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Four-Links – RV history, air car, IMS Museum, Twini Ranger

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Photo by David-O.

RVing started long before the advent of the motor vehicle, but as Terence Young argued for the Smithsonian’s newsletter this past week, it “crossed a bridge” in 1915 when Roland and Mary Conklin had their “Gypsy Van” built for a cross-country trip that garnered plenty of media attention.

* But imagine what kind of RVing we could do today if Dr. William R. Bertelsen’s Aeromobile (to use a phrase) took off. The Old Motor this week took a look at the hovercraft and its early 1960s world travels to showcase American innovation.

* Earlier this year, we wrote about the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum’s restoration of its Lotus 29 as part of a fresh look at the museum’s collection and as part of a larger reimagining of what the museum could be, the latter the subject of an Indianapolis Star story on the museum this week.

* Maximum Mini this week shared some photos of John J. Thomas’ Ranger Twini, a four-wheel-drive rig built with two Mini drivetrains. Also, obliquely, Maximum Mini put out the call to get in touch with Thomas, so if you know him, hook a blog up.

* Finally, Engineering Explained (via) dug up a 1981 Journal of the Society of Automotive Engineers paper — funded by the U.S. Department of Energy and U.S. Army — that set out to determine the effects of ethanol and methanol on engine wear. Interesting conclusions (TL;DR version: methanol is bad for engine wear, ethanol not so much), though as Engineering Explained, erm, explained, the paper focused on ethanol’s impact on engine internals and not on fuel systems, which in older cars are at risk of corrosion with the use of ethanol-blended fuels.