Sometimes you meet folks who, when they tell you "Hey, I have an idea," your reflex response is to stop what you're doing and tell yourself, "Get ready...." We imagine Mike Niemans is one of those folks, and the idea in question is putting a tank engine on a Type 1 Volkswagen Beetle. Not just any old tank engine – as if there were such a thing when we're talking about putting them in cars – but a 668-cubic-inch, 220-horsepower radial engine built by Continental in 1941 and procured from an M2 tank.

In the image above Nieman is using the tank clutch hub to get the motor set up, but in one of the images below you can see what really belongs back there is: a two-inch, reverse-pitch prop taken from a wind generator. He says there's enough mojo with the propeller action to get the car rolling down the runway like a jet when he gives it gas – and speaking of gas, the engine's been refitted to run on propane.

After a few safety tweaks Nieman's going to take the matte-black Beetle to Bonneville, "put the prop on, let her go and see what happens!" We can't wait to see the video of that. There are two shakedown videos below to get you ready.

I'm reporting this comment as:

Reported comments and users are reviewed by Autoblog staff 24 hours a day, seven days a week to determine whether they violate Community Guideline. Accounts are penalized for Community Guidelines violations and serious or repeated violations can lead to account termination.

    • 1 Second Ago
      • 2 Years Ago
      come on, someone give this guy props.
      • 2 Years Ago
      the last vehicle in the world you would want to rear end
      • 2 Years Ago
      I've never been to Bonneville, but I have seen a lot of specials and footage about it. The safety crowd there does usually not tolerate 'Hey, how 'bout this!' kind of ideas. They may let it fly (HA! get it? I crack me up) but I bet this thing gets shot down (there I go AGAIN!) before it even gets off the trailer.
      • 2 Years Ago
      It belongs in the desert, but more like Burning Man than Bonneville.
      • 2 Years Ago
      Would have been a lot cooler if it moved.
      Lucky Vanos
      • 2 Years Ago
      This will be in the Darwin Awards 2013.
      • 2 Years Ago
      In the second video, around the 1:20 mark, I would not be standing where the camera guy is standing. I've seen "Final Destination", I know how that ends. And talk about rear wheel weight bias; this bug could make a Porsche blush.
        • 2 Years Ago
        No biggie, toss 1klb up front and you're set. In land speed racing you intentionally make regular cars weigh 4klb+ for traction and to try to keep them on the ground. Weight has no affect on top speed.
      • 2 Years Ago
      668 cubic inch, 220 horsepower? This isn't so much an idea as it is a "Well, we got all this junk lying around that isn't good for anything, so let's just throw it all together & see what happens," kind of like a car casserole.
        Mr E
        • 2 Years Ago
        horsepower sells cars, torque wins races!
      • 2 Years Ago
      Only 220 hp Stand back. Wheelstands ahead. Heads will roll in Bonneville.
      The Wasp
      • 2 Years Ago
      At last someone has found a way to make an old Beetle produce even more smoke and noise! Pretty cool car anyway, though.
      • 2 Years Ago
      Looks like a cool idea but weight distribution looks like it would handle bad over 100 mph unless he gives it a longer wheelbase.
        • 2 Years Ago
        put a sprint car wing on the roof and you're good!
      • 2 Years Ago
      Is it April 1st already?
    • Load More Comments
    Share This Photo X