MAX: Our Quest for a DIY 100-MPG Car

Progress continues on MAX, the home-built, 100-mpg car (prospectively) that you’ll be able to make for $10,000.



100-mpg car
MAX is a sports car powered by a Kubota diesel engine that’s normally used in tractors. After MAX has been perfected, we will have plans available for those who want to build their own.
KATHERINE LOECK
MAX license plate
You can’t miss MAX! Not only does it have a one-of-a-kind look, its tailor-made license plate also set it apart from all the other vehicles cruising the West Coast on any given day. 
KATHERINE LOECK
100-MPG Car - Driving car
Designing and building a 100-MPG car requires Jack to conduct test drives along the Oregon coast. It's a demanding job, but he seems to love his work.
PHOTO: KATHERINE LOECK
Jack McCornack
In addition to working on MAX, Jack owns and operates Kinetic Vehicles, a business that provides materials and advice to DIY car builders.
KATHERINE LOECK
Fiberglass car body
Jack works on a fiberglass mold — one of many for MAX’s new, streamlined body.
KATHERINE LOECK
Escape from Berkeley team
The team that won the 2008 Escape from Berkeley race: Jack McCornack (left), Dave Levison (standing), and Sharon Westcott (seated).
KATHERINE LOECK
MAX on the road
MAX’s current body looks cool and classic, but its aerodynamic drag is holding MAX back from achieving 100 mpg. Jack and his team are confident they can re-design the body to cut its drag coefficient in half while still sticking to their $10,000 budget.
KATHERINE LOECK
Aerodynamic car body
Here’s the aerodynamic body in the works to further improve MAX’s gas mileage. Fiberglass parts are shown in red and sheet metal in silver. Ron Brown, a reader in Texas, submitted the clever roof design (in purple).
JACK MCCORNACK

















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