This is something only the English would do – similar to the saying: “only mad dogs and Englishmen go out in the midday sun”! Kevin Nicks, who lives in a picturesque part of southern England has built a motorised shed! He had managed to get this unique vehicle to 140kmh (around 88mph) and like any competitive person wanted to get it faster.
The shed which naturally is made out of wood is fitted on to a steel frame around a donor car. That car was originally intended to be a donor for another vehicle that needed some parts and started life as a VW Passat with all-wheel drive. However after driving it around for a while Nicks had a brainwave – every man needs a shed and what better than one that could travel with you!
The starting point was to strip off most of the external bodywork – the doors, bonnet, front wings and bumpers were all removed and then steel struts were welded to the sills and a full steel frame then built up to resemble the shape of a shed. Larger van wheels were fitted due to the extra weight that the vehicle was likely to have and Nicks bought “shed” wood from building suppliers that were attached to the frame.
In one report he talks about how after starting the build, he realised that the original roof of the car would have to be removed as well. He had to add a new flat windscreen with wipers and to make it roadworthy it needed all the obligatory lighting systems as well. The funny thing is, he got it fully road legal and went through two tests to get the paperwork! Nicks had to trawl through vast volumes of Government regulations to ensure that it met all the roadworthy requirements.
After setting the first speed record with the original VW engine and drivetrain, Nicks wanted more – so he stayed within the VW Group and transplanted a new 450hp 2.9 litre twin turbo V6 from an Audi RS4 B9! That gave him the power to literally pull a highly un-aerodynamic wooden brick up to the speed he desired. Nicks commented that the square rear of the shed acted as a vacuum because the airflow was so poor – there is a reason why designers spend a lot of time on the shape of the rear of a car, it is to allow the air to pass over the whole shell cleanly.
In May, Nicks took the shed to Pendine Sands, a seven mile beach in South Wales, near where I was born. It was the location of Malcolm Campbell’s first World Land Speed Record in 1924 when he pushed the record to 235kmh (146mph) in his 350hp Sunbeam Bluebird – the first of many records. The beach became a popular place for attempts on the Land Speed Record during the 1920s and 1930s.
Nicks managed two runs with an average speed over 162 kmh (101.046 mph) at the Straightliners land speed event, breaking his old record and proving that you can go places fast in a portable shed!
Update – 30th September: Earlier this month Nicks managed to eke out a new record at another speed event on Pendine Sands. He managed 163.4 kmh (101.581 mph).