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November 04, 2009

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2009 SEMA Show: All shades of green project cars

Chevrolet-Blazer-hybridThere are almost as many ways to go green at the Specialty Equipment Manufacturers Association (SEMA) show as there are choices of chrome wheels, but not quite. (There are a lot of wheels on display!) Here’s a quick look at a few of the diverse vehicles on display at the “Making Green Cool Zone.”
1956 Ford F100
Built by Steve’s Hot Rods of Marcy, New York, this pickup is powered by a 460-cubic-inch Ford V8 engine fueled by liquid propane. Builder Steve Hale says horsepower is estimated to be in the 450-500 range, and that the truck produces close to zero emissions. Other benefits include lower fuel costs, and that the cleaner burning fuel means the engine stays cleaner on the inside, too. Another green touch: The paint is water-based.
1985 Chevrolet Blazer hybrid
A regular smorgasbord of alternative energy, this Blazer hybrid starts with a 1.0-liter diesel engine and lead-acid battery power. A solar thermal collector on the roof heats water that is then routed to an exhaust gas-driven turbine that powers an auxiliary alternator to help charge the battery. A large wind turbine mounted in the grille drives another alternator. But all that’s rookie stuff compared to the Blazer’s shock absorbers, each of which spins yet another energy-producing turbine as their hydraulic fluid goes through compression and rebound.
Nissan Altima “Hot rod hybrid” race car

This Altima started out as a stock hybrid, but has morphed into a racer and test bed for battery maker Braille Battery of Sarasota, FL. With a gutted interior, full roll cage, and racing suspension, brakes, and tires, the supercharged Nissan is claimed to produce 450 hp and be able to run a 12.9-second quarter mile. Further, it is capable of 1.02 g of lateral acceleration—that’s road-holding beyond what most sports cars can claim. Students from the Universal Technical Institute in Orlando assisted in the build, along with high school students from Clermont, FL, who applied the green water-based paint.

Jim Travers

Also see from the 2009 SEMA show:
Better than expected, future looks greener
Tire testing and the transformation of the tire industry
Our favorite modified Chevrolet Camaros
New iPhone apps for auto diagnostics
World's fastest Honda Civic circa 1976
Surfrider Toyota Camry hybrid CNG
Kustomizing the Toyota Prius
Hot rodders turning green
Auto aftermarket prepares for show time in Las Vegas


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