Do You Feel The Need–The Need For Speed?

Top Gun fans, we have your vehicle! I have to thank Barn Finds reader Pat L. for giving me the laugh of my night by sending in this “Air Car” based on a jet airplane fuselage. The seller feels it’s not worth a lot considering the asking price here on craigslist is only $1,480. This twin-engined wonder is located in Woodstock, Illinois, where it’s been cleared for takeoff to somewhere else–perhaps your driveway?

Although it’s powered by two turbofan…ok, non-turbo fan engines, we’re told it has difficulty moving on grass or gravel. I’m guessing top speed will be a little less than the F7U Cutlass (not your father’s Oldsmobile, unless he flew in the Navy), which according to this article was called the “Gutlass Cutlass” because it would only top out at 680 miles per hour. I hope it’s more reliable than the original airplane version, though, as that same article says roughly 1/4 of all Cutlass airplanes built crashed.

The power plants are 14 horsepower, 420 cc engines with fixed pitch propellers. The propellers look like artwork, to be honest–they are beautiful. However, I’m thinking a little more thought should have gone into thrust versus weight, even if the whole machine is made out of aluminum as stated.

Inside the cockpit, there’s some 1985 Yamaha motorcycle fork parts mated to custom controls. I think I’d want to pad those cut off edges of the motorcycle frame before I tried driving (riding? flying?) this unusual beast.

Since the Cutlass apparently had some poor landing gear in the front, I guess it’s good that they decided to use the motorcycle front end. Either way, it looks more substantial than the rear wheels, which could be from a moped or lawn cart.

Surprisingly (or maybe not), this unusual vehicle is being sold on the 1985 Yamaha motorcycle title. So, as usual, I’m going to ask you what you would do with this rather unique air car. And please save us the “stick a small block in it” answers–I’m serious. Personally, I’d be looking for some small V-twin engines with some more horsepower and adding some rear brakes. Perhaps some more rugged rear wheels?

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Comments

  1. newport pagnell

    Like Ralph Nader said…

    5+

    • Brian Jackson

      Except this time, he would have actually been correct.

      2+

    • Al

      Do You Feel The Need–The Need For Speed?
      should read

      “Do you see the nerd-The nerd for speed?”

      10+

  2. Metoo

    Whatever weird vehicles you have showcased in the past, this one tops them all by a wide margin

    6+

  3. Tom Member

    I can think of many other ways that I would prefer to die.

    5+

  4. Scot Douglas

    All the noise of a hovercraft and none of the function. o.O

    6+

  5. Rock On

    Had to run over to the fridge and double check the calendar. Thought that it was still April 1st.

    5+

  6. ulm210

    The excitement this guy must have had during the entire build, finally take it on its maiden voyage and, well, crap…

    4+

    • AMXSTEVE

      Again, what do you do with it?

      1+

  7. Joey

    Scrap Aluminum Extrusions $0.45-.55*/LB

    1+

  8. James HGF

    Hmm… Contrast this..er..trike with the homemade Hoverbike (sadly not for sale) built by Colin Furze which actually flies…not high in the sky, but off the ground nonertheless:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=soxxPyaAT1k

    The trike..em..no thanks. The hoverbike? That’s more like it.

    0

    • AMXSTEVE

      haha. that thing barely gets off the ground) FAIL

      1+

  9. Chris Kennedy

    First of all, it needs to be MUCH lower to the ground! Then smooth out the body work? Cool concept, poor execution.

    3+

  10. LAB3

    Bet it’s awfully darn loud at 10mph.

    2+

    • Jamie Palmer Jamie Palmer Staff

      I take it you noticed the complete lack of mufflers as well…

      0

  11. John K

    Little Timmy was thrilled to land the role of R2D2 in the school’s production of Star Wars, until an upperclassman fired up the engines on Luke’s X-Wing Fighter.

    4+

  12. Howard A Member

    I recognized it right away, it’s an “ACME”. The coyote for sure will catch the Roadrunner with this.
    http://i.ytimg.com/vi/w6KS6ofEAjs/maxresdefault.jpg

    11+

  13. Adam T45

    That has to be the world’s biggest food blender. It would be capable of blending anything up to and including a medium sized child!

    6+

  14. jw454

    This is Professor Fate’s other car. (Now let’s see if anyone gets it)

    4+

    • MSG Bob

      Push the button, Max!

      2+

      • jw454

        Give that man a cigar!

        1+

  15. Mike Mazoway

    I think there is a mistake in the price. They put a comma where there should be a period.

    0

  16. ulm210

    Notice airplanes don’t put any shrouds around propellers? Same thing with air/ fan boats.

    Right now the propellers are too small and they are starving for air with the back pressure from the shrouds creating a net zero air flow.

    If he takes the fan shrouds off; moves the motors further outboard and increases the size of the propellers about 100% and just builds wire fan shrouds that thing will move.

    0

    • Doug Towsley

      ULM is correct, while very interesting its functionally incompetent.
      The engines, props and ducting is all wrong. All noise and no power. Bigger engines wont fix the problem, in fact, properly designed it could move along quite well.
      Swamp air boats move along alarmingly fast in various sizes and configurations.
      Plus with the wheels and suspension,,, its highly unstable. Too bad.. could be really cool, or beginnings of a good salt flat racer using that front clip.

      0

  17. MSG Bob

    I have seen small jet engines which are used to get sailplanes off the ground (thus obviating the need for a tow plane). Maybe a pair of those?

    0

  18. Jeffro

    Wow. At first glance…I thought it was a fancy ass Bar b que grill.

    1+

  19. KevinW

    Watching and hearing this fall off a cliff would be more pleasing than trying to drive this and listening to those motors roar!

    0

  20. Pa Tina

    This should be pulling the Santa sled.

    4+

  21. JagManBill

    twin Hayabusa’s?

    2+

  22. Jay E.

    I’m thinking a pair of pulse jet engines from Korean era drones should move it up to 100 MPH. And the sound! And I happen to have a pair to put on it…

    0

  23. DrinkinGasoline

    I do feel the need for speed ! To be able to run away as fast as possible !!

    2+

  24. Keruth

    Well, there’s about $600 worth of HF engines there, not much else.
    Also has a not running Vanagon for sale in another ad, much more interesting!

    0

  25. hhaleblian

    I’m ashamed to say this: I live 15 minutes from this pos.

    1+

  26. C Carl

    Lots of well deserved ribbing but I see good parts. A lot of expensive, almost virgin sheet metal. The cockpit is good for Mach 0.9, strip it down to bare fuselage and think belly tank lake car.

    1+

  27. bog

    Craig Breedlove and Art Arfons are chuckling in their graves….

    0

  28. mtshootist1

    I think this is the low budget model of Evel Kienevel’s Snake River Rocket bike

    0

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