- Encasing a BMW 3-series in ice is just one of many stunt videos done by the creative guys at Garage 54, who have used oil drums as wheels and tried to use bottle caps as tire studs.
- The challenge was to encase a BMW E30 in ice over a winter and see if it would still start up.
- We won’t spoil the ending here, but let’s just say things do not go quite as planned.
Creativity is the enemy of boredom, and so if anyone has too many plans for what to do during the COVID-19 lockdown, our money is on the Russian gentlemen of Garage 54.
Garage 54’s projects seem to start with a simple question. Something like, what if we put 13-inch rims on a Hummer H2? How quiet would a car be if we put nine mufflers on it? Or what if we used a UAZ utility vehicle to make a home-brew Tesla Cybertruck? In other words, these guys don’t know the word “no” when it comes to brainstorming.
In today’s example, Garage 54 asked: What if we turned a BMW into an ice cube—would it still start up?
Don’t worry, this is not a pristine old 3-series that they covered in ice. It’s a beat-up vehicle that was already modified with a Lada steering wheel and radiator, for example, and had a Toyota engine installed. So the question really was: What if we froze this old beater car—would it still start up?
Garage 54 started filming on October 29, 2019, and kept going through the winter. On the video, you can see plenty of cars just covered in snow parked nearby as the months went by. But snow wasn’t the question here. Ice was needed, so, over the course of a few months—the video says “much, much, much later”—the guys kept spraying the car with more and more water, letting ice build up all over the car. By keeping the starter attached to a cable outside the ice cube and using a metal snorkel to give the engine some air, they tried to start it up one cold day.
If you don’t want to watch the video to see what happens, here’s the spoiler. On the first attempt, the car does not start. But, by chain-sawing out a chunk of ice to expose the bumper, they discovered that water had entered the engine bay from the bottom. They melted the frozen engine parts, then covered the exterior in ice again. Months later, they tried to start the car again and, presto, this time it worked.
But that wasn’t enough for these overly inventive mechanics. They wanted to see if the engine’s heat would be enough to melt away the frozen water before the car overheated. After around five hours, some “weird noises” presented themselves, and the engine did overheat. A lack of coolant meant that the heater couldn’t heat up the cabin, so that part had to be cleared manually. In the end, a heavy-duty tractor was called into service to extract the BMW from its frozen home. Even so, the host called the experiment a success since the frozen BMW did start up. We simply call it fun to watch.
The video is in Russian, with an English translation voice-over by BMI Russian.