SEARCH OF THE FASCINATION
sister forwarded me the link to your page on the Fascination
car. I remember the first time I saw the car. We were in a cafe somewheremaybe
Chadron or Crawford, NE-and this car pulled up. As you can imagine,
it drew a lot of attention. We went out and talked to the driver, one
of the founders. That started the ball rolling where mom and dad ultimately
decided to buy a distributorship.
remember taking trips with dad to check out the manufacturing facilitiesold
army munitions bunkers in the middle of Nebraska. These were buildings
half-buried in the ground, with about three feet of concrete covered
by six feet of dirt on all sides. They stayed a constant temperature
of 60 degrees or so. They had about three cars built by hand, and were
getting molds made for production runs. In retrospect, it was pretty
far-fetched to think they could manufacture these things in any kind
of volume in relatively small munitions bunkers in Nebraska. But we
were caught up in the promise of wealth and the fascination with The
remember sitting in the office of the founder. John Lewis I think was
his name. He said he had tried to develop similar cars in the past,
but the Big Three automakers kept squashing his efforts. When he was
thinking of a name for the car, he originally was going to name it "Vengeance",
but then he remembered "Vengeance is mine, said the Lord" and thought
he better name it something else.
was a very cool car. I even rode in it once or twice! Quite a revolutionary
design, too. It had air-filled rubber shock absorbers like on today's
buses. It had a mid-engine design, behind the back seats, and the engines
were going to be from RenaultI think they were Wankel or rotary
engines. I don't remember anything about "Nobel Gas-Plasma Engines"
that the website mentions. Because it was mid-engine, the front of the
car was very light. Supposedly, if it got hit broadside, it would just
spin around on the back wheels.
it only had three wheels, you could drive it into a ditch and you'd
never lose contact with any of the wheels and the road. You could also
turn the front wheel almost perpendicular to the car, which meant you
could turn nearly in its own radius, and you could parallel park with
about 12 inches of total clearance. It got 40 or so mpg. I often think
that if its design were coupled with today's hybrid gas/electric engines,
it could really be a hit
guess it was about 1971-72 when we got involved with the company. My
parents bought a distributorship for three states. Needless to say,
that money was never seen again. But to this day, it was still the coolest
car I've ever been in. The trunk, though, was extremely smallabout
one suitcase. But the rest of the design was great. I remember the founder
taking us on a long stretch of little-used highway in Nebraska. He got
it up to about 80 mph, took his hands off the wheel, and then hit the
brakes as hard as he could without skidding. The car stopped quickly
and in a straight line. One of the benefits of one wheel up frontno
need to ever align your car again.
never did know how it all fell apartI think it was pretty disappointing
for mom and dad, so they didn't talk about it much from then on. Though
I remember them both saying if it failed, it would be no worse than
a bad hailstorm ruining a crop, and they had plenty of experience with
that. But I always wondered if it was just a business that failed, or
if it was a con game that worked
I was happy to see the page on your site. If you ever find out anything
else about it, I'd be interested in learning more.
MUTO TRACKS IT DOWN!
Coury, came upon your article about that weird car, the "Fascination,"
and noted that you were looking for a replacement for your lost sales
brochure. (Do I win the run on sentence award?)
these guys out:
never dealt with them so I can't vouch for their service.
a few more places for auto literature:
some info on the free energy motor (not the plasma engine, never could
find anything on that): http://www.rexresearch.com/evgray/1gray.htm
you ever heard of the Dale
three-wheeled car of the mid-'70s? I've been researching the history
for a book I'd like to write. It was a scam that was run by a transsexual!
You just can't make this stuff up!
THEN, THE BREAKTHROUGH
what I've found so far...a mention of the car at this page: http://www.nebraskahistory.org/admin/report/report98.htm
and Judy Lutzi of Lincoln loaned their unique, Nebraska-built Fascination
automobile for the Plains Power: Nebraska-made Vehicles exhibit."
apparently the Lutzis own the car (this article was circa 1998), or
did so till recently. No picture of it, although there should've been
one as it said "image" before that quote.
another mention at: http://www.nebraskahistory.org/publish/publicat/newsletr/march98.htm
RECEPTION HELD JANUARY 9
at the annual legislative reception January 9 included contributors
to the Plains Power: Nebraska-made Vehicles exhibit now showing at the
Museum of Nebraska History.
and Judy Lutzi of Lincoln are the owners of the unique, three-wheeled
Fascination automobile built in Sidney in the 1970s."
know what to make of this, but here's another link:
down to A4
is a story that just gets more interesting with every new detail. Who
was this visionary John Lewis? Whatever happened to the Nobel Gas Plasma
engine? How did the Lutzis acquire the car? Who will solve these mysteries?
And how can I afford to buy those brochures?
you so much for sharing such a wonderful site with us! I enjoyed the
with Bill Lucaan extremely talented and creative individual.
I thank him for his inspiring work and creation of Laff in the Dark.
you, PopCult Magazine! You are one of my favorite sites!
Rye Beach, NH
THE GOOD REVEREND?
send my name and address to Robert
Tilton ministries or send me his e-mail address and website.
(e-mail address withheld for his own protection)
saw your page about the faux-Robert Tilton
Jesus Wallet mailing in the mid-'90s from Tulsa. Were you aware
that ol' Bobby T. is based out of there now? Or at least he was a couple
years ago, as that was the address he uses/used for the revamped version
of his show that showed up in the middle of the night on B.E.T. (And
perhaps elsewhere?) That would give credence to the idea that it's indeed
maybe he was testing the waters for his return, which
was around '98 or '99 as far as I can tell?
(e-mail address withheld)
sounds logical. I haven't been able to find any current references to
the esteemed televangelist (though here's a good article from The
Dallas Observer, circa 1997). Perhaps he's finally given up his
errant ways? But I still would like to have more of his marketing materials
ever happened to the white no-frills products supermarkets used to sell?
(e-mail address withheld)
just assumed that people kept on buying the all-frills products as the
Good Lord intended.