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SOT: Saw an interesting car on the weekend...

Guest Anonymous

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Guest Anonymous

This weekend I got to go see a car called Miss Purity. It is a

custom made car from 1971 (I think) entered by the University of

Toronto in the Clean Air Car race put on that year. My aunt is

writing a magazine article on it so I got to tag along.

The car is completely custom-made. The front frame/suspension

is a chevelle, and the back is a corvair. It has a standard Chevy

V8 converted to propane, as well as a ~25hp electric motor. It is

a very primitive hybrid car, and the electric part is only there as a

proof of concept. What's interesting is that they were concerned

about the cleanliness of the gas exiting the tailpipe instead of the

fuel efficiency.

The clean air race was from MIT in Boston to CalTech in

California. This car was made by students in a summer, and

was the star of the show. It has a totally custom fiberglass body

and for the time I guess the styling was very sporty and futuristic.

The V8 has a generator bolted onto the front of it that charges 10

deep-cycle batteries in the rockers. Apparently it can only run a

short distance on battery power. It is also equipped with twin

catalytic converters which were very expensive at the time.

The guy that has the car now was a student when the car was

built, and it is now sitting in his garage, weathered but still

standing. He had numerous stories about the car. I guess after

the race, he drove the car as a daily driver around Toronto for a

while until the people that owned it got rid of it. He claims that

all those batteries sitting in the rockers made the car handle

surprisingly well.

Among other entries in this clean air race was a jet-engined car

which, upon crossing the border to get to Boston for the race,

melted the paint right off the customs booth. It also melted the

front end of the car behind it in line. Not to mention making a

huge amount of noise going through the tunnel in detroit.

I thought it was very interesting to see what the state of the art

was when our cars were built...


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Guest Anonymous

from the early 60s? I think they built 50 and loaned em out for a year. There was one in Ft Lauderdale when I was a kid...

And BTW- the hybrid engine idea isn't new. Dr Porsche (yes, the Dr Porsche) built a hybrid car in 1904 called a Loehner-Porsche. It had a gasoline engine that drove a generator which in turn powered electric motors in the wheel hubs.

Auto history lesson for today...


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Guest Anonymous

...developed by GM for the Firebird III Showcar at the the 1959 Motorama.

The Firebird III was a hybrid, "A unique dual power system complementing the gas turbine engine with an important non-automotive concept - the accessory engine." That means that the demands of the on-board electrical accessories and hydraulic systems were run by a separate, two-cylinder, 10 HP gasoline motor. The accessory systems took up so much space under the hood that the 225 HP turbine powerplant was moved to the rear and the spare tire was eliminated.

This car is still owned by GM and was displayed at the Meadowbrook Concourse D'elegance last summer near Detroit. It's dangerous to get close to it, however...you could put your eye out on on of those fins. :)

BTW, my Senior Interior Design Thesis was a museum based on the Motorama cars of the 1950s and 1960s.


Delia Wolfe


Inka (aka "Julius")


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Guest Anonymous

one.Must've been around 1968-69. He said it would run on anything from Wesson Oil,to Whiskey to Vitalis Hair tonic

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