We spoke with Frank DeAngelo, one of the masterminds behind the bonkers Limo-Jet. Aside from a few years in limbo, this project indeed spanned 12 years and was born in 2006. “I was dumb enough at the time to say yeah, let’s do it,” said DeAngelo to us during a phone interview, jokingly recalling how the Limo-Jet was born. Yes, that’s an honest-to-goodness Lear Jet fuselage, purchased and given considerable attention to turn it into a car. With it being aluminum and not designed for continuous ground duty, numerous specialists were called in to help infuse steel reinforcement and a steel chassis with the aluminum body, which isn’t an easy task by any means.
Racing companies were involved in fabricating the front and rear suspension components, and DeAngelo said the gigantic fiberglass rear cowling alone took approximately nine months to create. The electrical work was another mountain by itself. Looking inside it’s easy to see why, but don’t just look inside – those jet engine nacelles that light up also have speakers in them.
All total, the project involved between 60 and 100 people to bring the Limo-Jet to life. It drove for the first time just last week at KnowledgeFest in Dallas, and DeAngelo said it actually was quite good from behind the wheel. Power comes from a standard GM Vortec V8, and though it’s not a speed demon, it’s more than enough to keep the Limo Jet hopping.
And it’s big – real big. It stretches 42 feet, with the tail 11.6 feet in the air. Even with the aluminum fuselage it tips the scales at 12,000 pounds, and if that still doesn’t help you understand the size of this thing, those are freaking 28-inch wheels it’s riding on.
DeAngelo said the company is looking for sponsors to bring the Limo-Jet to special events. There’s also talk of building more now that they know the process better, with a range of powertrains available including electric power. As for cost? DeAngelo doesn’t quote a specific number but it’s in the seven-figure range. Given the quality of the build, not to mention the sheer outrageousness of it all, we suspect it’s certainly worth it.
The original article is below, and jump to the bottom for a high-resolution photo gallery.
Friends, when you make your living in the exciting world of automotive journalism, you see all kinds of interesting creations. Between manufacturer concept cars, industry events like SEMA, and custom car shows like Autorama, we’ve seen just about everything on wheels. Then something like this comes along to remind us that we’re just specs of dust in the vast, creative universe. We’ve seen jet engines on cars, but we’ve never seen a jet turned into a car. Until now, that is. Say hello to the Limo-Jet.
This bonkers build is owned by Illinois-based Jetsetter, Inc. and it just had its official debut a few days ago in Dallas at KnowledgeFest, a mobile electronics convention. We have requests out to the company for more info on this build but honestly, we couldn’t wait to share what we know so far. The idea was conceived back in 2006 by Dan Harris and Frank DeAngelo; obviously a fair chunk of time has transpired since then but the project was recently completed, and what else can we say? It’s a freaking Lear Jet that is completely street legal.
It looks to be far more than just that. The inside is packed to the gills with lights, speakers, screens, and enough seating for a wedding party. Up front is a single seat for the pilot driver, with a bank of screens that we’ll assume are used to help maneuver and see behind this lengthy land-based luxury liner. Everyone enters and exits through the single side door, and it looks straight-up freaking amazing.
It’s not bad on the outside, either. It’s finished in a gorgeous red metallic, and the jet engine pods are fitted with lights to give them a proper glow at night. Since using actual jet engines for power would be a tad problematic on the street, motivation comes from a V8 engine of unspecified origin. We don’t know the overall dimensions (yet) but we’ll go out on a limb and say the wheelbase is long. Furthermore, we aren’t sure that rear wing would fit under the awning at Burger King, but you wouldn’t take this out for fast food anyway so who cares?
The company’s Facebook page has all kinds of posts and photos showing the build process for this amazing machine. We have messages out to Jetsetters, Inc. for more info and we’ll be sure to update when more info is available.