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Linsight Designer
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It's been a long time coming, but as of 8PM CT, Sawbite is now owned by the Lane Motor Museum. To prevent Sawbite from ending up in the scrapyard (again), our donation agreement has a clause that allows me exclusive first right of refusal to purchase the car (if Lane ever decides to sell it).

Thanks to everyone who helped bring this project to completion over the past four years... that's right, this side project started 51 months ago! Time flies when you're having fun perpetually overextended. I'm slowly ticking off all the incomplete projects I've had on my plate...

Jeff (Lane) mentioned that he still owns a 2000 Insight that he purchased directly from Honda way back in 1999. I can tell Sawbite is in good hands! Jeff was super eager to show me where Sawbite was going to fit in the overall collection. I got to play around with the Volkswagen XL1, which is a beautifully impractical vehicle, with many similar design proclivities to the G1 Insight.

I'm excited for the general public to see Sawbite. I saw several people take pictures of Sawbite on the drive from Chattanooga to Nashville. Obviously a car that's cut open and facing backwards on a trailer will naturally attract attention, but still I'm glad to see that this object elicits inquiry beyond our tiny little internet forum.

...

So now we need to come up with the text that will appear on the plaque displayed alongside Sawbite. Basically a couple of paragraphs about how this car came to be cut into pieces. I'm going to scrub through this entire thread tomorrow, unless someone else beats me to it.
 

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Engine-Off-Coast
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We don't know much about the history beyond the piece of paper. My cousin saw it on Kijiji (a Canadian Craigslist-like website) in Ottawa, he mentioned it to me, and then I showed it to Rick @rhall who bought it. The car was in some kind of museum but they wanted to let it go for whatever reason. Rick got the mileage kilometers by plugging the computer into another Insight to power it on. I took the large batch of photos so that people here could see what we'd found, and then y'all coordinated the exporting of the car to the USA.

We know the car started off silver. It was probably cut up after making its way to Canada, but it would almost certainly have been a Honda dealership that did it. There are like 10 Honda dealerships in the Ottawa area, so it'll be hard to figure out which one did it. UNLESS it was sold directly to the museum immediately after arriving in Canada, in which case the museum may have cut the car up. But I bet it was Honda because they sliced the wire harnesses and they removed the gas pedal.

Here's a link to the original thread:
 

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Linsight Designer
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1,972 Posts
OK here's my take:
Sawbite was donated by Honda - intact - to Canada's Advanced Technology Vehicles Program R45-6-2002E ("ATVP"). Supporting evidence: The original title stated that the owner was "The Queen in right of Canada," which is how an item given to the state (by Honda) is legally represented on paperwork.

Prior to cutaway modifications, ATVP tested this vehicle's emissions, etc. Their test results are available here: Advanced Technology Vehicles Program - annual report : T45-6E-PDF - Government of Canada Publications - Canada.ca
Other Evidence: test lead pigtails on wire harness, notably at the gas pedal position potentiometer.

The car was then cutaway for the purposes of public display. Note that ATVP attempted to ensure that this vehicle never drove again... all wire harnesses were cut, and a 5' continuous gash was cut through the firewall with an angle grinder. Supporting evidence: search above PDF for "The second display is a cutaway version of a Honda Insight, which demonstrates the advanced lightweight aluminum construction and hybrid drivetrain."

The cutaway was then shown at 35 ATVP events from March 31, 2000 to March 26, 2002. Total attendance was 1.66 million people.

After this, the car was displayed at the Canada Science and Technology Museum, in Ottawa, from 2002 until 2016.
 

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Linsight Designer
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Well I guess they failed!! :ROFLMAO::ROFLMAO:
Indeed, but they ALMOST succeeded. Sawbite almost didn't make my to-do list, but thanks to COVID I was able to mindlessly contemplate the future while doing way more work than I had intended.

...and that's the first and last time I'll thank COVID for anything.
 

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I just read this entire thread in one sitting. When I started, I had no idea at what part of the process the thread would end at (if at all). The fact that this all ended only a few days ago makes me so happy. Almost like I watch somebody’s life story up until the present day. This is probably the best autobiography I’ve ever read. Cheers to all involved!

p.s.- Not quite sure what ever happened with the passenger seat belt issue. But I’ve seen some that have internal mechanisms that won’t allow them to extend without being vertical (in case of a rollover). You can easily test this outside of the car.
 

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Linsight Designer
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Thanks for commenting JoeSight! I, too, (re-)read the entire thread from start to finish last just last week. Yes, it was certainly a long journey.

I'm so glad to have Sawbite in a public collection. Jeff (Lane) seemed genuinely excited to have Sawbite in the collection. He's even followed up with questions over the past few days, and just today I received a handwritten letter from him thanking us for the donation. That letter also contained about a dozen free admission tickets to the Lane, so if anybody that contributed to this epic project plans to be in the Nashville area and wants some tickets, send me a PM and I'll mail some.
 

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Super Moderator
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Conversation sent.

Sam
 

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Linsight Designer
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Thanks for posting the link. It looks like Lane is still working on getting it live, as the link is not working. Sawbite is on page 15, but the link is broken there, too. It'll probably start working right after I post this ;).
 

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A truly inspiring effort. I wish I had played a part in all this - cuz then I could bask in the sense of pride that all those involved, especially Mudder and Natalya, rightfully deserve. You've really done us a good thing. Thanks!
 

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Super Moderator
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Will done John(y)
 

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Linsight Designer
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Thanks for Natalya for finding Sawbite all those years back.

Huge shoutout to Rick (rhall), who bought the car sight unseen in the first place, and then kept the car intact long enough for us to convince him it was worth preserving.

Also, thanks to everyone who donated money towards the preservation effort. At the end of the day, Sawbite cost around $7500 from start to finish. The $2950 in donations received (!) was the catalyst that convinced me that this car was worth saving. If you donated to the cause and would like public recognition, send me a PM; otherwise, I default to privacy.
 

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Premium Member
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Discussion Starter #438
Wow! what a surprise to see the Cutaway "Sawbite" at the museum. John did a fabulous job! It's one thing to sit in an armchair and speculate about how things could be, but John put his heart and soul into the project. I'm sure, with the long rebuild and certification any mortal would have had their doubts in the late hours when things were not going well. It's the combination of dreams and hard work that make it happen and John was up to the task! Looking at the car sitting in the museum I would bet that it would draw the most attention. Looks like it found a great home.

Rick Hall
Caledon, Ontario
2001 Aquamarine

Note from Canada: Lots of Insighters left here. I see them (and their batteries) regularly. The cars are holding beyond expectations. The salt is a problem but is mostly solved with nickel-copper brake and fuel lines.
 

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Linsight Designer
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1,972 Posts
Great to hear from you, Rick!
I definitely had several doubtful periods... some of them are captured on video previously in this thread. TBH I probably wouldn't have gotten around to getting Sawbite running if it weren't for COVID.
 
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