Woo Hoo, the Crazy Town Express is About to Depart! VW Beetle with TURBINE ENGINE Selling For How Much?!
Would Automologist MAC want this for Christmas?
No, this is not a seasonal joke. This is as real as the nose on my face. Now, I spend a lot of time looking through the internet for interesting car stuff and I do come across some crazy stuff. This Beetle, for instance, I first encountered about 15 years ago. It was built by Dr. Ron Patrick Ph.D., an Engineering Graduate from Stanford University. The car is a fairly stock VW Beetle with the normal FWD engine up front on the same chassis, but slung into the back is a GE T58-8F turbine engine, an engine developed for use in the US military’s gas turbine-powered helicopters.
The car has recently been listed on Craigslist in the US of A for a tidy sum of USD550,000, which is of course a lot of money for an aging VW Beetle. But here is the thing – because the car still has its original drivetrain, it can be registered and driven on the roads of California, just like any normal car. But with a flick of a switch, you can spin up the 300-pound engine and get a whole 1,350 additional horsepower at 26,000 rpm to whisk you all the way to crazy-town in a very short time.
The listing on Craigslist is very detailed and lists many ways that the crazy town express is easy to live with and reliable for everyday use. For instance, there is a customised Kevlar fuel tank for the additional kerosene fuel tank needed for the jet engine and heat-shielding designed to stop the car from, well, melting. Dr. Patrick also describes how the force from the jet is harnessed using sandwich plates and aluminium billets, and how the rigid rubber engine mounts are sliding to accommodate the expansion of the engine as it warms up…
Not much space for the groceries, though…
So, if you want to buy an aging VW Beetle with a jet engine, you had better head on over to Craigslist. Oh and while you are there, you may want to check out a Lamborghini for about the same price – now, I know which one I would want for Christmas.