if you've spent as much time browsing the internet for cool car stuff as i have, you've probably seen this beetle before. built in the mid-2000s by ron patrick, a mechanical engineer with a ph.d. from stanford university, it retains its factory front-wheel-drive internal-combustion motor up front but also sports a general electric t58-8f turbine engine mounted where the rear seats and trunk would normally be. well, it's now for sale on craigslist for the low, low price of $550,000.
because the car retains its standard drivetrain, it's able to be street registered and driven around like any normal car. switch on the 300-pound jet engine and you're blessed with an additional 1350 horsepower. originally designed to power helicopters, it idles at 11,000 rpm, and can spin up to 26,000. it's controlled using a throttle lever mounted next to the car's factory gear selector.
the highly detailed listing description points out the many ways in which patrick modified the car for easy, reliable use. there's a custom kevlar fuel cell for the kerosene to power the turbine motor, and there's a heat blanket underneath to keep the rear bumper from melting. here's how the engine's mounting points work:
the force from the jet is harnessed using sandwich plates bolted to contoured aluminum billets inserted into the frame rails. the engine has rigid mounts with rubber bushings in the front and the back that are sliding. it grows as it warms up, so the engine mounts have to account for this.
the car is currently listed on craigslist in san francisco for $550,000. for any other beetle, that'd be way too many zeros. for this one, though, it's a bit more reasonable. and while you may be able to buy a new lamborghini aventador with that money, that doesn't have a jet engine.