I realise that to our readers still under the cruel, oppressive thumb of the British Crown, this may be old news, but to those of us who no longer live in fear of King George quartering soldiers in our rec rooms, I’ll admit I had no idea this was a thing. This thing I’m referring to is the fact that the Prince of Wales has an Aston Martin that is powered by leftover/possibly vomited wine and cheese making by-products.
I learned this from this tweet:
the payoff of the last sentence here, wow pic.twitter.com/Pik46394q9
— Imogen West-Knights (@ImogenWK) November 5, 2019
Huh. How about that.
A tiny bit more digging and looking reveals that Prince Charles’ 1969 Aston Martin DB6 Volante was converted to run on E85 Ethanol—essentially a mix of 85 per cent ethanol alcohol and 15 per cent gasoline. What makes this fun, though, is that the ethanol used comes from surplus English white wine mixed with excess whey from the English cheese-making industry.
According to The Telegraph, initially Aston engineers weren’t thrilled about making the change:
“The engineers at Aston said, ‘Oh, it’ll ruin the whole thing’.
“I said, ‘Well I won’t drive it then’, so they got on with it and now they admit that it runs better and is more powerful on that fuel than it is on petrol.
“And also, it smells delicious as you’re driving along.”
I wouldn’t be too surprised to hear that the car might have a bit of a performance boost. I know that in sugar cane-alcohol-powered Volkswagen Beetles, made and sold in Brazil since 1980, there’s a pretty nice bump in power.
Also, here’s another good bit of ethanol trivia: the first production car to be sold able to run on E100 (all ethanol) was also in Brazil, using sugar cane alcohol, and was the 1978 Fiat 147. Here, you can quickly learn Portuguese and watch this to learn all about it:
There you go. The Prince of Wales drives a vintage Aston that runs on wine and cheese. Maybe soon the United States can prove our technological superiority by converting the President’s limousine to run on Big Mac farts.
I bet a Big Mac fart-powered Beast would put out like 1,500 horsepower or so. Easy.