Vegetable oil-powered car traverses continent

To many, a seminvegary professor and a pastor are unlikely environmentalists. But Jon Isaak, associate professor of New Testament at MB Biblical Seminary in Fresno, Cal., and his wife Mary Anne, pastor at College Community (MB) Church in Clovis, Cal., showed creativity and commitment to live lightly on the land with a “green” journey across the continent in a 1979 Volkswagen Rabbit this summer.

For the past number of years, Jon worked during his school breaks to tune up the car, converting it to run on recycled vegetable oil. For its inaugural journey, the Rabbit used only 60 gallons of recycled oil, taking the Isaaks 4,729 miles (7,610 km) from Fresno, to Kansas for the U.S. MB convention, to Manitoba for a family visit, and back to California. Attaining a record of 47 miles to the gallon, the Rabbit averaged 37 miles to the gallon (6.4 L/100 km) on the cross-continent trip. Along the way, the Isaaks filled up their five 5-gallon oil containers at restaurants and at the homes of fellow “greasers,” paying from zero to two dollars per gallon.

Sarah Bergen for MBBS

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