The Practical Utility/Commuter Vehicle

 

DIYer Commuter Vehicle

DIYer Commuter Vehicle

Once you reach 60 years of age, you are aware that a lot of good things come and go only to return again, why is that? Why did they leave?

I love to read¬†some of the stereotyping posts made in cyber space about Americans and¬†their cars ūüôā It reminds me of this Quote: “The world is that the foolish are cocksure, while the wise are full of doubt.”¬† Bertrand Russell

America¬†is a¬†very diverse country, we have people from about every place on¬†earth here,¬†every color, every religion,¬†rich, poor,¬†smart, and not so smart.. we have it all. We have heat, cold, mountains, and places flat as a table top for miles. We have mechanically challenged people who live on steep hills¬†in¬†San Francisco, and can’t wait to buy their EV, and people¬†in areas flat as a table that might actually benefit from owning an EV.

When you add that we are also a very divided country when it comes to politics, it’s hard to understand why people¬†stereotype us?

When it comes to transportation, there is no right vehicle, as we have very different needs depending on where we live, and how we live.

One thing I find interesting is how many people in each new generation are not so aware of what is a new idea, and what has been recycled a half dozen times. People also lose sight of what motivates people, Companies, or Government to do what they do.

Here’s a reminder,¬† Auto Companies are in¬†business to make a profit. Car Dealers are in business to do the same, if they don’t, they perish.

For those of us who are looking ¬†for the¬†Economical stripper car, we need realize, there’s not so much profit¬†for the manufacturer or dealer in selling same. the Dealer¬†might look at a base model as an empty shopping cart, if you add a Bose Radio, CD player, speakers, Air Conditioning, Leather Seats, and Video Entertainment system in the back seats to keep the kids quiet, there’s a lot more profit in a sale.¬† We need ask ourselves, what’s in it for a Dealer to fill his lot full of¬†stripped down¬†versions of a car in high¬†demand?

If we are old enough, we’ll remember going to the show room to see a very¬† popular¬†new model, and we couldn’t miss the fact that everything on the lot was loaded up with options. The dealer knew he had a hot commodity, so¬†why not load them up? some might suggest Dealers are Greedy Bastards, but many are just struggling to stay in business, and Government has made that even harder for them recently.

This might be the reason that cars like the Geo Metro come and go, there’s far less profitability in them, and what normally¬†brings on a new wave of econo¬†cars is high fuel prices,¬†fuel prices go back down, sales droop, and the car gets cut from the production schedule, the EPA raising the bar on emissions¬†doesn’t help, and when an auto company has to invest a lot of money in an existing auto that is NOT contributing to profitability, it’s often smarter for the company to drop the car all together instead.

No doubt in my mind, the Geo Metro was a winning design, the three cylinder engine had less parts, it made a lighter and more narrow power train, and it got excellent mileage with a Carb!

It appears that Ford will make their version of the Chevy Metro, a new three cylinder Ford Econoboost engine with a turbo, some of us will welcome the turbo, others will see it as just another failure point, and wish for an NA version.

What I’d like to see, is the stripper version of the commuter/utility car, I envision a four seater hatch back, with the rear hatch opening all the way down to the deck, with folding rear seats. The deck¬†being strong enough to support some heavier stuff we might want to carry home.

Imagine a vehicle with vinyl floor mats, if you want the rugs, you’ll buy them later, if you want a radio, you’ll buy that too, there’s a hole for it, just pop it in..

It’s possible we’ll see a vendor of stripper autos in the future, we’ll order them on line, there will be no sales commission, they¬†wont pass through the typical dealer show room, and perhaps they’ll be delivered to your drive way by the local freight carrier?

There’s a market, it’s small, but it’ll be steady.. Imagine a vehicle where you can order parts from Rubber-Maid, or make your own.. door skins, fenders, and more..

Need new running gear? Look up the mounts and brackets on the internet for your new ¬†donor, and bolt them in..all from your¬†nearest salvage yard, you can find a near¬†endless supply of freshly wrecked cars, isn’t it time to create the open source¬†utility car?¬† I visualize a square tube frame, and of course, you’ll care enough to¬†buy it or build it where you can treat the inside of the frame with a rust prevenative. Rusted out part? make a new one.

George B.

 

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5 Responses to The Practical Utility/Commuter Vehicle

  1. Marcus says:

    Hey George, hope yer doin’ well.

    Thought you might be interested in checking out this 100 MPG car concept:
    http://www.wikispeed.com/

    I’m still digesting the info but I kinda like the modular/rapid development approach. They have a ton of info, videos and stuff.

    Best,
    Marcus

    • George B. says:

      Marcus, thanks for the contribution, the frame idea is similiar as to what I envision.. just go to steel for utility if you need haul stuff.

      • Marcus says:

        Yer welcome George. Somewhere in all their info is the concept of changing out the car body for a pick-up body. Their modular approach allows this to happen quickly (like 10-15 min). Same with the wheel/suspension modules, engine/drive train etc.

        The main thrust of the development was to get over 100 MPG so weight was a big consideration. Seems like if a person wanted a bigger payload the design could be beefed up – just take a bit of a hit with mileage.

        • George B. says:

          You can see just how harsh a ride this car is.. very crude in deed.. but.. it is a start.. you’d need a kidney transplant if you drive this car cross country for the day..

          • Marcus says:

            Heh, yeah but it’s set up in ‘race’ mode. Change out the wheel/suspension modules for ‘touring’ ones to go cross country. These kids are doing something new as far as I can see. Taking a different approach to car design and manufacturing. Don’t know if it will work out but I’m fascinated with the concepts. Go to my local car dealer and they make the vehicle on the spot to my specs? Could be powerful.

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