Why a Brit turned his Volkswagen Passat into a garden shed on wheels

What’s the top speed of your garden shed? The normal answer to that question is something along the lines of “it doesn’t move, it’s firmly attached to a slab of concrete in my backyard.” A British man set out to disrupt the centuries-old shed industry by building one capable of setting a land speed record, and he’s doing it for a very good cause.

Kevin Nicks will attempt to hit 100 mph in his wooden garden shed during the Straightliners Wheelie & Top Speed event taking place on August 19 and 20 in England. Yes, you read that right; talk about reinventing mobility! He’s going flat out to raise money for charity, and he’s able to do it because his shed is based on an older Volkswagen Passat.

Nicks explains he bought a Volkswagen Passat 4Motion with 190,000 miles on the clock to use as a parts car in 2014, but he couldn’t bring himself to take it apart. He held on to the car until he finally figured out what to do with it.

“I thought about it for a few months then had a ‘eureka’ moment when I was walking past a log store I’d built,” Nicks told British magazine Autocar in an interview.

After removing the Passat’s bodywork, he welded a steel frame to the chassis and dropped the shed right over it. The Passat’s 2.8-liter V6 engine, the five-speed manual transmission, and the 4Motion all-wheel drive system were all retained, giving the shed 193 horsepower and optimal traction in slippery conditions. Anyone who has ever sat in a fifth-generation Passat will immediately recognize interior parts like the steering wheel, the dashboard, and the instrument cluster.

The shed is fully street-legal in the United Kingdom, and photos posted on Facebook show Nicks has been driving it around since he finished it up in 2015. He’s tried to set speed records in the past, but he’s never managed to break the 100-mph barrier; the highest speed he’s managed to reach so far is 99.766 mph. His determination to finally reach his goal led him to install a nitrous oxide injection system similar to the ones found on high-performance cars like drag racers. It boost the V6’s output up to about 265 horsepower, which isn’t much grunt in a vehicle that weighs nearly 5,000 pounds. Still, it’s quicker than it sounds.

“It drives amazingly well, comfortable, quiet, so spacious, and reasonably fast, too. It really isn’t what you would expect,” Nicks told Digital Trends.

Nicks explains his biggest problem is that the shed has the aerodynamic properties of, well … a shed. Becoming the first man to hit 100 mph in a garden shed will be a considerable challenge if he’s racing against headwinds.


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