Sunday, August 30, 2009

Reflections on the Goal

At the end of the second week I took a fresh look back at the web page and this blog. What if I were new coming to visit the site. I feel like a years worth of knowledge and work is lost in the shuffle. During the presidential election campaign T. Boone Pickens woke me up with his campaign to free us from our dependence on foreign oil. I was so mad at the price of gas topping $4.00 a gallon, I made an internal silent pledge to never let that happen to me again. I did something immediately. I had the Summer of Honda. (Summer of 2008) I commuted to work every day on my 1971 Honda SL 100 that gets 95 MPG. It felt really great. But with the fall, the cold, and the rain my Summer of Honda slowly came to a halt. I miss riding that motorcycle bad. It was not the long term solution I needed. Mark and I talked about CNG and I think we both had dreams of immediately freeing ourselves from gasoline, and imagined filling up at home daily using a small compressor. What a liberating idea. It became a dream to chase for me. Mark did tons of research on CNG conversion kits. He ordered me a kit to convert my Land Rover Discovery II. All of this transpired over 6 months or so and when gasoline dropped it took some of the urgency for the conversion out. But the dream never died. It smoldered in the background waiting for that opportunity to return. The CNG conference held by Alabama Clean Cities Coalition reignited that dream and all of the work from a year ago is paying off now. I hope this clarifies a little of the history for my involvement and gives any readers a full picture of why we think we can do this. Its not a blip on the radar, its a year long process in the making.

Monday, August 24, 2009

First Week

This past week was the first week of our CNG Route 66 Oddessy and I am amazed at the ground that was covered. The mechanical conversion of the 66 GTO leap ahead with the tank racks, the tricarb setup, serious discussions of CNG tanks and Marks daily efforts to make this dream a reality. Equally impressive progress was made with our communications tools. The web site came together in a snap, the blog is working and easy to find topics, we even had a blast with the first video posted on youtube that was Marks hilarious brainchild. Finally, even new contacts came flowing in the door on the first week. Sam Fleet in Atlanta helped out, plus a host of other new friends like David Knudson with and too many more to list here that have pledged support to our efforts to unite a team along Route 66 for Refueling options. I could not have imagined a more productive first week to kick things off!! Talk to you soon.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Impco Tri Carbs

I spoke with Dave from Carburetion and Turbo Systems today. He says the GTO's carbs are on his bench nearing completion. When I get the first picture of the carbs, I will be sure to post. I can't wait to mount them into the GTO. I am more excited then a kid at Christmas!

You never know who you will meet at a Clean Energy Station

While refueling my van at the Atlanta Clean Energy Station today, as luck would have it, I came across Sam Fleet. Sam is the Pickens Plan State Leader for Georgia. She happened to be at the station doing some public relations work. Sam was curious about The Airport Express shuttle service and its use of natural gas. I shared with her our fuel consumption amounts and the savings we can achieve using CNG in our vans. I also took the time to explain the Route 66 GTO story. I have since found out that she is one of the hardest working volunteers in the Pickens community. We sure could use more people like her. I also had the pleasure of meeting William Engwer from Ace Garage. William is currently designing a prototype single passenger CNG car named Solo. William and his team are targeting 100 mpg for Solo. If you would like more info on Ace Garage and their Solo, you can email them at

Route Mapping Progress

Just a quick note to say that I used and found a really nice travel itinerary as a starting point for a spreadsheet that contains all the cities along Route 66. It also contained a state mileage chart for Route 66 that gave me the miles of road in each state. The itinerary was a ten day trip. If anyone has driven the whole trip with sightseeing stops along the way please comment on an appropriate amount of time to allow in the planning stages for a trip like this. Next step is to obtain the milage to each city and cross match this with our friends providing CNG providers.

For technology fans I am using GoogleDocs so I can share the data online with Mark as well as access from "anywhere in the world".

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Thanks Cotton

Through a company called Greenfield Compression Inc, manufactures of compressors for NGV systems, I got in touch with gentleman named Cotton Crites. He was very helpful in explaining some refueling options for our GTO trip down route 66. He is sending a list of public CNG refueling stations and other possible refueling points. Cotton has also given us some suggestions on refueling the GTO where there aren't any CNG stations. Refueling may be the biggest hurdle in our route 66 journey.

"You mean to tell me!"

This is the exact statement that came out of my passenger's mouth when I explained to her that Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) can fuel the very same engines that gasoline does. The passenger was in near disbelief that she was riding in a van running on the same gas that she cooks with. The next question that she asked was "What are the advantages of using natural gas in a vehicle?" I explained to her that CNG is less harmful to the environment, it costs less, and most importantly, it makes the US more energy independent. Her curiosity had been sparked and she wanted to know how long this technology had been available.
I explained that CNG has been around for decades but do to infrastructure problems, it has not caught on to the general public.

Monday, August 17, 2009

CNG Tank Racks

We met with James Vance at Cherokee Stamping in downtown Birmingham to have the dual tank brackets designed to fit both Airport Express Vans as well as the GTO. They will be custom designed and made of much stronger metal than your typical tank brackets. We have type two tanks with a spun fiberglass coating over the center part of the tank and the brackets will fit over the coating and have a rubber strip liner. Bolts will hold the straps around the tank. The base will have supports for the tank and welds attaching the strap. The supports will be welded to plate that will be bolted to the frame using wellnuts. The plate will be bolted directly into the frame of the vans as well as hopefully the frame underneath the trunk of the GTO. The GTO trunk has plenty of room for a couple of this size CNG tanks. No expected delivery date was established but will keep you posted.

Sunday, August 16, 2009


I set this blog up to report the progress, as it happens, on an attempt to drive the first CNG powered muscle car from end to end of Route 66. The website is up and running at and it will report news and goals.

This blog will contain more in depth discussion of the issues and problems we face making this fun project happen. I already know the trip is a longshot because of the lack of Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) availability along the way.

I will use a resource at to locate the existing filling stations and do a spreadsheet to calculate the distances between the longest stretches of highway missing the CNG we need.

My hope is that there are just regular folks out there that may be able to help us on our adventure by reporting CNG filling stations, friendly municipalities that use CNG, and any other possibilities that we should consider in making the trip.