Summer’s Slow News Days

Journalism’s “silly season” of lazy hazy “dog days” brings less news and leaves more time and space to be filled with quirks, quacks and quiddities:

The Flybrid

The new no battery mechanical system being developed in England, the Flyrbrid, successfully powered this race car at LeMans this year.

The Detroit Bureau tells of “a British-designed ‘flybrid'” that stores energy in a mechanical flywheel rather than a complex – – and far more costly – – battery system.” . . . Pure Energy carried news of “The Astounding Potential of Plasmic Power in PlasmERG Engine.” It says the manufacturer’s technology offers a solution to the energy crisis, a way to end the use of fossil fuels, and the potential to jump start a new technological age — among other benefits! Engines utilizing the “Plasmic Transition Process” are unique in many ways, and offer many advantages over internal combustion engines, electric motors, and turbines. Their capabilities are simply light years beyond any current “mainstream” technology.” The site also has news of cold fusion and numerous pure energy developments. . . . A little more down to earth is a flying car also reported by The Detroit Bureau. This one’s credibility quotient is up because it is being developed by Burt Rutan, the man who built the Voyager the first plane to fly around the world without stopping or refueling and whose suborbital SpaceShipOne captured the $10 million Ansari X-Prfize.

And totally prosaic, two parades. Hybrid owners were expected to gather in Madison, Wis. in July for the world’s longest parade of hybrid cars. An event “rushing the previous Guinness World Record™ for longest hybrid vehicle parade—auto enthusiasts in Belgium set the record in 2010 with a 140 car parade. True to form, no follow up and AWcom remains in the dark. . . .A parade of 298 Cadillacs did set a new world’s record according to The Detroit News when they gathered in Barton, Vt., hometown of the make’s founder, Henry M. Leland. Led by Leland descendents in a pink convertible Caddy, the rolling tribute shattered the previous record of 102 cars set in the Netherlands in 2002 – where they and their neighbors obviously have time on their hands.

Jay-Z and Kanye West take a blow torch to this Maybach.

A Maybach car was power sawn, blow torched and reduced to a rolling wreck without doors or roof – for the sake of an MTV Video by a couple of hip hop moguls. The cheapest model of the German luxury car sells for about $375,000. 00They claim it will be auctioned off for charity. Experts estimate it will take at least $150,000 for just a fully reinforced frame. . . . AWCom was also treated to a photo of ten unidentified people in a row, one of whom was Dept. of Energy Secretary Steven Chu cutting a ribbon and what looks like popping champagne at the opening of a lithium battery separator plant in North Carolina. And, there were the thieves who used a Smart phone to unlock a car and steal it and the not so surprising survey finding that the thrill wears off after you drive a luxury car for a while. Recent reports put advertising at $22 billion the #2 largest ad category in the U.S. but the dollars are rapidly forsaking print for digital outlets. One reason is the decline in dealerships. Last, Jack Baruth added a little heat to the summer by asking what the sales success of the Volkswagen Jetta says about auto journalism when a number of well-known outlets panned it.

This Post Has 4 Comments

  1. Rex Greenslade

    Hey … if you’re going to lump something into the catch-all of quirks, quacks and quiddities, the least you can do is spell the item in question properly: it’s Flybrid (as in flywheel hybrid) not Flybird. As to whether this technology is “whacky”, let’s see what the test of time will bring. If you can’t wait… go to and see for yourself that this technology is real, is realistic and offers many advantages over battery storage for a mild hybrid.

    1. AWcom Staff

      Thanks — noted and changed!

  2. Ian Sharp

    It is always a little dissappointing to see supposed knowledgable, supposed journalists, write about something that they have no understanding of, and as if they do.Re: Flybrid Systems LLP. And pass there again supposed “Witty” nay “Pithy” commentry on technology that nearly all manufacturers are looking into. That is to say “Flywheel Energy Storage” for Hybrid Syatems. One would have to assume that the “Lazy Hazy dog days” must truthfuly apply Mr Campbell, having obviously not conducted even the most simplistic research on the company or the technology, but then again what could one expect from a Country Music singer (Mr.Glen Campbell) who truly does unfortunatly, in real life, suffer from dementia….

  3. Anne Proffit

    Hi Glenn –

    The Hope Racing hybrid run at Le Mans was shackled by a Lehmann 4-cylinder engine that pretty much ruined the team’s entire weekend…they had problems with the engine – not the Flybrid Systems mechanical hybrid system – throughout the race meeting and that’s what took them out. Please look for my detailed report on the experience in 24 Hour Race Technology. There’s also a story about Audi’s success and another about Robertson Racing’s ascension to the LM GTE-Am podium in the Ford GT!

    Thanks – Annie

    Anne Proffit
    Contributing Editor
    Race Engine Technology

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