Fact or Fiction

July 10:

the real Stewball in
China during the around-the-world rally

For those who have read The Long Road to Paris, know that “Stewball”, the 1967 VW Bettle featured in the novel contains “radical technology- technology so revolutionary that oil-exporting counties, including Russia, want every trace of it destroyed, and China, lacking adequate energy resources, wants to steal it.” (copy from the back cover)

On pages 141-142, the inventor of the technology, Dietrich Otto, refers to his invention as “an energy cylinder” and offers no further explanation. Ed Talbot, the driver has already surmised the car is not using gasoline and when asked by Marie-Claire Levieux, his navigator, where does the gas that they have been putting in the car go, he proposes ( page 140) that “something in the muffler burns it off and it escapes via the exhaust system.”

Just where am I going with this? Well today we walked the Champs Elysees past the Citroen showroom. ( on our way to see the new Woody Allen film, I Love Rome) Inside was their newest “concept” car. Here is that car. It is beautiful I must say.

Citroen’s futuristic car

Their promotional copy says “It contains an electric drive train and is powered by a fuel cell. The water vapor is emitted via the exhaust.”

Here’s a big difference, citroen says this car has a top speed of 204 mph. “Stewball only reached a top speed of 100 mph when chased by the Chinese. (page 146).  Who are you going to believe? Better buy the book because Citroen only has a ” concept car” while Stewball drove around the world! In the novel in 2008 and in reality in 2011.

Who are you going to believe? 🙂

Writing is such fun.


About ejhowle23

Authors and adventurers, participated in the World Race 2011, an automobile rally from New York to Paris, crossing three continents and 14,000 land miles. Following much the same route as the setting for our debut novel, The Long Road to Paris. This blog describes our own adventures and challenges. And now you can follow our Bahamas sailing adventure that provides the setting for our second novel, Night Watch. Our rally, the African Safari Challenge, crossed five countries in South Africa in May 2014 and in 2015 we participated in the second Trans-American rally this time from Nova Scotia to San Francisco. Spring of 2016 we travelled 28 days around Australia with friends from previous rallies and in the fall participated in our most exhausting rally through Argentina, Chili and Peru- the Rally of the Incas. We were awarded the Against All Odds award. We're still not sure if this was for us or our car. Stewball never broke down and we hardly did. We will soon take on Iceland as a self-drive tour and in the fall of 2017 we will participate in the Odyssey Italia and then back to Africa for a do-over (almost) of the Africa Safari Challenge.
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1 Response to Fact or Fiction

  1. TBC says:

    It is a really sexy little number, I must say. WOW! And energy efficient, too! Cool!



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