Sunday, December 20, 2009

Detroit didn't want efficient engine - "can't make big profits"


Engine would lower car maker and oil distributor profits. Good for the public and the environment but not good for car makers and oil companies.

Old idea for new engine

There is not a doubt in Leonard Waller's mind that the invention he and his brothers came up with 30 years ago was dynamite.

"We thought that we had invented something that was going to revolutionize the world," said Waller, a 76-year-old retired machine shop foreman.

It was a new kind of internal combustion engine. It uses a patented, curved cam. The cylinders are in a circle, and the pistons move horizontally, not up and down as in a standard engine.

They made all of the parts by hand.

"It made us feel so great that we could build something out of nothing," Waller continued, "and have it start up and run."

With the turn of a key, Waller's engine jumps to life. Waller says it has 400 fewer parts and twice as much power a standard motor of the same size.

He also claims it is cleaner and more efficient than a standard engine -- in testing, it averaged 65 miles per gallon, he added.

In the mid 1980's, Motor Trend magazine and the Japanese auto press wrote about the Waller engine. He showed it to Detroit auto executives. He says they were impressed, but not interested.

"They explained to me that because this engine lasts so long and has fewer parts, they can't make any money on it," Waller explained.

Waller says he no longer has the money to market the engine. But he hopes with more emphasis now on fuel efficiency, someone will take up the cause. For now, the old engine sits in Waller's garage, waiting to be rediscovered.


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