Build Your Own Car That Gets 100 Miles Per Gallon

Inspired by classic race cars but grounded in frugality, MAX may be the world’s coolest DIY car that gets 100 miles per gallon.

| April/May 2013

  • Cruising At 100 MPG
    The roadster version of MAX is a joy to drive, but you can also add a top.
    Photo By Doug Snodgrass
  • Jack McCornack And MAX
    Jack McCornack has logged more than 100,000 miles in his 100-mpg car.
    Photo By Doug Snodgrass
  • MAX 100 MPG Car
    The community of MAX hobbyists can show you how to build your own car and eat up miles at 100 mpg.
    Photo By Doug Snodgrass
  • MAX MPG
    MAX gets mistaken for vintage race cars, from Jaguar to Aston Martin to Ferrari.
    Photo By Doug Snodgrass
  • MAX Interior
    MAX is practical as a second car, or as a primary car for those who rarely need more space than a two-seater provides.
    Photo By Doug Snodgrass
  • Speedometer
    Many of MAX's components are ready-made, including the Garmin GPS "speedometer."
    Photo By Doug Snodgrass
  • Turbocharged
    Many of MAX's components are ready-made, including the turbocharged Kubota diesel engine.
    Photo By Doug Snodgrass
  • MAX Under a Bridge
    MAX, the 100-mpg DIY car, is a conversation starter.
    Photo By Doug Snodgrass

  • Cruising At 100 MPG
  • Jack McCornack And MAX
  • MAX 100 MPG Car
  • MAX MPG
  • MAX Interior
  • Speedometer
  • Turbocharged
  • MAX Under a Bridge

What started in the summer of 2008 as an ambitious project to create a do-it-yourself, 100 miles-per-gallon sports car within a budget of $10,000 has come full circle. MAX (Mother’s Automotive eXperiment) now has more than 100,000 miles in its logbook and consistently achieves 100 mpg at speeds from 45 to 55 mph.

The project proves triple-digit fuel efficiency is feasible — even on a tight budget, and especially if you build your own car. If I can make a 100-mpg car in my Oregon garage, what could the major automakers be giving us?

That said, it’s important to understand upfront that MAX is not comparable to a modern sedan, with all of the creature comforts most drivers expect. But it doesn’t need to be.

MAX is marvelously practical as a second car, or as a primary car for those who rarely need more space than a two-seater provides. You can use MAX to get groceries or go to work. It won’t replace the minivan when you need to get your kid’s soccer team to practice, but you likely don’t need a minivan for most of your drives.



MAX is ideal for somebody like me. I live 30 miles from town and put in a lot of miles on extended business trips. I rarely need to take more than one person with me. MAX suits me well, and it can also meet the everyday driving needs of many people.

The biggest thing you lose when you drive MAX is your anonymity. It’s a conversation starter. Car enthusiasts love its resemblance to a classic race car, so expect to field questions from curious strangers any time you stop at a gas station. Fortunately, you won’t have to stop at gas stations often. This 100-mpg car can run on diesel, biodiesel or straight vegetable oil. The engine is a 32-horsepower turbocharged diesel — specifically, a Kubota D1105T, which normally powers anything from RV generators to heavy-duty lawn mowers.

smith
6/30/2017 5:37:28 AM


JamesBond
5/26/2014 9:04:01 PM

That said, it’s important to understand upfront that MAX is not comparable to a modern sedan, with all of the creature comforts most drivers expect. But it doesn’t need to be. http://www.3dprinter-com.webnode.com/


JACKM
5/10/2014 10:39:17 PM

@Goofster, they have some great ideas, and I too am particularly interested in their hybrid motor, and I wait with pen poised to give a glowing review of their product--once they actually have one. If they do produce that powerplant as described, and it's in a competitive price range, it's going to be a big hit in NEVs. And @upnorthmn... > I want a pickup that gets 100mpg. Man, you and me both, but I don't think it's a reasonable target for DIY with today's technology. How about 50 mpg?







mother earth news fair 2018 schedule

MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIR

Next: October 13-14, 2018
Topeka, KS

Whether you want to learn how to grow and raise your own food, build your own root cellar, or create a green dream home, come out and learn everything you need to know — and then some!

LEARN MORE







Subscribe Today - Pay Now & Save 64% Off the Cover Price

Money-Saving Tips in Every Issue!

Mother Earth NewsAt MOTHER EARTH NEWS, we are dedicated to conserving our planet's natural resources while helping you conserve your financial resources. You'll find tips for slashing heating bills, growing fresh, natural produce at home, and more. That's why we want you to save money and trees by subscribing through our earth-friendly automatic renewal savings plan. By paying with a credit card, you save an additional $5 and get 6 issues of MOTHER EARTH NEWS for only $12.95 (USA only).

You may also use the Bill Me option and pay $17.95 for 6 issues.

Canadian Subscribers - Click Here
International Subscribers - Click Here
Canadian subscriptions: 1 year (includes postage & GST).


Facebook Pinterest Instagram YouTube Twitter flipboard
Free Product Information Classifieds