Two Inventors Outfitted an Antique Mercedes to Run on Vegetable Oil

Brian Lutton and Andrew Dowdell recently completed a 6,000-mile car trip this summer with a 1985 antique Mercedes they named “John” that ran on vegetable oil.

The two seventeen-year-old seniors were both savvy in the field of automotives and were able to install a conversion kit to turn used cooking oil into usable fuel.

The entire process took two months and also included an exterior makeover with apple-red spray paint.

To get “fuel” or rather, used vegetable oil, the pair sourced out potential donors and secured grease from Poppo’s Taqueria in Sarasota, a choice that led to the drive smelling of tacos, quesadillas, and pinto beans. “The oil we used made the car smell like whatever was cooked in that oil,” Lutton says.

For the remainder of the trip, the pair mostly got fuel from Waffle Houses around the country and enjoyed the delicious smell of waffles and pancakes.

Lutton and Dowdell plan to use the antique Mercedes for the rest of the school year but are scheming to create a car retrofitted to run on electricity next summer.

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