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Multi-fuel turbine electric hybrid Lincvolt – Click above to watch video after the jump

It's better to burn out
Than it is to rust

It's a tragedy of epic proportions. Neil Young's 1959 Lincoln Continental Mark IV convertible, which he has spent the past few years converting into a multi-fuel turbine electric hybrid, has been severely damaged in a fire. Fresh from a trip to Las Vegas where it was presented to adoring crowds at SEMA, this 19.5-foot-long representative of classic American automotive statuary, dubbed the "LincVolt", was resting comfortably in a warehouse in San Carlos, CA when a fire suddenly erupted. Possibly from the trunk of the behemoth itself.

LincVolt warehouse fireAccording to a statement appearing on the LincVolt's website, "We are still investigating the exact cause although it appears to be an operator error that occurred in an untested part of the charging system." Apparently, the Lincoln has its own area code black box-like computer that is being sent to Perrone Robotics in an effort to pinpoint the precise cause of the malfunction.

The structure, which is said to have suffered over $1 million in damages, was also home to much of the singer's music equipment and memorabilia. Due to the extraordinary efforts of firefighters, most of it was saved.

We can only hope that, if the LincVolt is now bound for that final scrapyard in the sky, it will inspire a tune as great as the elegy to Young's 1948 Buick Roadmaster hearse, Long May You Run. To see footage of hybridized classic along with Neil's keynote address to SEMA, hit the jump for freshly finished four-part video. Thanks to everyone who sent this in!

[Sources: Mercury News, Lincvolt]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 4 Years Ago
      • 4 Years Ago
      On a serious note: This will probably make the PR folks at Nissan, GM, and others putting plug-ins on the market, very nervous.

      Imagine the local evening news spinning this as poorly as they do most everything else and, before you know it, gossip and rumours about all plug-ins being "huge fires waiting to happen...video at 11!"

      (btw, Neil Young is one of Canada's finest exports, like Labatt Blue)
        • 4 Years Ago
        I think you're blowing this out of proportion. There are more than a few models of gas car out there that will explode while sitting or driving. Lamborghini, Tata Nano, Ford Explorer are the first to come to mind.

        I think Neil's team were over their head. Sad, because he certainly had the money to do it right. I think the project was overly ambitious.. even the most hardcore hobbyists wouldn't take on making a range extended EV. Standalone EV's are quite easy ( read also: well understood ) to produce compared to a layout like this.
        • 4 Years Ago
        It's a good thing that ICE cars never explode using that flammable substance called gasoline.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Suitably ironic (in more ways than one) that this story is from the Mercury...
      • 4 Years Ago
      Havent seen that thing before. That sucks!
      • 4 Years Ago
      I'll confess to a bit of smug satisfaction, or maybe schadenfreude from reading this. Not that I'm happy for the people who were put in danger or the property damage, though. But there have been too many articles and write-ups about novices making their own EV or plug-in hybrid conversions, and the tone of these articles is invariably "If Joe Average can make this in his garage, then why can't those mean old automakers do it?"

      Well, *this* is why those mean old automakers don't have this stuff out right now. They actually do a lot of testing and design to make sure things like this fire *don't* happen. joe DingDong in his garage doesn't do that.
        • 4 Years Ago
        I'd counter that line of reasoning by approaching the problem from a different perspective. If the technology for electric cars is so cheap and so accessible that Joe Average can make a mediocre conversion for less than $15,000 in his garage then how are multibillion dollar R&D departments not at least closer to having an electric vehicle that can legitimately replace its ICE-powered counterpart? A lack of proper infrastructure shouldn't be a hurdle. You can build a locomotive even when there is no track. In fact you'd think they would build one just to shut up the government and the Sierra Club.
      • 4 Years Ago
      "Ford dead by in-fern-no"
      • 4 Years Ago
      Wow, what a drag. Although I never understood why he picked a '59 Lincoln over a '59 Caddy, I'm glad that a Caddy didn't go up in smoke. Kudos to the firefighters for all the good work they did in saving a lot of stuff that's probably irreplaceable.

      +10 for using a line from "Hey Hey My My (into the Black)".
        • 4 Years Ago
        The 1959 Lincoln was actually the longest car of the two, at 19.5 feet long. The 1959 Cadillac was 18.75 feet long.

        I believe he chose the Lincoln partially based on this statistic...
      • 4 Years Ago
      It was the man's birthday this weekend too...what a hell of a birthday present =(
      • 4 Years Ago
      I always thought 'long may you run' was about his bluetick hound.
      • 4 Years Ago
      He must have used cheap Chinese batteries.
        • 4 Years Ago
        He did, but said cheap Chinese batteries are actually really good, and there are tons of EV converted cars using those cells.

        However, failing to mange them properly could turn them into fireballs, however you need pretty gross negligence in order for that to occur. Those type of batteries are incredibly stable, so i wonder what the hell they did wrong.

        Someone obviously didn't know what they were doing.
        Producing a homebrew range extended EV is a pretty tall order in the first place.
      • 4 Years Ago
      I know trauma is often an excellent memory aid, but this is a hell of way to remind Ol' Neil Young that a Southern Man don't need him around, anyhow.
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