect." Rockets and airplanes crashed, telephone service still goes out in 2007 just like it did in 1927, satellites crash to Earth or burn up in the atmosphere, ships sink, and in the laundry, some stains just don't come out, no matter how many times you wash them.

The hybrid automobile has a LOT of flaws to it. That only means there is a LOT of room for improvement. As consumers, we have the power to dictate to the automakers whether or not we want them to pursue the vast improvements that can potentially be found in this fledgling technology... or continue pursuing the miniscule improvements on an engine that is on its last, dying gasps.

Agnostick agnostick@excite.com http://www.uscentrist.org

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imastinker 6 years, 11 months ago

34 km/L??

My GMC dually gets better than that.My old dually got better than that. It had over 300k miles on it. My old 1970 Impala with a 400 Cubic inch engine got better than that.

You are crazy.

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Marion Lynn 6 years, 11 months ago

gccs14r:

Do you just sit around at night thinking up ways to prove that you are a complete idiot?

Thanks.

Marion.

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gccs14r 6 years, 11 months ago

Personal autos need to go away. Until then, the available vehicle should be a 4-door hatchback that weighs no more than 1000kg, has a top speed of 100km/h (with a 30 second emergency override button that lets you go 125km/h), and gets at least 34km/L. If you can't haul it in that, have it delivered.

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JHawker 6 years, 11 months ago

I would definitely buy a hybrid car. They're so efficient and it'd be a great way to help the environment. "Funny looking"???? Hybrid cars are not funny looking - they're cute and look great. I hope people will take the time to do the research and realize that it is a great idea.

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blessed3x 6 years, 11 months ago

I'll buy a Prius (yuck!) when Pelosi and Gore buy one and stop flying chartered planes hither and yon. Oh yeah, and Gore has to sell his house and buy one that only uses 10 times the energy an average American home uses.

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Marion Lynn 6 years, 11 months ago

Imastinker:

You are closer than you might think!

Popular Science Magazine I think it was, did the study and found that the Rolls-Royce Wraith, Dawn and Cloud I tied with the Volkswagen Beetle as the least expensive cars to own and operate based on the number of years owned.

The Rollers were kept for an average of 19 1/2 years and the VW Beetle for aroun 10-12 years.

A well maintained Crown Victoria would be a very inexpensive car to own even taking into consideration the not too wonderful fuel economy.

There is much to be said for the $30.00 starter of the Frod versus the $300.00 starter of the average Asianmobile.

The best thing that the American consumer can do to help out the environment is to buy a car, keep that car and maintain it well for its useful life.

I know of a 1935 V-16 Cadillac sedan even now driven fairly regularly by the grandson of the original owner which has seen some 500,000 miles on the clock, has had only TWO engines, has never been restored but has been the subject of scupulous routine maintainence throughout its life.

Even at its lush fuel consumption rate of 5-6 miles per gallon, this car shows an unbelievably low cost per mile over the years.

Those big 452 CID V-16s drink gas like a drunken sailor consumes rum but they do it with more stlye and panache than a fleet of Japanese imports.

Thankls.

Marion.

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imastinker 6 years, 11 months ago

Marion - I have always maintained that the crown victoria is the least expensive car to own and operate.

What's the answer?

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Marion Lynn 6 years, 11 months ago

Mkh wrote:

"But the facts don't add up that it is worse than the Hummer."

Marion writes:

That's funny; the FACTS explained in the study very clearly demonstrate that the prius is much more environmentally damaging than an H2 Hummer.

"Liberals" have a lot of trouble with REALITY.

Here's one for you.................................................

I'll try to find the link on this but a study was done in the early 60s to determine what vehicles were the least expensive to own and operate relative to the number of years owned.

Any guesses as to what the two least expensive cars were?

Thanks.

Marion.

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Nick Yoho 6 years, 11 months ago

I want a Suzuki Maruti http://www.maruti800.com/ 800cc (smaller engine than many motorcycles),and it has AC.they want around $5,700 for one.Too bad its not available in the US.It's in India.

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sgtwolverine 6 years, 11 months ago

gcc: There is an important reason the Smart's passenger space remained intact: it's designed not to crumple at all. As it's been explained to me, a Smart is designed to behave much like a billiard ball in the event of a collision -- instead of absorbing impact to lessen it, as the hoods and trunks of larger cars are designed to do when they crumple, they almost bounce off upon impact. I'm not sure what exactly that does when it comes to the effect of the impact upon the occupants, but it's probably not an improvement. But it's a design of necessity because with the Smart, there's absolutely no extra vehicle to crumple to absorb the impact.

Mkh: That hybrids aren't an answer was really my point. They aren't even a temporary solution. They're PR. Diesels aren't an answer, either, but they're only trying to be efficient, not revolutionary. And while highly-efficient diesels aren't commonplace across the U.S., they are widely available in Europe, which means it wouldn't be a big stretch to make them available here, particularly now that diesel fuel standards here are being improved. If neither hybrids nor diesels are an answer, I'll go with a technology that has been proven for a while now and is being improved even further over one that still has a lot of question marks.

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imastinker 6 years, 11 months ago

gccs14r -

I have seen the National Insurance institute risk assesment for automobiles. They show the rate of injury and fatality for all automibilies, by 100000 on the road. It is almost exclusively lower for a heavier car and higher for a smaller car. Weight was the biggest factor I saw. The cars I own were in the bottom 5% for death rate.

After having been on a lot of accident scenes, I can attest to that being true. Further, rollover accidents aren't that deadly if a setbelt is worn. The hybrid is surprisingly heavy, with a soft suspension, narrow track and short wheelbase. This is a recipe for disaster. Why doesn't someone look at the rollover rate for hybrid cars? I bet it's higher than SUV's.

In an accident I don't want those batteries near me. Combine the batteries with the high voltage cables that rescue teams are not aware of the location of and you have a situation where people are afraid to rescue for fear of being electrocuted. This will be better if you wreck in a heavily popluated area with a paid dept that has time for training, but who needs extrication in town?

You guys do what you want - I think they are a death trap and a waste of money.

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Mkh 6 years, 11 months ago

Marion, I'm always flattered that you think I'm capable of being 4 different prolific forum posters but that is besides the point...

I never said the Prius' batteries weren't bad for the enviroment, they are. But the facts don't add up that it is worse than the Hummer.

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Marion Lynn 6 years, 11 months ago

Contrary to what Mkh/Holygrailale/HGA/Wendt would have you believe, the report I cited is accurate.

The entire report may be found here:

http://www.cnwmr.com/nss-folder/automotiveenergy/

Proof of the environmental damge caused by Toyota's factory which builds the batteries:

http://www.mailonsunday.co.uk/pages/live/articles/news/news.html?in_article_id=417227&in_page_id=1770

The nickel-based batteries are only part of the problem.

Current hybrids are built ONLY because the public, in its misguided efforts to save the world, demands them, NOT because they are environmentally friendly; they are not.

Thanks.

Marion.

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blackwalnut 6 years, 11 months ago

"No. I think they're funny looking. They would have to change the style of the cars."

  • Kelly Bubeck, Kansas University freshman, Lawrence

How shallow can a person be?

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Mkh 6 years, 11 months ago

yourworstnightmare: "including hydrogen cells, are the true ways to move away from oil consumption. Hybrids are wwindow dressing at best and a dishonest marketing ploy at worst."


Hydrogen? Hydrogen will not work, someone is taking you for a long ride, talk about a "dishonest marketing ploy".

Marion that editorial from a college newspaper you keep referencing is ridiculous, makes no sense whatsoever if you actually compute the equation.

Hybrids are certainly not the answer, but guess what there really is not one. Hydrogen is a myth. Diesel is more efficent, but it's still made from oil which is running out...have you seen the cost of diesel lately? And there are only a small number a tiny siche diesel cars that get incredible mpg. Biodiesel is a great idea but turning the 200 million American cars into it and then establing a brand new infrastructre to support it may be impossible-- that's a whole lot of veggie oil to produce. Ethonal is another one that will not work but gets serious hype, elthonal is a failure because it takes more oil energy to produce to crops than you energy you get in return for them.

As we witness the Oil Age end there will be temporary solutions such as hybrids and diesel, etc that will be have to be used, but it will be painfully obvious that there is no longterm solution.

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blackwalnut 6 years, 11 months ago

There are tax credits for buying a hybrid. I think it is something like $5,000 to buy a Prius.

Why is there no vendor of biodiesel in Lawrence? While biodiesel is not the whole answer, it's a start.

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oldgoof 6 years, 11 months ago

Hybrids may be a marketing ploy....but all my friends with them love them... They also say the instrumentation that gives immediate feedback on mpg has a behavior modification effect (less acceleration of engine, more gentle braking) Maybe we should put this on all cars.

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yourworstnightmare 6 years, 11 months ago

No. Hybrid vehicles are a marketing strategy, not an effiiciency mechanism. They serve the market of hand-wringing armchair environmentalist yuppies who want to look like they give a crap about the environment.

More efficient gasoline engines, diesel, biodiesel, and other renewable fuels, including hydrogen cells, are the true ways to move away from oil consumption. Hybrids are wwindow dressing at best and a dishonest marketing ploy at worst.

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gccs14r 6 years, 11 months ago

Bigger doesn't always equal higher survivability. Bigger almost certainly isn't less likely to crash, especially when talking about truck-like vehicles. There are videos on the 'net showing a SMART impacting a Jersey barrier at 70 mph and the passenger space remains largely intact. Try that with a pickup.

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ms_canada 6 years, 11 months ago

I don't know about that. I am of the understanding that hybrids are the result of cross breeding and may not be able to reproduce, something to do with an extra chromosome. So what if I buy a hybrid and really, really like it and it wears out and I want another but can't get one because they cannot be reproduced. I don't think I would be too happy.

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imastinker 6 years, 11 months ago

That cost included more than the cost of purchase. That's 325k to drive 100k miles. The car maybe costs 40k. That number sounds very high.

I wonder how many people realize how poorly emergency response in rural areas will be for hybrids. Or how much more likely to die in a crash than a bigger car's driver. I drive a pickup and my wife sits in a town car - two of the biggest vehicles I can find. Her town car averages 22.3 MPG over the last 40k miles and my pickup is about 15 MPG, higher empty and lower towing. Her car I will replace at 15 years or 200k miles, whichever comes first. Mine will be about 300k miles. My cost of ownership is half what most people spend, even with the mileage these get.

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bokon0n 6 years, 11 months ago

Marion,

The article you linked makes the very dubious assumption that the Hummer will last 3 times the life of the Prius:

"The Prius costs an average of $3.25 per mile driven over a lifetime of 100,000 miles - the expected lifespan of the Hybrid.The Hummer, on the other hand, costs a more fiscal $1.95 per mile to put on the road over an expected lifetime of 300,000 miles. That means the Hummer will last three times longer than a Prius and use less combined energy doing it."

If you assume an equal lifespan for the two, the Prius then becomes nearly half the cost per mile of the Hummer ($3.25/3 = $1.08). The story of a Vancouver cab driver's Prius which ran nearly 250,000 trouble-free miles before being bought back by Toyoto to examine its durability suggests the Prius is much more durable than the article assumes, read more about it here: http://autos.canada.com/news/story.html?id=7385385b-732d-4ac6-8513-8289842450df

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Marion Lynn 6 years, 11 months ago

Yeah, read THIS before running out and buying a hybrid car.

You are being sold a WOLF TICJET!

READ the article!:

http://clubs.ccsu.edu/recorder/editorial/editorial_item.asp?NewsID=188

Thanks.

Marion.

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gccs14r 6 years, 11 months ago

I agree with sgtwolverine. I'll be happy when the good eurodiesels start showing up in abundance, now that we've cut the amount of sulphur in our diesel fuel.

We had cars that got 50 mpg in the early 80s. If we had continued on that path, our cars would easily get 80 mpg now.

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prospector 6 years, 11 months ago

Nope, the batteries are killers. They are far more hazardous than any standard engine. It is much nastier stuff that is put into the environment in the mining, processing and manufacturing of the lead batteries. They are a zero gain, hyped up joke.

Better tornado stories by "cub reporter" prospector

http://www.kansas.com/233/story/63063.html

http://www.denverpost.com/ci_5828713

http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/B/BUSH_TORNADOES?SITE=MSJAD&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT

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jonas 6 years, 11 months ago

Really, doesn't it seem like some of Honda and Toyota's regular cars get about as good gas mileage as the hybrids do?

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solsken66 6 years, 11 months ago

Hydrogen is another alternative. Diesel is a saver, but auto makers need to think compact/midsize to see savings. Europe has some smaller cars that Ford and other auto makers build that are not offered here in the United States. I guess it is due to the fact that Americans have traditionally bought the big, loaded, gas automobiles. The tax rebate has diminshed considerably; not as great as before. Go to www.irs.gov to check out the rebates given. My family purchased a Toyota Corolla which has been an excellent vehicle.

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BABBOY 6 years, 11 months ago

I do not like them either. How's about the 2008 Dodge Viper with 600 horsepower. Now, there is a car. I can't really afford or justify it in that it is priced at $85,000.

Hybirds are getting better, but they too are overpriced for what you get. Their horsepower and performance are way better then a few years ago. I might consider them one they perform the same as non-hybird and our reasonably priced.

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jonas 6 years, 11 months ago

Why? Are you giving some away?

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paladin 6 years, 11 months ago

Heck no. They look stupid and they whine. Nobody likes a whiner.

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sgtwolverine 6 years, 11 months ago

Nope. If I bought a car specifically to save gas, it would be a small diesel, not a hybrid. Mileage would be as good or better than a hybrid (if I bought the right diesel), and the technology has been around a good long time (relatively speaking).

And when the automakers come up with a real alternative, then I'll consider buying it. But I'm not interested in wasting my money on a hybrid.

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Gootsie 6 years, 11 months ago

I wouldn't want to be commuting on the highways in one. In a wreck, you would lose.

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ohjayhawk 6 years, 11 months ago

I had kind of considered it at some point until my brother-in-law, who is a mechanic, mentioned one day that he wonders about what happens post-warranty. He said that he wonders how cost-prohibitive it could be for someone to get a hybrid car fixed... that's saying something considering how expensive it can be to have a normal car fixed.

Also, Jeff missed the boat... until this year I think (?) they were offering a large federal tax incentive to buy hybrid cars.

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RETICENT_IRREVERENT 6 years, 11 months ago

I don't know... Hybrid sounds so...

Dirty...

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