Dean Ing’s Mayan Magnum

In our never-ending effort to present both the every day and the unique transportation machines of the world, we are honored to present to you this “prototype” hand-made vehicle, which is for sale here on craigslist, in the Pacific Northwest state of Oregon. A huge thank-you to readers Pat L. and Ikey H. for letting us know! Let’s dig in and read more about it!

The original creator of it was author Dean Ing, a U.S. Air Force veteran, and senior-level aircraft engineer, better known as a writer of technically-sharp survivalist-oriented science fiction and high-tech thrillers. Four of his works made the New York Times best-seller list in the 1980s, but he spent his spare time tinkering at home in his workshop, inventing quite a few different things, never patenting or copyrighting any of them – he gave them all away to others. Dean passed away in June of 2020, but not before making quite a name for himself on the national writer’s scenes and always bringing the Magnum out for holiday parades in his adopted home area of Ashland, OR.

The car itself is rather interesting: It took quite a bit of digging, but we discovered that the car is apparently a combination of balsa wood, carbon fiber, epoxy, and titanium, and weighs only 1,300 pounds. The running gear is, as the seller tells us, a Corvair flat-six and Porsche suspension components. From the written article in the ad, though, it may have originally run Porsche drivetrain.

As we look at the shape and curves, we’re reminded of the Porsche 904 and gull-wing Mercedes 300SL. It was featured at least once in publication – apparently Road & Track did a story many years ago, but we couldn’t independently find it on short notice.

We’re told that the car was just freshened up a few years back, presumably being changed from the dark color in the magazine article in the pictures, to the sleek light-colored machine we see now. From the small, low-resolution pictures provided in the ad, the car looks to be in great shape. We are curious to someday see more and better images.

I’m absolutely fascinated by one-off vehicles like this, and I love the challenge of researching them to tell you about them. If this is being sold as part of his estate like I presume it is, this could be worth every penny of the $25,000 asking price. I’d personally prefer to see it go on one of the big-name auction blocks instead. What do you think? Do you know more about this car, or Dean, than we do? Let us know in the comments!




Like This? Get Our Daily Email


  1. angliagt angliagt Member

    Hey,it’s got “goldwing doors”.

    Like 4
  2. RayT Member

    Somehow, I have to think Jem Marsh and Frank Costin would have approved.

    So would every guy back then who read Mechanix Illustrated and dreamed of using their plans to build a Futuristic Sports Car based on that wheezy old Plymouth in the driveway….

    Dean Ing certainly had imagination to go along with his fabricating skills!

    Like 11
  3. TIm

    Thanks for the write-up! Fascinating!

    Like 6
  4. Francisco

    Its inventor was clearly a man of vision.

    Like 1
  5. michael h streuly

    25k no way 2500.00 more like it. Just another POS.

    Like 3
    • xrotaryguy

      Probably not, considering it’s made of carbon fiber and titanium.

      Like 6
  6. Dave Mathers

    There’s a couple of ‘Gurney Bumps’ on that bad boy!!

    Like 2
    • Quidditas

      My thoughts exactly. looks like a copy of the Costin streamliner.

    • Elanguy

      Actually those are Zagato “double bubbles” aren’t they? Pre dates the Gurney by a few minutes maybe.

      Like 1
  7. Kenn

    Might be interesting to know what michael h streuly owns and drives….

    Like 5
  8. michael h streuly

    I drive a 2015 chevy Silverado crew cab 4 by 4.

  9. steve

    This is one ugly truck. couldnt help myself.

  10. michael h streuly

    That car was a piece of crap when it was built and its still a piece of crap.

    • Bryan Cohn

      I’m honestly curious as too what your definition of piece of crap is? Based on your dislike of this car you must dislike all homebuilt cars, kit cars, one off homebuilt race cars and so on. I assume you’d dislike the homebuilt copy of a Lynx FV that I am restoring that was built and raced by one of my earliest racing mentors for similar reasons to your dislike of the featured car. It was in far worse shape when I found it after sitting for 34 years, some of it outdoors. Via these photos we cannot see the quality of welding, for example. Makes it impossible to judge if its “crap” or “good”. You may dislike the body shape and its perfectly ok to say as much but its not ok for any of us to demean a persons artistic skills and interpretation. Why not respect and appreciate the skill it took to build a car from scratch while saying you don’t care for its looks or you dislike Corvair engines because of X or early VW/Porsche suspension is crude (it is). We are all better off dealing in facts, not just blanket “its crap” statements.

      Personally I’m with Ray T, Jem Marsh and Frank Costin would approve. So would Charles Morgan, Trevor Wilkinson (TVR), Jerry Knapp(LASER 917 and other kit cars and the awesome Knappmobile FV), Dave Smith (Factory Five, full disclosure I know several engineers with the company through my work in motorsports) and so many others.

      Like 2
  11. 454 Model A Coupe

    I see Costin Maserati Le Mans coupe in the back end, headlights and nose.

  12. Elanguy

    Interesting. But it’s a shame he didn’t figure out that mid-engine was the way to go. And chassis? Does it have something that might function? We might need to know more before we give it a thumbs up or thumbs down.

    Porsche suspension? Or it is VW, though that’s maybe not much different.

    • xrotaryguy

      It appears to be a rear swing axle. How much does it really matter whether it’s a Porsche swing axle or a VW swing axle?

  13. stillrunners stillrunners Member

    And you thought the SP250 was pretty ?

Leave A Comment

RULES: No profanity, politics, or personal attacks. Don't post your car for sale in the comments. Click here to get it featured on the homepage instead.


Notify me of new comments via email. Or subscribe without commenting.