GAZE UPON THE QUIRKIEST ELECTRIC VEHICLE YOU’VE EVER SEEN | Kanebridge News
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GAZE UPON THE QUIRKIEST ELECTRIC VEHICLE YOU’VE EVER SEEN

Richard Rieger II, 25, a nurse living in Brandon, Miss., on his electric 1969 Subaru 360, as told to A.J. Baime.

By A.J. BAIME
Mon, Feb 19, 2024 4:24pmGrey Clock 3 min

When I was in college, I worked at a place that bought, sold and consigned classic cars. I was a shop mechanic, and a Subaru 360 passed through. I fell in love with it, and, about a year later, one popped up for sale on Facebook. I paid $US1,200 for it.

The 360 was the first Subaru imported into the U.S., in 1968. A guy named Malcolm Bricklin imported them. He later started his own car company that failed. [According to Subaru’s website, the 360 sold for $US1,297, got 66.3 mpg and was marketed as “cheap and ugly.”] The car did not sell very well. My 360 was not in good shape at all. The motor was disassembled and missing pieces. The cylinders were rusted. The bottom half of the car was mostly rotted out.

At the time, I had just started working as a nurse. Covid was a rough time if you were a hospital worker. I did a lot of ICU work. This car became my Covid project, to get my mind off of work. A lot of it was done when I’d get home, between midnight and 3 a.m. In the summer heat of Mississippi, it’s a good time to work in the garage. It became a “can-I-do-it” project.

I spent about two years just on rust repair. I took the transmission apart. I was able to flush it out and clean it. The brakes were a project. They don’t make parts for this car, so all the parts had to be sourced from different cars and different model years.

For power, I took the electric motor and mounting plate out of a Taylor-Dunn truck. (If you don’t know what this is, you might remember one from the scene in “Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery” when he is riding this little truck and gets stuck in a hallway.) I used the control box out of an E-Z-GO golf cart. So now the 360 runs on electric power.

The goal was never about making an electric car, specifically. I was just trying to get it going with whatever I had lying around and stuff that people gave me. I had to get two sprockets custom made, by a company here in Jackson, Miss., called Motion Industries.

A lot of people in the Subaru community were helpful, through the 360 Facebook page. These cars are so rare these days, and the parts are so hard to find, people are just happy to see them not end up in the crusher. Especially one as bad off as this car was when I started out.

A lot of people also helped me right in my garage. My dad was an electrical engineer for many years, and he helped with the wiring and other stuff. My grandfather, a neighbour, my uncle all helped, too.

Along the way, we took the 360 to car shows, a lot of them locally around Jackson, and one as far off as Ardmore, Tenn. The first time we took it to a show, it had no brakes and we had to roll it up to the judging station with our feet hanging out the doors to make sure we could stop it. Every show we took it to, it had reached another stage, and some people really enjoyed seeing the progress.

I think the car could be street legal, but right now it’s not. Where I live, a lot of the roads are minimum 55 mph. This car has a top speed of about 30 mph. But I have invested so much time in it, and with the help of my friends and family, it means a lot to all of us.

Nowadays, you see Subarus everywhere. But you won’t see many 360s, and you won’t see any other Subaru like this one.



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Preparatory Work for UAE to Oman Hafeet Rail Project Commences at Full Speed

Preparations have begun on the transformative UAE to Oman Hafeet Rail network, revealing significant construction details during a site visit.

Thu, May 16, 2024 3 min

The $3bn Hafeet Rail project between the UAE and Oman will feature 60 bridges and a 2.5km tunnel, making it an “architectural and engineering marvel,” according to CEO Ahmed Al Musawa Al Hashemi.

Hafeet Rail has announced that preparatory work is moving full speed ahead for constructing the transformative railway link between the UAE and Oman. This announcement was made during a site visit attended by key officials, members of the Asyad and Hafeet Rail executive management teams, project contractors, and consultants.

Key Highlights

During the visit, attendees were introduced to the main components of the project, including passenger, repair, and shipping stations, as well as major bridges and tunnel sites.

The Hafeet Rail project is set to play a very important role in enhancing local and regional trade, unlocking new opportunities in the infrastructure, transportation, and logistics sectors, and fostering economic diversification. It will also strengthen bilateral relations between the UAE and Oman.

The project will involve constructing 60 bridges, some reaching heights of up to 34 meters, and tunnels extending 2.5 kilometres. The Hafeet Rail team showcased the latest rail technologies and innovative engineering and architectural solutions designed to navigate the challenging geographical terrain and weather conditions while maintaining high standards of efficiency and safety.

The rail network will boost various industrial sectors and economic activities and significantly impact the tourism industry by facilitating easier and faster travel between the two countries.

Ahmed Al Bulushi, Asyad Group Chief Executive Asset, noted that the project’s rapid progress reflects the commitment of the UAE and Oman to developing and realizing the project’s multifaceted benefits.

Investment and Future Impact

Al Bulushi added that investments in developing local capabilities and expertise in rail-related disciplines over recent years have enabled the project to reach the implementation phase successfully under the leadership of highly efficient and professional national talent.

Hafeet Rail’s CEO Ahmed Al Musawa Al Hashemi emphasized, “The commencement of preparatory works for construction is a testament to the robust synergy between all parties involved in both nations, achieving this milestone in record time. We are confidently laying down the right tracks thanks to the shareholders of Hafeet Rail and the expertise of local companies in Oman and the UAE, alongside international partners.”

During the site visit, the visitors explored some of the key preparatory sites, including Wadi Al Jizi, where a 700-meter-long bridge towering 34 meters will be constructed. This ambitious project is envisioned as an architectural and engineering marvel in a complex geographical landscape.

Future phases will require more collaboration, with a continued focus on quality, safety, and environmental considerations in line with the international industry best practices.

The Hafeet Rail project represents the first-of-its-kind railway network linking two Gulf nations, marking a significant shift in regional goods transportation. This efficient and reliable transportation option will reduce dependence on slower and less sustainable road transport.

Hafeet Rail promises a 40% reduction in shipping costs and a 50% in transit times compared to traditional land transportation methods, as it will be connecting five major ports and several industrial and free zones in both countries.

This shift will reduce reliance on road transport by cars and trucks and promote more sustainable shipping practices. The establishment of the railway network will also create significant opportunities for SMEs in construction, engineering, and logistics support, acting as a catalyst for economic growth and innovation within the domestic economy.

By linking major ports, the Hafeet Rail project will enable local SMEs to import, export, and distribute their products more effectively, enhancing their market reach and global competitiveness.

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