I was in a meeting the other day and Tom Moskitis started talking about the Blue Flame. He mentioned that Dick Keller, one of the guys at Reaction Dynamics that built the car, was thinking about doing a book on it. I decided to expand my education on the car.
The Blue Flame set the land speed record of 630.478 mph on the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah on October 28, 1970. The driver was Gary Gabelich and the record lasted for 13 years until it was broken by Thrust 2. The current record is more than 760 mph and held by Thrust SSC. The engine permitted natural gas use as a liquid or gas or both with a two-stage combustion start. Pretty impressive stuff.
During my brief time at AGA, I’ve noticed a ton of stories about natural gas cars and their benefits. UPS started using natural gas powered trucks as far back as 1989 and was using more than 1000 vehicles at its peak. I just saw this story about Wal-Mart experimented with different alternative fuel trucks for its fleet including natural gas.
Here are a bunch of links to other sites about natural gas vehicles.
- The Natural Gas Vehicle Coalition
- The International Association for Natural Gas Vehicles
- Alternative Fuels & Advanced Vehicles Data Center (from the U.S. Department of Energy).
And if you have a car that runs on natural gas, I’d love to hear about it. Pics are great, especially if you’ve done some customization.