Do you want to support U.S. Manufacturing? Well, Illuminati Motor Works is a good place to start.
IMW is a collection of Illinois "engineers, automotive technicians, graphic artists and car enthusiasts" that contribute every available hour to competing for the Automotive X PRIZE (AXP), a muti-phase competition to build super fuel-efficient cars.
"Ten million dollars in prizes will be awarded to the teams that win a stage competition for clean, production-capable vehicles that exceed 100 Miles per gallon or energy equivalent (MPGe). The series of scored performance and evaluation events kicks off April 26, 2010 and continues through the end of August 2010. The Progressive Insurance Automotive X PRIZE will place a major focus on efficiency, safety, affordability, and the environment. It is about developing real, production-capable cars that consumers will want to buy, not science projects or concept cars."
The IMW guys and gals love manufacturing, have seized an enormous challenge, and are up against some better-funded competition. What's most astounding about IMW is that they've continued to out-compete and survive through several stages of competition, most recently on January 9th, 2010. They are now one of only 43 teams remaining in the international competition that started back in 2007.
While the IMW team has been successful, the team has been at this for a long time. And the competition gets more and more difficult at each phase. Check out the pictures of IMW's work - they're doing this with smarts, creativity, passion and not a lot of technology. And yet, they're still in this thing ...
We read (or write) a lot everyday about manufacturing and how it needs more support, more nurturing, a revival. Why not take a minute to visit the IMW Web site, learn a little bit more about these rockin' groove units, send a message, or lend more tangible support? Or, heck - just donate enough for a 6-pack. These guys don't give up, and they need to know we're pulling for them.
I'll bet you love the game - the real game - as much as they do. Let's give them the encouragement they deserve as they go toe-to-toe with the big dogs.