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Working smart with the Ford Transit

Small business need practical vehicles that help them get work done efficiently. Ford is sharing stories from small business owners making use of the Ford Transit to take care of business.

4 Tips For Getting A Car Loan

How bad is the VW Dieselgate Emissions Scandal

This is a nightmare for Volkswagen. The company has admitted cheating emissions tests using an algorithm. The actual vehicles are actually 10 to 40 times dirtier than what the cars revealed during tests. Amazing!

The CEO has resigned. Other executives are being fired.

By admitting to defrauding customers and the US government, Volkswagen has significantly harmed its brand.

It's hard to imagine how Volkswagen overcomes this mess.

How to Change a Flat Tire

The Original Multi-Fuel Car?

Back in the 1960s, Chrysler made an automobile that ran on virtually any liquid combustible fuel. The engine was was a genuine turbine that contained 20% of the moving parts that a standard piston engine did and weighed a fraction of the weight. This is an true story of a genuine, drivable multifuel automobile that was available over 60 years ago. The sales staff of told us the whole story.

And it wasn’t just a prototype. In 1963, Chrysler built a fleet of 55 of these multifuel vehicles and lent them out to the public for testing. Any person who was lucky enough to have their name drawn from the thousands of people who applied was given one to drive for three months. Chrysler care of all the maintenance. The recommended fuel was diesel but they were told that they could run the car on home heating oil if it was available to them, or even on inexpensive kerosene. Chrysler simply said “use them and let us know what you think”.

But user acceptance was poor. The problem was that gasoline in the 1960s cost about 30 cents per gallon and that was the fuel of choice for most drivers. The turbine car ran fine on gasoline but didn’t get the gas mileage of some of the existing piston engines. Many people looked at the multifuel capability of the car as nothing more than an interesting feature. The consumer acceptance factor was low because “it got bad gas mileage”.

Just for a moment consider if these cars had made it into production? Years later, in theory, you would pull into a filling station and take a look at the various fuels available. You could then choose the cheapest one and be on your way. If enough of these cars had made it onto the road, demand could have brought a whole selection of alternative fuels to the market. Today, we might be a nation of a wide variety of fuels like Brazil is now.

You may be wondering what happened to the 55 turbine cars. Chrysler rounded them up and crushed most of them. Automakers have always been leery of letting their prototypes get out into general circulation because of the possibility of bad press and liability for problems. However, nine of the 55 cars from the user fleet survived and are in museums. Hollywood personality and car buff Jay Leno has one of them in his collection.

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Why Does the US have so few diesel cars?

Carter Carburetor – An Automotive Icon

Carter carburetors were a constant in the car business for over six decades and millions of units were produced. Anyone who worked in the car business a few decades ago knew them well however, the relentless march of progress came in the form of fuel injection and wiped the company out long ago. The old Carter Carburetor factory is now a vacant St. Louis landmark and, sadly, a superfund site. Here’s the story about the rise and fall of a major automotive institution.

William Carter was a bike mechanic who experimented owned a successful bicycle shop in the early 1900s. Like many such shops, he also repaired some motorized vehicles. He discovered a weakness in many of them, their carburetors, and set out to make his own replacements. His carburetors were made of cast brass and due to his precision machining techniques were considered the best of the time. The automotive industry quickly took notice and soon many automobile manufacturers were knocking at the door for Carter-built carburetors.

Before long business was booming and Carter Carburetors was supplying major automobile manufacturers such as Packard, Hupmobile, Chevrolet, Buick, and Oldsmobile. Business was so good that in 1915, a brand new four-story, 480,000-square-foot factory designed by renowned architect Hugo Graf was built on a 10-acre site in North St. Louis, just across the street from the stadium where the St. Louis Browns played. In 1924, William Carter left the company when it was sold it to American Car and Foundry Company (ACF), a railcar conglomerate that had started to diversify into automotive suppliers. Carter operated as a standalone unit within ACF for the next 60 years, during which time it was responsible for many innovations. The technicians at tell us that Carter produced the world’s first American four-barrel carburetor for Buick’s 1952 straight-eight. This was eventually superseded by the famous Carter AFB. Carter even produced Quadrajet carburetors for their arch rival Rochester Carburetors whenever demand outpaced Rochester's ability to make them. In Carter's final years in the early 1980s, they also produced Weber carburetors, another major European competitor, under license.

By the early 1980s, as automakers switched over from carburetors to fuel injection, however, Carter’s core business began to quickly slow down. By 1984, ACF shuttered the once proud St. Louis factory. Sadly, three years after ACF closed the plant, the Environmental Protection Agency found polychlorinated biphenyls on the site, left over from the hydraulic fluid used in the die cast machines that William Carter had worked so hard to perfect, enough to declare the entire plant and grounds a Superfund site.

Today, the iconic Carter Carburetor name is a historical artifact and is typically a topic of conversation only among classic car enthusiasts and restorers.

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