gamby SuperDork
Feb. 19, 2011 5:11 p.m.

(I don't think this is a repost)

So I finally got around to watching one of the two Top Gears (UK) that aired on Monday (BTW--I hate that they're doubling them up like this--I'd rather savor it). Good stuff to pass away a decent stint on my mag trainer.

Anyway--it was the UK vs. Aussie Top Gear episode and there was the commercial vehicle drag race. I'm sitting there thinking "the wheels on that Transit van look a lot like they're from an XJ220--but that's impossible". Then it launched.

This has to be one of the most deviant, perverse, ingenious engine swaps ever. Just amazing and delightful. What a test mule!!!

Here's a backstory from google (from the pages of Octane)

We look after seven of the pre-production cars,’ says Don, proudly. ‘The first two were nothing like a 220 and had scissor doors. The third was the first one to look like a 220.’ And what’s this? It’s a Ford Transit. Don explains. ‘We went to TWR to buy the last engine and some spares. “Is there anything else?” we asked. “Only the secondhand engine in a van,” they said. I thought they meant an engine on a pallet that happened to be in the back of a van, but it’s a complete XJ220 under the Transit shell.‘It was an XJ220 mule. They were going to scrap it when TWR was liquidated but I rescued it. It looks just like a twin-wheel Transit apart from the XJ220 wheels, and it’s road registered.’ The Transit XJ220 once did 179mph around the Millbrook test track’s bowl, and it made an appearance at last year’s Festival of Speed in the livery of Goodwood’s usual Transit fleet.

aussiesmg SuperDork
Feb. 19, 2011 5:42 p.m.

Epic, but now I have to search for pics

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JNvpoy6gO-4

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uFCs2ZrrlqY&feature=related

pigeon Dork
Feb. 19, 2011 6:43 p.m.

I saw that run on one of the televised Goodwood shows in Speed. I was very impressed but have to admit I didn't notice the XJ220 wheels and the announcers didn't give the secret away.

fastEddie SuperDork
Feb. 19, 2011 7:30 p.m.

T.J. SuperDork
Feb. 19, 2011 7:53 p.m.

link from August 2010

That is one bad van.

Feb. 20, 2011 8:54 a.m.

Yes, I caught that on speed as well. Didn't know what was under it, very cool. Love the ladder on the roof!!

Chebbie_SB HalfDork
Feb. 20, 2011 10:57 a.m.

Poor Hammond nearly E36 M3 his pants when he stomped on the skinny pedal...

gamby SuperDork
Feb. 20, 2011 1:16 p.m.
Chebbie_SB wrote: Poor Hammond nearly E36 M3 his pants when he stomped on the skinny pedal...

I'd like to believe that he didn't know what was up, but those wheels are hard to mistake.

If they did catch him by surprise, it's pretty epic.

gamby SuperDork
Feb. 20, 2011 1:18 p.m.
T.J. wrote: link from August 2010 That is one bad van.

Seriously--it has to be the sweetest test mule ever. So much better than that silly camo/bra crap they put on prototypes.

I wonder how stoned/drunk the guy was who had the original idea to do it.

phaze1todd Reader
Feb. 20, 2011 1:24 p.m.

Wrong! Wrong! Very wrong!

I like it, but it's still very wrong!

carguy123 SuperDork
Feb. 20, 2011 2:20 p.m.

I really think Hammond was caught off guard. I think he knew he was in a breathed over van, but not what it truly was or how fast it would be.

yamaha New Reader
Feb. 21, 2011 9:18 a.m.

ahh, the beauty of a car designed for a type of racing that never was, and parts used otherwise

GameboyRMH SuperDork
Feb. 21, 2011 11:44 a.m.

ULTIMATE SLEEPER

gamby SuperDork
Feb. 21, 2011 5:35 p.m.
phaze1todd wrote: Wrong! Wrong! Very wrong! I like it, but it's still very wrong!

Among us, I'm not sure if there's something that could be more "right". I still can't get over just how awesome an idea this was. lol

NickF40 Reader
Feb. 21, 2011 5:40 p.m.
gamby wrote: Seriously--it has to be the sweetest test mule ever. So much better than that silly camo/bra crap they put on prototypes. I wonder how stoned/drunk the guy was who had the original idea to do it.

What are you talking about....that's us!! hahaha Yeah loved that thing at the hillclimb and I had a chuckle then when I saw it on the episode and like said above, so so so wrong.....but so so right!!

Feb. 21, 2011 5:52 p.m.

the fast food on the dash is the icing on the cake...

NickF40 Reader
Feb. 21, 2011 5:56 p.m.

Oh noice!! I didn't notice that LMAO

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