Archive for the ‘Holly’s World’ Category

Women Who Rule in Automotive Technology

February 16th, 2015

As seen in Chicago Tribune… a tribute to Women in The Auto Industry!

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Ferrari FF Goes To Costco

January 21st, 2015

2015 Nissan Murano

January 12th, 2015

Nissan takes it up a notch with the new Nissan Murano.


2015 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter

January 12th, 2015

Thinking outside the box

Holly’s World in a Rolls-Royce Ghost 11

December 22nd, 2014

Rolling around Town: Rolls-Royce Ghost in NYC

Texas Truck Rodeo 2014

November 4th, 2014

My first time at the Texas Truck Rodeo. As posted on SheBuysCars.

Check your posture while driving? See these tips…

October 21st, 2014

Check this out on SheBuyCars

2015 Lincoln Navigator

October 21st, 2014

A drive in Louisville,  with the 2015 Lincoln Navigator

Luxury Rides: MB ML63 AMG & RR Sport V8

October 18th, 2014

As seen in Sept/October Elite Traveler:

Click for a view of the piece: Luxury Rides


Veggie oil fuels a Mercedes-Benz on a ride across the US

September 22nd, 2014

HEADLINE: Teens Drive Cross Country on Vegetable Oil, Diesel

Elan Fields and three of his high school buddies (including his older brother) drove a 1982 Mercedes 300D from Northampton, Mass., to Los Angeles in the summer of 2013. But this wasn’t your average “boys gone wild” trip across America. The vintage Mercedes had been converted by Elan and a friend to run on vegetable oil and diesel.
This is the kind of story that I love to chase, especially given that the guys (Elan Fields, Ben Cohen, Will Norris, and Raffi Fields) are so young and full of intent to make an impact on the future. Below, is a quick synopsis of my phone interview with Elan.
Holly: How did this idea of driving cross-country on veggie oil all start?
Elan: My friend Josh Hirschman and I came up with the idea of powering a car with a GreaseCar conversion kit. We bought the car on Craigslist and installed the kit into the car in my garage. We did it as an independent study project through our high school and I started fundraising using a Facebook page.
H: Why did you decide to take the trip?
E: We’re interested in promoting green energy. We come from Northampton, Massachusetts, a town with lots of environmental awareness; however, we know that this isn’t the case everywhere in America. The trip basically served as a vehicle (no pun intended) for us to combine our passions for automotive mechanics, environmentalism, and travel into one cohesive project. It was also for fun!
H: You mentioned that there was another reason for the drive.
E: By the time we began planning the trip, I had been struggling with a diagnosis of severe ulcerative colitis for more than two and a half years. I was put in contact with the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America (CCFA) through my doctor, and over the course of our journey across the country, I helped raise money and awareness for the organization, by sending them photos to upload to their Facebook page. I felt really fulfilled and glad to be able to share my story and help others by raising funds for research and better treatments for other youths dealing with this disease.
H: How was the ride? You said that you didn’t have air-conditioning?
E: True. By the time we had successfully converted the car to run on vegetable oil there was very little time for other projects before our departure. We wanted to be able to have air-conditioning but our research on the issue showed it was a more complicated repair than we had time for. So we decided to just take off! And yes, it was extremely hot at times. Most of the time we had the windows open.
H: Where did you get the veggie oil?
E: We got oil from a lot of very different sources. The original plan was to stop at McDonald’s and other fast food restaurants along the way; however, as it turns out, getting used vegetable oil is not nearly that easy anymore due to resource capitalization.
We started off with a large supply of oil provided to us by a local alternative fuels supplier, which gave us a great start. We pretty much improvised from there, finding it in such places as a Cleveland restaurant (one out of what felt like hundreds that we called), a friendly Nebraskan farmer who we contacted through Craigslist on the way, another alternative fuels supplier in Denver, a chef friend of ours, and an interesting encounter with a “supplier” near Milwaukee.
H: You must have been carrying a heavy load in the trunk! What was your fuel economy?
E: We got approximately 20 mpg. The way the system worked, we would start the car running on diesel for just a short few minutes until the vegetable oil in the auxiliary tank sufficiently heated up, and then we would switch the car to exclusively drive on the vegetable oil.
H: Did the oil smell?
E: Haha! Yes, the whole car smelled like French fries!
H: How long did the trip take?
E: The drive from Northampton, Massachusetts, to Los Angeles took two weeks. The original plan was to drive to LA, do a quick turn-around, and drive back. But once we reached LA, my brother and I decided to hang around LA for two more weeks. We sold the car on Craigslist for a pretty good price.
H: What do you drive now?
E: A 1977 MGB convertible and I’m working on a 2005 MINI Cooper.
H: Any future plans for conversion?
E: I don’t see myself converting another vehicle to run on vegetable oil in the near future, but I would never say it’s out of the question. I’m currently finishing up repairs on my MINI and very soon I will leave with my friend Josh (who helped with the vegetable oil conversion) to embark on another cross-country adventure. This is the start to my gap year before college and Josh’s year off after one year at college. We plan to explore and discover the amazing open road and learn as much as we can through experiencing new things.

— Holly Reich, Motor Matters

Manufacturer Photo: L-to-R: Elan Fields, Ben Cohen, Will Norris, and Raffi Fields traveled from Massachusetts to California in 1982 Mercedes powered by a GreaseCar conversion kit. The teens were interested in promoting green energy. The trip served as a vehicle to combine passions for automotive mechanics, environmentalism, and travel into one cohesive project.

Copyright, Motor Matters, 2014