Live Auctions

It’s A Van, It’s A Plane–It’s A Baron!

One of the more creative uses I’ve seen of an Beechcraft Baron airplane fuselage is this motorized “car shuttle type thing” (to quote the seller) that is listed for auction here on eBay UK. Bidding is currently at only 1,850 pounds ($2,309 as of this afternoon) and the vehicle is located in Stamford, United Kingdom. As one of the few people who has actually raced against a plane on wheels before, I have to admire these unusual vehicles! Thanks to George G. for the great find!

I think it would be a shame to go further without sharing the seller’s opinion of this vehicle! From the auction listing:

“Let’s be honest this is a mad bonkers vehicle by any standards. It’s why I had to own it. This week I have had to decide which project vehicles to move forward with and at the present time I could do with the cash out of this to help fund my Rolls Royce Merlin powered Phantom 3 Project.” In case you are wondering, a Merlin is a 27,000 cc WWII V-12 airplane engine, and this is a Rolls Royce Phantom 3. I’d really like to meet this person! This “thing” only uses a Daihatsu Hijet van for it’s motivating power, so it won’t be quite that dramatic to drive as the Rolls Royce, but I think you’d get more looks, don’t you?

The seller states that it was originally assembled poorly, but that they have had the “body” professionally mounted. It sounds like all you have to do at this point is put the re-cored radiator back in and get it licensed. Additionally, the seller has included this link to a video which shows the vehicle running before the professional mounting of the body and installation of a roll cage and three point seat belts. Here’s my question, though: What would you do with it if you owned it? Be sure to share in the comments so we can see who comes up with the best idea!


  1. Rick

    Well… not that much different than owning a Pulse ( other than this contraption is mounted on a car chassis and not a motorcycle. I have no idea what to do to redesign the rear.. that faux jet exhaust just doesn’t do it… but it could be a fun parade car!

  2. Coventrycat

    Damn, that’s cool.

  3. S Ryan

    I found Elroys first car. ZOOOOOOOOMMMM.

  4. geomechs geomechs Member

    Paint it white with red and you might be looking for Mike Mercury and Dr. Beeker.

    • Mike H. Mike H

      Nice! A “Supercar” reference. Not the best of the Supermarionation shows, but one everyone should see.

  5. rojo

    Well…..and that’s all I have to say about that.

  6. Rich

    If it was under $500, I’d enter it here:

  7. Mark S

    IF YOUR CRAZY ENOUGH to take this on which I’m not at least not yet, here’s what I’d do. I’d start by pulling it off that crap can they mounted it to. Then I’d rework the metal up front, first I’d cut that long nose off and build a proper fire wall. Then I’d look for an old thirties car that’s just a parts car I’d build a flat floor into the body. I’d mount the body on the restored chassie of the donor car with you guessed it a sbc/700r power train. I’d then graft on the front fenders grill and hood off the donor Car onto the front. By using the original frame from our donor this should not be to difficult. Now to move on to the back I’d ditch the tail rudder and fake rocket engine. I’d follow the line of the air craft fusaloge down into a slope back that narrows and rounds of at bumper height. then I’d fill in the gap with an arch shape that extends from the body to the rear fender. I’d join the fenders with a long sloped running board. The goal would be to push toward a car that looks like the Bugatti that has the riveted spine look. Then of course the usual stuff disc brake power R&P steering up graded suspension and rear axle. Finally custom leather interior. Body pearl white fenders emerald green and interior tan. The shape of this body needs to be fitted into some wider body structure such as fenders and running boards outside the width of the original fusaloge in order to make it look like it belongs on the road as a car. What a fun project that would be, I love custom fabrication. JMHO😊

    • 4-Doors-for-my-Tuba

      Will it look like this when you’re finished?

      As an old friend would say, “If you’re not having fun, you’re not doing it right.”

      • Mark S

        No it would look like a 30’s touring car with sleek lines

  8. Rob Squire

    Burning Man!

  9. Alex B

    grounded for life :(

  10. Howard A Member

    I’ve got to say, in the almost 3 million ( accident free, had to get that in there, something I’m proud of) miles driving, if something like this passed me up, it would be time for a nap. :)

  11. ccrvtt

    I once fantasized (amongst other, more normal fantasies) a DC-3 converted to a road-going RV. How wide is a DC-3 fuselage?

    • Charlie G

      in search bar – type :converted aircraft fuselage to motorhome for photos and articles. Small, private, hole in the wall, body shop in Mexico converts a/c fuselages to motorhomes

  12. JW

    Interesting but how would you license it for the road, well I guess I could since they got this licensed and I could have parked right next to it at our Walmart last Friday.

  13. Doug Towsley

    Use it to ferry Drunk pilots from the airport to bars around town. Hire Pam Ann to give running commentary and verbal abuse.

  14. Adam T45 Staff

    This is what the guys from Top Gear UK needed to construct their Space Shuttle. I knew there had to be something better than a Reliant Robin for that one!

  15. Loco Mikado

    The heck with this, I want the Merlin powered RR!!! Here is a Bently with one.

  16. Bill McCoskey Bill McCoskey Member

    Jay Leno [of course!] has a 1934 Rolls-Royce Phantom-1 with a Merlin engine I believe. If I remember correctly, it’s mated to an Allison gearbox, and has GMC truck disc brakes added so it can stop too! Attached is a picture of the car.

  17. milotus

    Ended – with 0 bids.
    I probably couldn’t have gotten it
    registered in CA anyway.

    Of course,wouldn’t this be a really cool
    vehicle to go get into,after drinking in the bars
    all evening?

  18. Mike Burnett

    In the UK you have to get a SVA (Single Vehicle Approval) certifcate before you can licence a car for the roads. The pointed front would probably fail straight away as it would be deemed dangerous. Then again all four wheeled vehicles in the UK have to have two headlights, side lights, rear lights, etc (is that a pair of indicator lights recessed ito the nose? Can’t quite tell from the photo. Plus there is a host of other requirements. I have a copy of the SVA requirements manual that I am following in my (very) slow building of a Jaguar d-type replica and it is 117 pages long! You can’t even take this thing onto the road without registration and licence (road tax) so even parades would be out of the question unless you towed it on a trailer, but then why would you want to do that? Great idea, but poorly executed.

  19. Mike Burnett

    I really love the photo of the Rolls Royce Merlin powered Bentley replica. Top Gear in the UK once did a race track comparison between this and the ‘Blitzen Benz’ which has a similarly huge engine, though I forget the exact détails of that engine. The noise was beautifully obscene! Quality construction in both cases, but I preferred the Bentley.

  20. Motorsport Micky

    Remember there’s been a few “Merlin” powered cars this write up tells of 2

    and I seem to remember a guy running one on the Autobahns in Germany in the 70s unhindered by speed restrictions where the automated speed cameras recorded nothing other than “Billy Whizz” speed lines the car having entered and exited the frames by the time it tripped !
    Or maybe that was just a story ? made me laugh anyway.

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