Wednesday, December 05, 2007

"My" Idea

I say that because this came to me a little while back. I certainly claim no sovereignty over it, just explaining why I thought this was so neat.

The article

On a beautiful, crisp late fall afternoon, rock icon Neil Young took his 1959 Lincoln Continental for one last spin before a team of mechanics ripped out its gas-guzzling engine to make way for an electric motor.

What a great idea! Reminds me of the high school I posted about a few months ago. I love the idea of switching such a great, old car into a symbol of sustainable transportation. It's also nice to see celebrities doing the right thing.

Car in question (not actually his):

The article goes on to quote Neil as saying it will get 100 MPG and runs off of biodiesel. Transformation apparently takes 45 days... I'm sure Neil has a replacement.

More interesting than this specific car is the idea itself. I was asked a while back what my dream job would be and I said "CEO/owner/prez of a company that either built sustainable cars or modified current cars to be sustainable." I feel like that would really stretch my business sense, let me work individually with people, keep me in the auto world, let me be an innovator in terms of technique, and really work my entrepreneurial spirit (which really has not had a chance to be seen at this point). It's the perfect job, IMHO. In fact, being the CEO may not be exactly what I want but having something to do with a company like that would be ideal.

Well, the company that is changing this Lincoln is doing just that:
Goodwin is making a name for himself -- and his company, H-Line Conversions -- by turning gas-guzzling behemoths like Hummers, Cadillac Escalades, Jeeps and other big American cars into clean-power machines. The first thing he does is remove the old inefficient engine -- even if it's a brand new vehicle -- and replace it with a diesel engine that can run on biodiesel. What's the drawback of his method? You guessed it. Cost. "It's not cost-effective for someone to run out and spend $40,000 to double the fuel economy, but I have no shortage of customers," Goodwin says. Including California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, who's having his Wagoneer converted to biodiesel. Goodwin, 37, drives a 1987 gas burning Wagoneer, rents his home and will sheepishly tell you he didn't graduate from high school. Expect to hear a lot more about Goodwin in the future. Companies are knocking down the door to work on projects with him.

I'm torn between seeing this as a massive opportunity for the future or scared that someone is already doing it....

What do you do when you see someone else living your dream and it's suddenly very clear to you how real that dream could be??



Anonymous said...

i dunno. i think i thought of this like a bajillion years ago, when i first saw a 68 mustang, and learned how costly older cars are to maintain. i'm just saying, it may have been "'my'" idea. oh to be rich.

good for goodwin. maybe he needs a ceo. someone business savvy, with a (pending) degree. i know a guy..

Josh C said...

"and learned how costly older cars are to maintain" switching your car to biodiesel and energy has yet to be proven as either more cheap or more expensive than what we have now. That '68, more likely than not, is less expensive in its natural state than outfitted with this technology.

I'm contemplating reaching out to Goodwin... why not, right?