Diesel-powered vehicles are gaining popularity in America, opening up many more opportunities for high fuel-efficiency and the use of biodiesel. This next ride, a C4 Corvette, boasts a diesel powertrain that would shame even the most stalwart Corvette fans. But for those of us who cheer on the use of alternative fuels, the veggie oil-powered “Corvegge” is a vehicular wonder…and it could be yours for just $3,500.
Built by a man named
Sparks Spank, the Corvegge run three races of the economy endurance racing series known as the 24 Hours of Lemons. With a $500 limit on the cost of the race car (sans necessary safety equipment, including roll cages and fuel cells), Lemons racers have to get creative with their rides.
Rather than the fuel-injected Chevy 350 that this Corvette left the factory with, the Corvegge boasts a 77 horsepower Olds 350 diesel. Arguably one of the worst engines ever conceived, the Olds 350 diesel almost single handedly set back the desire for diesel engines in the U.S. for 30 years. But Spank managed to iron out some (if not all of) the problems, in the mean time converting it to run on
biodiesel straight veggie oil.
Spank claims that he can get four or five hours of straight racing out of the Olds 350 diesel, though with just 77 horsepower I don’t imagine he does so at great speed. But in endurance racing, the fewer pit stops you have the more time you’re on the track racing. A heat exchanger allows the thicker veggie oil to be run in the Olds 350 diesel engine.
I’ve seen Corvette EVs, and even rumors of the ‘Vette going hybrid straight from GM’s factory. But it’s hard to deny the odd awesomeness of this weird budget biodiesel racer. For $3,500, don’t ask why, but ask…why not?