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 April 2011 Newsletter
Second Saturday April 9th.

High MPG Vehicles at WAAAM.

Post-War Era


During April's Second Saturday, member Skip Dunn will be giving a tour and narrative about WAAAMs collection of special high performance vehicles; those that go extraordinary distances on a gallon of gas.


In last month's Newsletter, Skip highlighted WAAAM's early high mpg vehicles ('15 Trumbull, '30 American Austin, '50 Crosley).  This article highlights the high mpg cars of the post-war era.  Though most of these cars were foreign, one was made in the U.S.A.


By Skip Dunn

64 VW BeetleVolkswagen Beetle (1948-2003)

Just as Henry Ford's Model T was the iconic car for the masses in the first part of the century (and earned the worldwide title of most influential Car of the Century), the Volkswagen Beetle became the worldwide icon of the people's car after WWII.  By the end of its 65-year run in 2003 over 21.5 million Type 1 Beetles had been produced, far exceeding the 15 million Model Ts that had put the world on wheels. The countercultural Beetle was recognized as the 4th most influential Car of the Century.

This 1964 VW is representative of the early Beetles, with the smaller 1200 cc engine, smaller windows and windshield, overrider bumpers, "moon disk" hub caps and wide whitewalls.


MiniMini (1959-2000)

 While Beetles were ubiquitous, the British Mini was game changing. The Mini was the first side-mounted engine, front-wheel drive minicar.  The engine took up only 18" of space, and the wheels were reduced to 10" and pushed to the extreme corners.  This allowed maximum space for passengers and luggage within the miniscule 10' x 4' x 4' vehicle.  Almost all small front-wheel-drive cars developed since have used a similar configuration.  5.4 million Minis were produced in ten countries.  For its game changing innovation, the Mini was declared the 2nd most influential Car of the Century.

 71 Honda 600



(1969-1972)Honda 600

This tiny car was the first of the Japanese invasion.  Its resemblence to the Mini is clear, though it has a 2-cylinder, 600 cc air-cooled engine, compared to the Mini's 4 cylinder, 850 cc watercooled motor.  Japan developed standards - and generous incentives - for microcars, known as kei-cars, including a 11'2" max. length and 600 cc engine (in 1971). Engine size started started at 360 cc, now 660 cc.  It set the stage for the Honda Civic that arrived on our shores in 1973 with a water cooled engine twice the size of the little kei-car


81 Freeway


America got it's first oil shock in 1973 as the US became an importer of oil (35% at the time).  American cars averaged around 12 mpg.  Boxy Winnabegos of that time pushed air at about 4 mpg. Enter David Edmonson of Minnesota, who formed the HMV (High Mileage Vehicle) Company to build the 3-wheeled Freeway.  A few over 700 of these single seater cars were built by HMV. They could be purchased with a choice of gas, a diesel, or electric propulsion. In ICE, 12 to 18HP models were available.  The 12 HP gas engine was guaranteed to get 100 mpg.


This '81 Freeway has the 'big' 18HP 1-cylinder 453cc Tecumseh engine. With little sound insulation and an enclosed cabin, one is reminded of driving in an enclosed lawn mower.  No radio or back-seat woofers needed! 


The demise of the Freeway once again ended American production of gas-sipping vehicles.  Although Gremlins, Pintos, Chevettes and Vegas had 4-cylinder engines, these so-called subcompacts were

heavy and they barely made it over 20 mpg.  By comparison, the

1500 lb Honda Civic could achieve over 40 mpg.


Visit WAAAM April 9th- See them drive and learn more !




What is an "N" Number
N Numbers
While you are cruising the rows of cars, airplanes and motorcycles at The WAAAM, take notice of the
tail area on each and every airplane.
There you will see a "N" followed by letters and or numbers.
Where do N-numbers come from? What do they mean?

The U.S. received the "N" as its nationality designator under the International Air Navigation Convention, held in 1919. The Convention prescribed an aircraft-marking scheme of a single letter indicating nationality followed by a hyphen and four identity letters (for example, G-REMS). The five letters together were to be the aircraft's radio call sign.
The choice was not universally popular.  The Journal Aviation wanted the U.S. to adopt W in honor of the Wright brothers.  Use of the letter N in the early days seems to have been restricted to aircraft that made international flights.  Compliance was voluntary at this time, since the U.S. did not ratify the 1919 Convention.
In Canada the call sign starts with a "C".
Follow this link History of the N Number  to the FAA site for more info. Lots to learn. Enjoy.


Volunteer Spotlight

A Night at the Museum 


The Volunteers of this museum go beyond the call of duty. What an amazing and dedicated group of people!


Please meet Shelley and Dan Lubbers of Salem, OR 

Dan Lubbers working the floors

Shinning things up: Dan Lubbers.


The Lubbers have been involved as volunteers here since the first year. Though they live some hours away, a phone call or an e mail will spurs them into action.


WAAAM has been looking at hiring the mega job of stripping and rewaxing the lobby, giftshop and bathroom floors. Though not in the business of floors, they own the equipment  so Dan volunteered himself and his wife of 25 years to pull an all nighter and on the spur of the moment they had time this last weekend!

The floor crew at WAAAM
 Resting : Shelley& Dan  Lubbers. Donna Davidson


"It was a big project, maybe more than I

bargained for. We started on Sunday after

closing and finished at 9 am on Monday. Lucky for us the other regular volunteers jumped in and got the lobby and giftshop moved in and set back up in record time. " says Dan.


Shelly says "The highlight of our time here was when Dan got a chance to see the restoration shop and help Tom Murphy work on the Model 70!"


Dan and Shelley own Inspections Unlimited, they have two great kids (really adults now) Jackie and Charlie who have helped WAAAM too.


Thank you Dan and Shelley, you help make WAAAM wonderful! 



Second Saturday - April 9th
Schedule of Events

  9 am   Museum Opens 
 10 am    Cars, planes and motorcycles start get ready to go! 
             Come see and learn.
 11 am    Micro and Mini Cars. Introduction/ operation by Skip Dunn
11 am    Lunch is served  ( 11 - 1) Grilled Burgers &  Dogs
12 - 2     Lots going on! stop by
  5 pm    Museum closes. Thanks for a great day, see you tomorrow!    
  6 pm   "Bite of the Gorge" starts. Good Food and Drink until 9pm

Step back in time, relax,  take a stroll, eat and learn.

It is a good day at WAAAM.



Issue 4-2011
In This Issue
High MPG
The "N" Number
Volunteer Spotlight

Join Our Mailing List

Make a Plan
Fun at WAAAM
  April 9th
-Second Saturday.
Learn about micro cars
-Bite of the Gorge Event Info
May 14
-Second Saturday
May 21 & 22  
 -Rotary Pear & Wine
Event Info
June 9th
-Fathers' Day at WAAAM
July 4th
-Parade & Fly Over
June 11th
-Second Saturday
-Women in Avation Month
July 9th
-Second Saturday
July 30 & 31st
-1st Annual Cruise-In &
  Car Show
August 13th
-Second Saturday
September 9,10,11
-Annual Fly-In
-Second Saturday

Visitor Quotes
"Wow! Wow! Wow"
"I enjoyed it very much GREAT collection"

"First rate collection, cars and airplane too!! Great!"


Rick and Chris, Renton WA
"Unbelievable, what a wonderful museum. I found a J-3 that I flew in 1966! 

Second Saturday -

Always a special day at WAAAM 


WAAAM IT - a Ping Pong Tournament


Ohhh the laughs we had and the smiles we shared at the ...



WAAAM IT Ping Pong Event!   



 Thank you Skyline Foundation and WAAAM volunters for  giving us a fun, fun day

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Western Antique Aeroplane & Automobile Museum 
1600 Air Museum Road
Hood River, OR 97031