Coffee-fuelled car finishes trip
Published 12/03/2010 | 08:01
A car fuelled by coffee dubbed the "car-puccino" has cheered through the streets of a city as it completed a 250-mile journey.
The vehicle powered by nothing but used coffee grounds used the equivalent of more than 11,000 espressos to complete the London to Manchester trip, interrupted by refuelling coffee stops every 60 miles.
The car, based on a 1988 VW Scirocco bought on eBay for £400, was the creation of engineer Jem Stansfield, presenter of the BBC1 show Bang Goes The Theory.
A furnace in the boot roasted coffee grounds to generate flammable vapours that fuelled the engine.
Stansfield's route from BBC TV Centre in London took him through Birmingham, Coventry and Crewe.
Dermot Caulfield, series editor on the show said the trip took approximately 17 hours after being hampered by heavy tailbacks, but the car pulled through.
He said: "We just picked a day when the British motorways decided to clog up. Sitting in traffic for hour after hour given the delicacy of the engine wasn't the greatest thing in the world, but we just kept meeting people who were able to help us.
"The way the engine worked, we had to stop every 60-70 miles to ensure the filters were clean. Every third stop we gave it a really good going over, but because we got caught in traffic it put pressure on the engine.
"It didn't necessarily break down, we just had to make sure it wasn't overheating and cool it down.
He described the trip's finale as "very emotional" with cab drivers tooting their horns and people waving and shouting as the car, which resembles the Back To The Future DeLorean, neared the finish at the Big Bang science fair in Manchester's city centre.