The body of this car by Renew Sports Cars is pure hemp, whose fibers have been woven, hardened with resin and covered with paint. (Handout)

Car made of hemp makes Denver stop

The car drew remarkably little attention in a city of legalized marijuana.

No crowd surrounded it. Passersby didn’t pause to look it over. Probably that’s because it looks just like a Mazda Miata convertible — except for the side panel poster of George Washington smoking a joint.

Indeed, the chassis of this unique automobile prototype was taken from a Miata. But the body is pure hemp, whose fibers have been woven, put in a mold, hardened with resin and covered with paint.

Its promoters call the bright red result the greenest car in the world.

The body is an agricultural product. The engine can run on biobutanol, a fuel made of agricultural scraps that smells like a blend of garbage, wood chips and alcohol.

Designer Bruce Dietzen hopes to extend industrial hemp to the floorboards and other parts of the chassis and put his cannabis car on the market next year at a starting price of about $42,000.

“One version gets you high. The other version you can make a car out of. They’re both cannabis,” he said.

For the record, “Nope, nope,” he doesn’t smoke dope.

Dietzen, who is 60, moved to Key West after a career at Hewlett-Packard. He was inspired to create a hemp car partly by Henry Ford, who he said built one in 1941.

Dietzen drove the car from Florida to Denver, where he hopes to attract enough cannabis car investors to sell a few.

And in case people doubt its crashworthiness, Dietzen pounded hard on the hood a dozen times.

No dents.

Follow that car

Head to Renew Sports Cars to find out where the hemp car will show up next.

David Olinger: 303-954-1498, or @dolingerdp

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