There’s two things you need to know about British culture: it’s fast and it’s weird.
When it comes to cars, it’s even faster and even weirder. Don’t believe us? Have a guess who’s held the land speed record for the last 32 years and is looking to drive a car faster than a plane can fly at the same altitude this year. Yep, those crazy Brits.
And Brits love nothing more than building cars in their sheds. Aside from kit cars like Caterham and Westfield, actual car manufacturers like TVR and Ginetta sprung up from similar, humble origins.
But for one chap from Chipping Norton — yes, it’s a real place, and also home to one Jeremy Clarkson — building a car in his shed wasn’t enough. He built his shed as a car.
Kevin Nicks decided he wanted to do something useful with the knackered old Volkswagen Passat on his drive. As a gardener by trade, he obviously thought it would make a good shed.
$7,000 and one year later he had a roadworthy shed. Aside from the felt roof, Nicks did all the work himself and used the shed for local errands. That included the school run which, if our own childhoods are anything to go by, might have been an interesting experience for his daughter.
Soon the British penchant for speed took over and Nicks decided to see how fast the shed would go. The aerodynamics impacted the effort somewhat, and the elderly Passat engine was not as powerful as it once was, but Nicks hit a startling 80.67mph at the Elvington airfield near York in September 2017.
This qualified him as a Guinness World Record holder in the category for the world’s fastest shed. Yes, that’s a thing, or at least it is now thanks to Nicks. Sadly, that Passat power plant didn’t last much longer. Nicks hit upon a new plan: Audi power.
Yes, over the winter Nicks, along with a local garage in Banbury — the home town of ProDrive, Marussia and Ascari, among others — fitted a twin turbo Audi RS4 engine to the shed. The new power plant originally ran at 460hp on the dyno, but Nicks decided to dial it back a bit for daily driving.
With 406hp and 455lbft of torque, Nicks’ first order of business was to find out how fast the shed was now. Luckily there was a land speed event taking place at Pendine Sands — where Sir Malcolm Campbell set the land speed record in 1927 — so Nicks took the shed along.
The result was a remarkable 101.043mph, breaking his own world record. But Nicks isn’t stopping there; he’s heading back to Elvington for a run on asphalt later this year.
Images via FastestShed on Facebook.