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Roseville man beats gas prices with 98 mpg car

7:55 PM, Oct 10, 2012   |    comments
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ROSEVILLE, CA - Gas prices are just no problem for "Wild Bill" Hill of Wild Bill's Tattoos in Roseville. 

That's because, among his car collection, he has a 1959 Messerschmitt KR-200. 

"It has real good gas economy, it gets 98 miles to the gallon," Hill said.

Now, it only has a 3-gallon tank, but at 98 mpg that's nearly 300 miles on three gallons of gas.

The car only has three wheels, two in the front, one in the rear.  The steering wheel is an airplane steering yoke turned upside down. The dash board is simple with only two dials: one is a clock, the other a speedometer. 

There is no gas gauge.

"You just open the gas cap and look down into the tank, just like a motorcycle," Hill explained.

The engine is a two-stroke, with 10-horsepower, 4-speed, single cylinder and capable of 65 miles an hour. 

There is no reverse gear. Instead, you can turn the engine over backwards, which means, in effect, there are four reverse gears.

"It gets kind of hairy," Bill said, "I've been in third gear (in reverse) and it was kind of scary."

The cars were very inexpensive when they were first produced. Today, prices vary depending on the condition, but some have gone for $25,000 to $30,000 at auction.

Elvis Presley was a fan and had an early version in his own car collection.

By Jonathan Mumm, jmumm@news10.net

News10/KXTV

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