So it’s one thing to customize, restore and do up an old car, but an entirely different concept to strap an old tank engine to your car and see what happens. But as you can guess, it’s been done. The crazy Mike Nieman has taken an original Type 1 VW Beetle and attached a 1941 Continental radial engine taken from an M2 tank to create the most insane engine design ever.
But does it work?
The engine itself displaces 668 cubic inches and has a 7-cylinder 4-cylce setup. It succeeded the first radial engine from Continental, the A-70, and was used in a number of aircrafts throughout the 1930s and 40s but during WWII it became part of several light armoured vehicles – including the M2 tank.
The details behind this insane engine design
So this isn’t your regular radial engine. Despite being recovered from a tank, the engine is only capable of a mere 220 horsepower, not an awe-inspiring amount but enough to make you think whether this is crazy or not.
After refitting the engine to run on propane, Nieman uses the tank clutch hub to get it all going. But what he actually has is a 2-inch, reverse-pitch prop taken from a wind generator. I’d say there’s enough momentum from the propeller to get the car going at an outrageous speed. The plan is for Nieman to add a few safety tweaks and then take the Beetle to Bonneville.
Blimey would that be good to watch.
Have you watched this insane engine design in action yet? Just listen to the noise that thing makes. It’s incredible. You can almost feel the power coming through the screen. Would you be crazy enough to try something like this? Or would you do it differently? Either way, I think it’s safe – and easy – to say that Nieman is in fact a genius with an amazing idea.