Of course, the vehicle needs to be properly supported or you could wind up with a runaway hulk in a hurry. Fortunately, the participants in the video (after the jump) had their derelict ride well secured before pulling the old rope trick.
We should mention a few safety precautions here. First, make sure you can release the rope as soon as the engine fires, or you'll quickly be introduced to the front fender well. Second, don't waste your effort on an automatic. There isn't a power in the 'verse that can cause a slushbox to turn over its engine. Finally, be warned that it's going to take a significantly larger amount of effort (thanks, compression!) for any vehicle with more than four cylinders. Check out the video to see the trick in action.