3 Henry Ford's 'plastic hemp car' from 1941
We might think that our ethanol and biodiesel "flex-fuel" systems are all very cutting edge, but biofuel development is of course nothing new. Way back in the 1930's, Henry Ford was hard at work in the alt-fuels sector, and in 1941 he constructed a hemp-fueled and hemp-bodied prototype car. The "plastic" body panels were composed of 70% cellulose fibers, including industrial hemp, mixed with a resin binder, and apparently they were pretty sturdy: check out this video, in which a guy beats on the trunk with an axe and fails to leave a mark. Industrial hemp won't make you high, kids, but its association with marijuana has historically been a major legal stumbling block.
- video encodings still in process -