Unsafe At Any Speed

A late night last night. I was on assignment for Popular Mechanics, covering the debut of Paul Stender’s latest jet-powered contraption. Paul is best known as the guy who invented the jet-powered outhouse and the jet-powered schoolbus, but he’s done quite a few other vehicles as well — in fact, every winter he tends to brew up at least one new example of vehicular insanity in his Brownsville, IN, workshop in preparation for the upcoming drag-race and airshow season. Seen here is the “Urban Legend,” a ’67 Impala that’s been outfitted with a jet engine on its roof that Paul estimates will boost the car’s top speed from about 130 to about 250 mph. Note that he doesn’t achieve anything like that in this clip; the car, still a work in progress, suffered some major problems with the afterburner. Hopefully Paul will get the kinks worked out and will return to Morocco in September for a full-power run that hopefully the chest-pounding noise and fire of a full jet-car experience. I’ll be writing about the project in more detail in an upcoming issue of Popular Mechanics.