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Kentucky Man Builds Bourbon Powered Car 190

Posted by samzenpus
from the drink-to-drive dept.
autospa writes "With fuel prices rising like crazy, a man from Kentucky came up with a solution to high gas prices. 62-year-old Mickey Nilsson, of Bardstown, Kentucky, made a bourbon-powered junk car. He got the idea from the movie Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. Nilsson said that his inspiration came from a character played by Dick Van Dyke in the classic Disney movie."

*

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Kentucky Man Builds Bourbon Powered Car

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  • by FooAtWFU (699187) on Sunday April 24, 2011 @04:10PM (#35923362) Homepage
    There's a good chance the state will come after you for some sort of a fuel tax if you're doing something like this. :)
    • by Anonymous Coward

      There's a good chance the state will come after you for some sort of a fuel tax if you're doing something like this. :)

      On top of the liquor tax he'll already be paying? Politicians wouldn't dare...

    • Trust me the excise tax on the alcohol is higher than the fuel tax would be.

      • by Zeek40 (1017978)
        On potable alcohol, yes it is, but on de-natured alcohol it's not. If you're not drinking it, there's no reason not to use de-natured alcohol.
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      I remember here in Australia back in the 80's a man made a car that ran on water was on the 6 o'clock news, a week later he was found dead. Nothing more was said.

      • I remember here in Australia back in the 80's a man made a car that ran on water was on the 6 o'clock news, a week later he was found dead. Nothing more was said.

        Oh please... really?

        Maybe he died of terminal stupidity... or embarassment at having pulled off such a scam (though it's the news people who really ought to be embarassed)

        Look, if it was really possible to power a car with water (or even get the infamous "100 MPG" you hear about occasionally) the auto companies would do it. Everyone seems to forget that even if the oil companies were all in cahoots to suppress such technology, the CAR companies (in a couple dozen countries all over the world) wouldn't

        • Maybe he dripped water onto calcium carbide, burned the resultant acetylene gas, & the illuminati overreacted. Sounds like a good story for The Mythbusters. ;)
        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by Khyber (864651)

          "Look, if it was really possible to power a car with water (or even get the infamous "100 MPG" you hear about occasionally"

          Someone doesn't pay attention to SAE supermileage events where high school kids and university students build cars that drop 1,000 MPG (Yes THOUSAND) on a *REGULAR* basis.

          I think the current record is over three thousand MPG.

          I know sunlight hurts but it pays to step outside now and then.

          • Maybe you should read those news articles a little more closely and see how horrifically impractical those cars are. They have no luggage space, hold only (occasionally two) people, can only go at very slow speeds (around 25 - 30 mph), and don't go for very long.
            • by Zeek40 (1017978)
              If you just add "only has two wheels" to your vehicle description, you're talking about a mo-ped, which plenty of people use to get around college campuses, or similar 'short-commute' regions. Just because a car isn't a schoolbus doesn't mean it's useless.
          • Do such hyper-mileage cars meet safety and other regulatory standards? Can they travel at highway speeds, and if so, do they maintain their high mileage at those speeds? Do they have some sort of exotic construction (materials, etc.) that would be difficult to mass produce?

  • by Deathnerd (1734374) on Sunday April 24, 2011 @04:11PM (#35923374)
    That the driver is also bourbon powered.
    Also, I'm from Kentucky and this does not surprise me at all.
    • by Anonymous Coward

      Could be fun watching drivers fill up at "versatile fuel stations" in Kentucky. Although if you're in line, you might be waiting awhile.

      • by jrminter (1123885)
        Great way to verify fuel quality :).
      • by Anonymous Coward

        Do I recall correctly that Homer fantasized about filling up and talkingt to an ethanol powered car: "One for you. One for me. One for you. One for me."?

      • Could be fun watching drivers fill up at "versatile fuel stations" in Kentucky. Although if you're in line, you might be waiting awhile.

        That's okay. Folks will just queue up with a gallon left in the tank and a straw...

    • by JustOK (667959) on Sunday April 24, 2011 @04:38PM (#35923606) Journal

      Also, I'm from Kentucky and this does not surprise me at all.

      Why would being from Kentucky surprise you?

    • by igny (716218)
      I bet that a 12y aged bourbon to 1y aged is the same as #95 to #87 gasoline. Does it matter if the bourbon came from the same barrel or it was blended? Are the fuel stations hiring tasters now?
      • by taustin (171655)

        Pure ethanol is higher octane than gasoline, and requires engine adjustments (mostly timing, but changing the compression ratio can also help) to avoid pinging.
        Despite that, it only has about 2/3 as much energy stored in it as gasoline, by volume (methanol is about 1/2), which requires reworking the fuel and ignition systems. That, however, is pure ethanol. Bourbon is typical about 80 proof, which is not combustible. For anything like a car engine, you need a minimum of about 160 proof (which is lower octan

  • by Anonymous Coward

    He keeps using up the fuel before he can drive with it.

  • by codepunk (167897)

    Man powers car on ethanol, forgive me if I am less than impressed.

    • Man powers car on ethanol, forgive me if I am less than impressed.

      Dirty ethanol at that. Perhaps it will get some badly-needed funds for KY.

  • by Zantac69 (1331461) on Sunday April 24, 2011 @04:15PM (#35923404) Journal
    ...bourbon is much more expensive than petrol - even at european prices.
    • by FooAtWFU (699187)
      "Neat"? Come on, sir. It's wizard. It's smashing. It's keen.
    • by tomhudson (43916)

      ...bourbon is much more expensive than petrol - even at european prices.

      Moohshine?

      • by hairyfeet (841228)

        Moonshine is great for cleaning carburetors, or getting old paint off paintbrushes, but you really wouldn't want to drink the stuff. Most of it is about as "nice" as PGA, but I bet it would run an old car fine (I know the moonshiners in my area used to use it as a boost fuel in the old hot rods they used to smuggle shine) but I don't know how well it would run on anything modern.

        But if you were making something to actually consume as opposed for peeling paint or running a 70s Dart I'd suggest a little Mus [wikipedia.org]

    • That's only if you use the 'store bought' kind. The guy has a 'stil', so he probably makes his own from potato peelings, brewers yeast, and dead flies.

  • by dkleinsc (563838) on Sunday April 24, 2011 @04:18PM (#35923420) Homepage

    Why would you use up perfectly good bourbon on driving somewhere? I mean, this seems about as bright as the bumbling alchemist proudly announcing that he'd found a way to turn gold into lead.

    • Agreed. This is even sicker than using corn ethanol - which is completely twisted. At least the corn ethanol isn't barrel aged, FFS.
    • by jedidiah (1196)

      You wouldn't. This is for bourbon that really isn't fit for human consumption anyways.

    • Why would you use up perfectly good bourbon on driving somewhere?

      To get more bourbon.

  • Bourbon is 40% ABV.
    Anything under 50% doesn't really burn directly , I'm curious what he did to make it run.
    Perhaps using excess engine heat to separate alcohol evaporating it first from the content.
    • by radicalpi (1407259) on Sunday April 24, 2011 @04:32PM (#35923534)
      Not all Bourbons are 40% ABV. That's just the minimum. Many are 50+%, but, most are 40-48%, but, TFA states it will run off any Bourbon, so your curiousness still remains.
    • Bourbon can be anywhere from 80 to 160 proof. I didn't RTFA, but if he's making it himself, then it could be even higher, although not really legal.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      The article said he built it partly out of an old still. So maybe he fires up the still, which evaporates the alcohol, and just uses that? Not sure what he would use to power the still... It's a completely impractical car, but the engineer in me would love to see the design.

  • by MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) on Sunday April 24, 2011 @04:25PM (#35923476)

    One for you and one for me.

    One for you and one for me.

    One for you...

  • Having lived in Kentucky for the past three years*, my only response is:

    *sigh* That figures.

    *: Send help.

  • Basically the first cars ran on alcohol All older LADA's run fine on vodka, too.
    • The only way to make a Lada "run fine" is to fit a Cosworth engine. (I speak from experience here).

      However, if you have to drive a Lada, I recommend drinking the Vodka first.

  • This is just an advert for "Maker's Mark" whiskey. The copy blurbs on about how the car runs best on it.

    Yet another product who's value mostly lies in the psychological profile built up by it's advertising.

    • Yet another product who's value mostly lies in the psychological profile built up by it's advertising.

      I don't believe I've ever seen an ad for Maker's Mark. I've seen them for Jack Daniels and Jim Beam - but not Maker's Mark.

      • They bought the side of a whole building near my office (in the UK) ... my initial instinct was that it's a product like Grey Goose, thought up just to meet a price point. It's a little older than that though.

        I still think it has an element of the price being an important part of it's brand value, but at least it isn't just gussied up grain alcohol.

        • It's a premium product, and they charge accordingly. Beats the crap out of Jack Daniels. And it's been around a long time, though perhaps not in the UK. 1.75 L will run you just under $50 in the US, for price comparison.
          • It's a premium product, and they charge accordingly. Beats the crap out of Jack Daniels. And it's been around a long time, though perhaps not in the UK. 1.75 L will run you just under $50 in the US, for price comparison.

            Up until recently Maker's Mark was a single-product company - and they've been around for over a century.

            It's funny that this came up now, because (a week or so ago) I bought a bottle of their new-ish "premium" Makers 46 bourbon for the first time. I think it's my favorite bourbon; but I haven't tried any of the true premium ($100/bottle) bourbons.

      • I don't believe I've ever seen an ad for Maker's Mark.

        I've seen billboards for Maker's.

    • by yotto (590067)

      I have seen ads for Maker's Mark, and I've also had the pleasure of drinking it. It is a fine bourbon. Not the best, but far, far from the worst.

      And it's assuredly good enough to not want to cater to the crowd that will be impressed by it working just as well as gasoline.

    • The article may be a shill (didn't read), but Maker's is definitely not an advertising-driven product. It's the best bourbon (and possibly the best whisky of any kind) in its price range, IMHO.
  • Until I read the comments I thought they meant the other type of Bourbon [wikipedia.org] :/.
  • From TFA:

    "A consumer version of the Nilsson concept car was showcased a couple of weeks ago by Japanese automaker Nissan which set the official debut for 2014. At this point the name used for the car is the Nissan Nilsson, but several names are taken into consideration like the Nissan Alky, the Lush or the Inebriator."

    I'm starting to think this is a joke article now.

    • by tomhudson (43916)

      You mean you didn't suspect anything after reading this:

      "Them two knuckleheads from that TV show American Pickers (Mike Wolfe and Frank Fritz) stopped by here trying to steal from me. Offering me $200 for my old still. Said I had no use for it since making moonshine was illegal. After that smart-mouthed remark, I shot at em," declared Nilsson.

      Since when does anyone in Kentucky care about moonshine being illegal?

      The "I shot them", on the other hand, while believable, just makes you wish he was a better

  • by gabebillings (1001269) on Sunday April 24, 2011 @05:12PM (#35923816)
    That dude is driving a full-sized version of the race car from Monopoly.
  • Want some rhy? 'Course you do!

    Here's to us!

    Who's like us?

    Damn few!

    And they're all dead!
  • My math may be off, but burning $100+/gal bourbon in place of $3.00-4.00/gal gasoline doesn't seem to add up.

  • Not cool. (Score:3, Funny)

    by carpefishus (1515573) on Sunday April 24, 2011 @05:24PM (#35923894)
    That's alcohol abuse.
  • A Kentucky man drove off the road and flattened a Krystal shortly after gassing himself up, as well.
  • by mysidia (191772) *

    Wake me up, when you have directions for making a urine-powered car.

    Bourbon is more expensive per BTU than gasoline. And there is a Federal excise tax that applies to distilled liquors such as bourbon. The current rate is $13.50 per proof gallon

    So at approximately 50% ABV, you pay $6.75 per gallon just in taxes to the feds. Probably a couple more $$, so the producer can actually earn some money?

  • So why are we still looking at april fools articles?
    Submitter is a subtard

  • I hope I get to see this car on the show "Justified"!
  • Is Jack Daniels Old No. 7 the Premium fuel?
    • by meyekul (1204876)

      Is Jack Daniels Old No. 7 the Premium fuel?

      Jack Daniels is Tennessee whiskey, not bourbon, and any drunk from Kentucky will fight you over that. Old No. 7 isn't exactly premium anyway, try Gentleman Jack or something next time. Jim Beam is probably the most common bourbon, but you'll want something more like Maker's Mark if you're going premium.

      • by omfgnosis (963606)

        Every Tennessee whiskey meets the standards necessary to be called a bourbon; the use of the label "Tennessee whiskey" is a marketing gimmick, nothing more.

  • Wood would be cheaper, but not as efficient. Also has a proven track record.

    http://www.lowtechmagazine.com/2010/01/wood-gas-cars.html [lowtechmagazine.com]

  • So how many greats do you put in front of this grandmother of Bender?
  • President Obama is a Swede.

  • That's really enough to drive a man to drink...

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