Fast food grease-powered vehicle slides teens from Florida to Canada

Photo: Adrian Black (iStock)

Fast food fuels plenty of road trips, but it did so in a literal sense for a pair of Florida high school students. The two 17-year-olds retrofitted a 1985 Mercedes to run on used fast food oil, then drove the car the 6,000 miles from Sarasota, Florida to the Canadian border. It reportedly smelled of hash browns the entire way.

The potato-oil-scented tale comes to us via the Sarasota Herald Tribune, who caught up with the boys after their July road trip. The teens had help troubleshooting their vehicle thanks to a family friend who’d previously built race cars, but their trip was not without breakdowns, weird grease smells, and on-the-fly repairs.

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Automotive geeks might have questions about how the engine works, or how much fuel this took, etc., but of course The Takeout has just one question: Would you want to spend 6,000 miles in a car that smells like Waffle House grease?

In spending way too much time this morning discussing this question, our staff was divided. Our vehicles often smell like fast food on road trips anyway, and hey, there are worse vehicle smells than hash browns. But sitting in that smell for multiple days straight would no doubt cause the oil scent to seep into your upholstery, your clothes, your very pores. We bet these boys will take a few weeks’ break from Waffle House now that they’re home.

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About the author

Kate Bernot

Kate Bernot is managing editor at The Takeout and a certified beer judge.