Listen to this article

Friends, we have some shocking news to share with you. Sometimes, the films and television programs you watch aren’t entirely accurate to real-life. It’s tragic to learn there aren’t really superheroes with flying suits of armor, or that cars can’t really jump between skyscrapers. Sometimes the truth hurts, but hey, that’s life.

Fortunately, we have the Garage 54 team to soften the blow on this common Hollywood-explosion faux pas. It’s at this point we definitely need to drop the familiar don’t try this at home tagline. This experiment was conducted in a remote training area for obvious reasons, not the least of which being gasoline and fire having an explosive relationship. That’s especially true when it comes to gasoline vapor, which we’ll talk more about in a bit.

The crux of the mission here is to see whether the slightest hint of flame around gasoline leads to instant, dramatic explosions. Yes, we all know gasoline can most definitely create massive fireballs, but does it really happen so easily? The Garage 54 crew opens the experiment with the classic Hollywood trick of dropping a lit cigarette onto gas-soaked ground. In short, nothing happens and in fact, a cigar that’s used actually gets snuffed out.

Using a lighter, however, gets a result. There is no explosion, but a trail of gasoline on the ground does eventually roll into minor flame. With that part of the experiment showing promise, things then move to the Lada which is partially filled with gasoline in its tank. A long trail of fuel is lit on the ground, and when the flame reaches the Lada, all hell breaks loose. By that, we mean the car merely burns. Slowly.

By now, everyone should know that that explosive nature of gasoline doesn’t come from the liquid, but the vapor and more importantly, vapor under pressure. Being only partially fueled up, the Lada’s tank should have been bursting with vapor. However, nearly every car built in the last 40 years incorporates an evaporative system that prevents pressure from reaching a critical point. Sure, under the right conditions you can get a tremendous gasoline explosion from a car. But a casual flic of a cigarette – or even a straight-up open flame – will almost never lead to such a conflagration.

Instead, you’ll watch a Lada burn slowly as we see in this video. And though it seems this car is truly dead, the Garage 54 team has another mission in mind for it. Can this burnt Lada actually be resurrected? Look for that coming in a future video.

Got a tip for us? Email: