Searching for a “Heart of Gold?” That’s just what Neil Young found when he stopped in Halifax County in March. Famous rocker Neil Young visited VIR to have testing performed on a hybrid 1959 Lincoln Continental convertible at the state-of-the-art chassis dyno located at the Virginia Institute for Performance Engineering and Research (VIPER).
Young says the huge 1959 Lincoln was selected for the project because “it doesn’t go against the flow…my theory is if you go with flow and then the change will happen quickly. People want big cars. Let’s build a big, smart car.” The big “American Car” as Young refers to it will go down the road in comfort and safety while delivering up to 100 miles per gallon. Using VIPER's instruments to fine-tune the single-rotor Wankel engine driving the generator, the stop helped to improve the car's efficiency. Dyno staff led by Victor Seaber helped the team test the generator engine and electric motor output on the chassis dynamometer at VIPER's lab in VIR's North Paddock.