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Bellingham man breaks fuel record

Inventor and engineer Craig Henderson shows off his custom-built car, the Avion, at the U.S. Mexico border after completing a 1,400-mile journey from the Canadian border on 12.4 gallons of fuel.  (PRNewsFoto/Goodyear)
Inventor and engineer Craig Henderson shows off his custom-built car, the Avion, at the U.S. Mexico border after completing a 1,400-mile journey from the Canadian border on 12.4 gallons of fuel. (PRNewsFoto/Goodyear) PR NEWSWIRE

Craig Henderson said Thursday he broke his world record for fuel economy, proving again that his aerodynamic Avion sports car can drive from border to border on a single tank of gas.

The Tacoma native started the venture Sunday, determined to show the car he built 25 years ago gets the most miles per gallon of any vehicle .

Over the 1,478-mile drive from Blaine to the Mexican border, Henderson said, he averaged 119.1 mpg. His 1986 world record was 103.7 mpg.

“I had butterflies for a while in my stomach thinking, ‘Are we going to make it? Is it going to break down?’ ” Henderson said Thursday. “All those things were going through my head.”

He steered the Avion to the Mexican border about 6 p.m. Wednesday. Henderson said he enjoyed the journey but will be shipping his car home to Bellingham rather than putting more miles on it.

He said that during the three-day trip the car used 12.4 gallons of gas. He had anticipated using about 14, though he brought 19 gallons with him.

Henderson and a friend designed and built the Avion 25 years ago, using recycled car parts and installing a small diesel engine.

“It’s kind of funny these are two guys who did this,” Henderson said. “Why can’t Detroit do this?”

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