Kentuckian Invents Car That Runs On Bourbon

American innovation knows no bounds.

The Daily Load (“Kentucky Man Invents Car that Runs on Bourbon“):

LOUISVILLE  – 62 year old Mickey Nilsson of Bardstown Kentucky, finally found a way to make his tinkering hobby pay off.  Inspired by the film Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Nilsson transformed a collection of “junk” into a motor vehicle that does not rely on foreign oil as it’s fuel source. His car is entirely powered by Kentucky Bourbon Whiskey.

“I was always a fan of Caractacus Potts (the Dick Van Dyke character) from Chitty Chitty Bang Bang” said Nilsson. “He was pretty good at re-purposing junk. Always admired that”.  Nilsson had his fair share of junk too. Most of it was just rusting when last October he had a knock at his door.

“Them two knuckleheads from that TV show American Pickers (Mike Wolfe and Frank Fritz) stopped by here trying to steal from me. Offering me $200 for my old still. Said I had no use for it since making moonshine was illegal. After that smart-mouthed remark, I shot at em” declared Nilsson. “Although I did sell the chubby one with the beard an old oil can for $40 before they ticked me off.”

The visit did motivate Nilsson. “After I’d run them off, I kept thinking about what they kept saying to me, ‘what are you going to do with all this stuff, you might as well sell it to us’. Well that left me pondering. Folks around these parts do a lot of pondering, so it wasn’t really nothing new for me as I ponder about something almost everyday. But this time my pondering gave me an idea, watch Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.”

Inspired and motivated by the film, Nilsson spent the next 6 months, in his workshop turning his one-time still and collection of junk into a whiskey sipping motor vehicle. “The car will run on almost any bourbon, but she really purrs on Maker’s Mark” said Nilsson.

Of course, that doesn’t really save you much money at the moment:

With Maker’s Mark currently at an average selling price of $24 a fifth it’s likely most owners of the new vehicle would fill her up with Old Crow or even Old Grand Dad. Either way, it’s still a pricier fuel option, but before long it may be a bargain. Gasoline prices have been skyrocketing, jumping 50% in the past year. This week the cost for regular gas eclipsed milk and the popular Arnold Palmer Iced Tea-Lemonade beverage per gallon.

We’ve done it, folks ! We’ve found a purely domestic sources of fuel. Hear that Saudi Arabia?

Via Twitter

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Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug Mataconis held a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020. He passed far too young in July 2021.


  1. James Joyner says:

    Presumably, it’d run off of moonshine. Distilled bourbon is awfully expensive.

    It was bad enough with ethanol, when we were just wasting food. Wasting liquor is a sin.

  2. DC Loser says:

    While this is amusing, ethanol and methanol fuel have been available to internal combustion engines for a long time.

  3. Chad S says:

    Good thing I’ve already stockpiled enough bourbon to last for years.

  4. Neil Hudelson says:

    “The car will run on almost any bourbon, but she really purrs on Maker’s Mark” said Nilsson.

    That’s about the best thing you can do with Makers Mark.

    Now, if he said the same thing about Bulleit, it should be considered a federal crime.

  5. Neil Hudelson says:

    I haven’t seen the Daily Load before. Not quite as good as The Onion, but more articles like this and it could be promising.