A car that runs on bourbon? Perhaps not

Reports flood the Web that a man in Kentucky has built a car that runs on bourbon. Is everyone just a little tipsy?

Chris Matyszczyk
3 min read

Sometimes people send me things. Mainly these are people in Hong Kong and Nigeria desperate to make me happy once I give them my bank account details.

However, occasionally they offer boundless fruit for lyricism. So when I was sent a link from a site called Motorshout, I was moved to hitherto unknown sensations. For the headline read: "Bourbon-powered Junk Car by Mickey Nilsson."

I followed the thread that led me to a site called AutoEvolution. Clearly the whole car world was itching to discuss the remarkable invention of Mr. Nilsson, who was apparently inspired by the movie "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang" and his deep feelings for Dick Van Dyke.

There was also a quote from Nilsson that went like this: "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. Although I did sell the chubby one with the beard an old oil can for $40 before they ticked me off."

A voice inside me screeched suspicion. This sounded more made up than Steven Tyler on "American Idol".

Screenshot: Chris Matyszczyk/CNET

Yes, two Scottish scientists have reportedly been working on whiskey-based biofuel. And, indeed, a few years back there was talk of a vehicle that ran on sugar and tequila.

But, really, bourbon-fueled cars in Kentucky? So I tried to trace this tale back to its original source. This appears to be a site called the Daily Load.

Given that the Load's tagline is "Because the real news sucks," I wondered whether "The Daily Load" might be short for "The Daily Load of Fertilizer."

So I looked at some of its most popular stories. Gosh, there was "Wax Museum Runs Out of Wax Sculpting Kardashian's Ass." Not to mention "Trump Uncovers Obama's Birth Certificate."

I tried searching for Mickey Nilsson. I tried to find pictures of him. And then I found a link to a site called LeBlogAuto. Yes, it is French. And, yes, it does feature precisely the same image of the supposed Mickey Nilsson in his allegedly bourbon-supping car. However, the post is from 2007. The site also says that the picture is of someone called Max Hyde.

And, goodness, there he is, in the original article from the Daily Mail. The car in the shot happens not to be any sort of whiskey-guzzler, but an old Mercedes Silver Arrow, which he had made out of a clapped-out Citroen 2CV.

This might all suggest that the Daily Load has managed to dupe a vast number of gearheady people all over the world. Which would be sad.

But, in any case, Makers Mark is surely still just slightly more expensive than gas. So why would anyone believe that this might make sense in the first place? I shouldn't ask why, should I? Webworld is a very different place. A lot more different than Kentucky.