With growing concern over emissions of greenhouse gases and global warming, many drivers are turning to ethanol-blended fuels as their contribution to saving the environment.
Lampada Art Gallery owner Amorn Vira is one such driver who is worried about global warming, and he has his own way of lowering greenhouse-gas emissions.
“I stay at my resort in Chiang Mai during the cool season, and I always drive my Morgan car with its convertible roof down, so it’s not necessary to switch on the car’s air-conditioning. This can help the global-warming problem,” he says.
The Morgan, a classic sports car made in 1969, is powered by 1.6-litre four-cylinder engine.
“I like its design. It reminds me of the racing cars of the past. I’m not a car racer, but the open car offers me a comfortable ride in a natural environment,” he says.
It took Amorn many years to restore the car to its original condition, because he sought spare parts by word of mouth only.
“Possessing classic cars means we must put effort into maintaining them, and some spare parts must be ordered from abroad,” he says. “Seeking auto parts is not as difficult now as it was in the past, because we can use the Internet. Buying just a turn light from abroad used to take about a year for delivery, but these days it takes only a month.”
After restoring the car, he drove it 700 kilometres from Bangkok to Chiang Mai.
“It was a test drive. I did not drive fast, as that would have consumed energy and lifted my carbon dioxide emissions. Besides, driving a convertible very fast loses the set of my hair! The drive took around 10 hours,” he says.
Amorn must take care to keep his Morgan running perfectly, because there are few garages in the northern capital capable of servicing classic cars.
“I have to take it to Bangkok if it’s not functioning normally,” he says. “I believe my style of driving can help alleviate global warming. During the cool season, those who own convertibles can help the world – even if it is only a little bit.”