Introduction: Car-b-que (BBQ Made From the Front of a Classic Car)

Picture of Car-b-que (BBQ Made From the Front of a Classic Car)

On the way home from work, about ten years ago, I saw a 1950s car in a car yard...and made enquiries. The owner said that it was gutted (all parts stripped out) and that it was due to be crushed. If I wanted it, it was mine, providing I took it away within two days. So I hired a low-loader and rented a corner of a farmer's yard in which to cut her in half...and got the parts delivered to my back garden, where they gathered rust for a few years....until about three years ago I decided to make the front into a BBQ, abandoning earlier plans to make furniture out of the car (see sketches done in a school staff meeting).

For the purists among us, who are upset by me cutting up an old car, I remind myself that it was to be crushed and that there wasn't enough left of her to be the basis of a restoration.

Step 1: Sub-structure

Picture of Sub-structure

Forgive me - I made this long before I had heard of instructables, so the slide shows are all I can provide in the way of instruction, suffice it to say that the principal parts were mounted on a framework made out of school desk tubing (saved from a skip).

The structure is hidden behind the wheels and is weighted so that the car cantilevers.....It looks like a car -doesn't appear to stand on legs.

Step 2: "engine" Bay

Picture of "engine" Bay

Once the main parts were secured around the substructure I made internal parts with heavy treadplate (where the fire would be set) and lined the sides (to hold utensils etc) with reclaimed steel sheet, then fitted it with a circular grill.

Step 3: Driver

Picture of Driver

I made a driver (head and hands) and wired them to a weight which, when swung, rocks the head and wobbles the stearingwheel so that it looks like the car is driving.

Step 4: Ignition

Picture of Ignition

I finished the car-b-que in hammerite.

I can't find the pics of it all fired up, but will insert them when I do. It provides a great social and focal point at a party.

Now, check out my adjustable sloping bed for hiatus hernia sufferers, which I think is a better idea than this one, which is getting all the attention:


golddigger1559 (author)2010-09-27

im not normally one to step on toes but that seems like a waste of a car to me

yeh better to keep the car in a scrap yard to rot away?

Tinworm (author)nospleendean2013-09-01

yeah, exactly! Thanks, nospleendean!

In fact, worse than that, I was told I could have it if I took it away within 24hours, after which it was going to be crushed! That's what Yanks call a "no-brainer".

nospleendean (author)Tinworm2013-09-01

thats o.k and like you said a no brainer as the car is being used for something now rather than being crushed and shipped off to china so they can melt the metal and make a cheap and nasty copy of something and sell it back to this country.

Tinworm (author)Tinworm2013-09-01

sorry, make that 48 hrs.

Tinworm (author)2010-09-29

I think you may have misunderstood, johnnyblegs. The project is complete. the grill is the circular mesh that you put the meat on over the coals. The coals lie on the treadplate. There is in fact a picture of this in one of the slideshows you can link to from my description.

My problem is that I have taken photos of it working only at night time (when I have had parties) and these pictures can be hard to see - dark.

As I say with the lights, I did put night-lights in. They are a kind of candle....but without a ledge to sit on, they fall out if the car is nudged.

I am sorry you don't like the face and hands; I think others feel that they particularly give some quirky context to the piece...especially as they move.

chaqu' un a son gou

Re-design (author)2010-09-29

Nice work!

Tinworm (author)Re-design2010-09-29

:) Cheers

Darwinfish (author)2010-09-28

It's sad to see a nice car rotting away to nothing, but some are beyond rebuilding. Major props for repurposing one this way. Good work. :-)

Tinworm (author)Darwinfish2010-09-29

Thank you :)

Tinworm (author)2010-09-29

I misunderstood qazadex last night...and Johnnyblegs' misunderstanding led on from that.

I think it comes down to the use of the word grill....and the fact that we speak different languages - and some are even using translation software.

There is also a potential ambiguity here in the UK. The grille here is both the chrome mesh in front of the radiator of a car and the wire mesh that you put meat on over a fire.

Whereas, I think others use the term grill to mean a gas powered fire? I never intended to have one of those. Mine is an old-fashioned coal FIRE layed on a base.

johnnyblegs (author)2010-09-28

I know you said you're going to post pictures of it all fired up, but I really wished you held off on posting this instructable until you had those pictures. Or at least pictures of the grill under the hood or something other than hands and a face glued to a steering wheel. I'd love to see what kind of design to did. Can't tell from the description.

Do the lights work? That'd be kind of cool to light up when bbq'n with a crowd.

qazadex (author)2010-09-28

This is so cool! Now try turning a BBQ into a grille!

Tinworm (author)qazadex2010-09-28

like a radiator grille, you mean?

biker_trash_1340 (author)2010-09-28

One day.. looking at a pile of extra motorcycle parts, and your giving me ideas. ;-)

biker_trash_1340 (author)2010-09-28

Very nice work, way to recycle. The face and hands are great. Would love to see a old car like that in my back yard.

Tinworm (author)biker_trash_13402010-09-28

Thank you

go for it, mate, make one! :)

CrLz (author)2010-09-28

Very nice! This would be way cool to use at a Burning Man festival.

Tinworm (author)CrLz2010-09-28

Like November the 5th (UK) Guy Fawkes Night, for instance?

Yeah, we have had a few of those around the Car-B-que.

Thanks CrLz :)

AngryRedhead (author)2010-09-27

Inspirational! Any threat of getting burned by getting a bit too close to the car while the grill is going?

Tinworm (author)AngryRedhead2010-09-28

Good question, but no, it doesn't get hotter than any other BBQ. I deliberately put that length of thick treadplate at the front, nearest the cook, which seems to act as a guard. The car itself doesn't get hot....just the steel plate, supported on two v-section bars which rest on the subframe.

Next time I fire it up I will investigate the spread of heat and see if I can't give a fuller answer.

suffice it to say for now that people gather around the car at my parties and there have been no accidents so far.

Thank you, AngryRedhead

paganwonder (author)2010-09-27

Awesome salvage/up-cycle! The face and hands really set this one apart. If I come across a similar find I will follow your lead and up-grade my backyard (garden)!

Tinworm (author)paganwonder2010-09-27

Extremely nice of you to say so, paganwonder, thank you.

Go for it!

Royale with Cheese (author)2010-09-27

It's a much greater waste to watch a car rot in your backyard like many others do. Its amazing to me how people will go out of their way to post such unproductive comments. Nice job.

I appreciate it, Sean
Thanks very much

Tinworm (author)2010-09-27

Thanks for your comment

When is a car not a car? 100Es average about £400 ON THE ROAD (check ebay UK). I know, because I drove one for five years and finally sold it for £225 .

This one didn't have axles, gearbox, engine, seats....well, anything at all in it.

It was completely beyond redemption....and now it has value.

And what's more, if I hadn't taken it, it would have been crushed anyway.

ledshed (author)2012-11-19

Brilliant!! Certainly not a waste of car, the car was ready to be crushed and recycled, so obviously not a waste.

Tinworm (author)ledshed2012-11-19

Thank you :)

spylock (author)2011-07-29

Id have liked to have seen photos of where and how the grill was inserted.

Tinworm (author)spylock2011-07-30

sure.. the thing is though, I did this long before instructables didn't chronicle that process. But essentially what you have here is a custom made wing nut (nut with large ears, essentially)...large enough to operate with a welding glove on. I welded a bolt to the frame at the back of the grille.

Then all you have to do is position the grille, put wingnut in place and tighten down

spylock (author)Tinworm2011-07-30

Oh ok,I gotcha,I thought maybe you had rebar running across the engine conpartment that the grill rested on,Its kinda good that there isnt photos of the grill as it works out ones mind thinking about how best it might be done.Thanks and good job,its something you dont see every day for sure.

Tinworm (author)spylock2011-07-30

if you click on the link to teh slideshow you can see the is supported at the front and secured on the back

spylock (author)Tinworm2011-07-30

Yep,I see now,those photos are alot better and the car/grill dosnt look as dull.I was kinda expecting the grill to be square also,I wasnt thinking about the heat and the effects it may have on the paint as with the design I was thinking,at any rate it kinda makes me sorry I gave away the old 73' Ford Pinto I had,it would have made a good one.

Tinworm (author)spylock2011-07-31

You are absolutely right, that it should have been square. That was what I planned...but I was making it from salvage and just couldn't find anything suitable the right shape. I did go looking for the wire shelves from inside a cooker...but no luck in the end I just used this old bit of a circular BBQ.

People can be really sniffy about cutting up old cars (and as an enthusiast, I completely understand that point of view) but lots of cars are beyond economic viability...and when there are a lot of bangers of the same type around, why not go for it. A Car-B-Q has intrinsic value in itself!

Hunt something suitable down on ebay. Be inspired, go for it!

Achan20 (author)2010-11-17

awesome. you should rig it to have lights that turn on and off. and a chrome spatula for a hood emblem! very beast. when i get my own place one of these r going in my back yard.

Tinworm (author)Achan202010-11-18

A chrome spatula for the hood!!! That is inspired


Achan20 (author)Tinworm2010-11-18

your welcome. what kind of car is that btw?

Tinworm (author)Achan202010-11-19

It is a Ford (of England) 100e - the Popular (aka Ford Pop) model. There were three 100e models - the Popular and the Anglia were both two door models, whereas the Prefect was a 4 door. I drove a Prefect for about 5 years, selling it last year.

Tinker83 (author)2010-09-27

when i hear the term carbecue, for some reason i see a red ford pickup sitting on the side of the freeway completely involved. nobody got hurt, but the dj on the radio carried that one out for a good ten minutes. it was pretty funny.

About This Instructable




Bio: school teacher of kids with special educational needs
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