Randy Grubb Blastolene Special 2001-2003 (Jay Leno Tank Car)

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Randy Grubb Blastolene Special (Jay Leno Tank Car)

Commonly known as Jay Leno’s Tank Car

It got the name Tank Car because it actually uses the AV-1790-5B Engine from an American M47 Patton Tank, in this form the engine is Air-cooled and originally produced around 900hp.

The Car itself weighs around 9500lbs of which 2500lbs is just from the engine and has a 190 inch Wheelbase with the Driver’s Compartment occupying the rear quarter.

The car itself is inspired in terms of aesthetics by Classic Land Speed Record Cars that used to rip up the Bonneville Salt Flats in the 1930’s. In terms of parts though it’s a mixed-bag, the engine is from a tank and the original Gearbox is from a Greyhound Bus (Jay Leno swapped the Gearbox to an Allison HD4060 unit). A Ki-Gas System is used for Fuel Injection and uses some Axle components from a Ford Semi-Truck and a set of Koni Shock Absorbers meant for large pick-up trucks. The Body itself is made of Aluminium Panels with a Steel Ladder Frame Chassis.

Randy Grubb wanted the car to be really shiny and so the Body Panels are polished to with all the suspension being Nickel-Plated to complement the look.

Jay Leno originally purchased the car for around $125,000 in 2003 and has since modified it extensively. Outside of the Gearbox Swap mentioned prior the Car has been Turbocharged meaning it now produces an extra 700hp at roughly 1600hp. This also means additional work had to be done to reinforce the chassis and various other structural components. He has also added various functions such as Rear Brakes, Headlights and Indicators so he could make it Road Legal and he now drives it fairly regularly.

In terms of Fuel Efficiency the original Car managed to get 3mpg which was fairly impressive given the whole car but since being Turbocharged that has been bumped up to around 5mpg.

According to Jay Leno the Car has enough power to overcome the brakes despite him adding an extra set to the rear, it also produces enough torque to induce Wheelspin in 3rd gear. He installed Rockwell 3.78:1 Differential from a Dump Truck for the Rear to help with the Torque as it was able to twist the chassis without it.

In terms of Speed the Car manages a 0-60mph time of 6.2s and can reach over 140mph at the 2900rpm Redline.

The whole project was designed and built in one year which is an extraordinarily short amount of time for such a car.

Unfortunately not many high-quality images of it around.


Before Jay Leno had it