For us wan-a-be tree huggers...
800-hp ‘Bio Rocket’ gives an alternative take on the green movement
By ROGER HART
AutoWeek | Published 04/20/07, 9:10 am et
No one ever said going green means not having any fun, and the folks at Galpin Auto Sports in Van Nuys, California, certainly like to have fun. Evidence: the company’s Earth Day centerpiece celebration, a 1965 Chevrolet Impala transformed into a biodiesel-propelled hot rod nicknamed the “Bio Rocket.” The car will be featured in the fifth season of MTV’s Pimp My Ride.
“With the increasing amount of traffic on the roads, protecting the environment is a major concern for automotive manufacturers and dealers,” said Beau Boeckmann, president of Galpin Auto Sports, vice president of Galpin Motors and consulting producer and on-air talent for Pimp My Ride.
“By installing a monster 800-hp diesel engine to run on biodiesel in the ’65 Impala, we demonstrated that you don’t have to sacrifice power to go green.”
The Bio Rocket is fitted with a PPE supercharged GM Duramax diesel engine that runs on B-100 biodiesel, which reduces carbon dioxide emissions by 78 percent compared with a standard V8 gasoline engine. Boeckmann estimates fuel mileage at around 24 mpg.
Switching the Bio Rocket to alternative fuel did not compromise its performance and speed. In fact, horsepower increased from 350 to 800, with a monstrous 1400 lb-ft of torque. All that oomph propels the Bio Rocket from 0 to 60 mph in 3.5 seconds.
The premise of the TV show is to take a person’s everyday ride, which often could be mistaken for something ready for the junk heap, and transform it into a customized showpiece. “On the show, we try and do things that are a little bit ironic,” Boeckmann said. “But at the same time, we try and make it practical and give the people a car they can really use, a car that enhances their life and can be a lot of fun.”
It wasn’t just the engine bay that received the green treatment. The Galpin crew created the seats from a material made of 100 percent recycled fibers. The Bio Rocket’s trunk is lined with biodegradable, all-natural hemp and reclaimed wood from preexisting wooden structures. Finally, eco-friendly meets convenience with a built-in GPS that shows the driver where to find the nearest biodiesel station.
“Galpin’s customizing innovation began in the late ’50s and produced national trends in the automotive aftermarket,” said Boeckmann. “Fifty years later, the after-market and tuner world has become a much greater part of the mainstream. We see Galpin’s move to green, ground-shaking horsepower as the ripple that can start a sea of change, and we are proud to start that right here, right now.”
And if you’re wondering, you could upgrade your own ride to the monster diesel powerplant for a mere $25,000.
The Bio Rocket was to be unveiled by California’s Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger during an Earth Day episode of Pimp My Ride on April 22.