Here's a little bit of Motor1 inside information to start this article. Before publishing new articles, we must select at least one category that best suits the topic at hand. You see these categories (such as supercars or races and chases) in the upper left of thumbnail images for stories on our main page, or at the top of articles. We also have a category named weird, and honestly, at this point we should just rename it Garage 54.
We aren't sure if this latest Garage 54 project is the weirdest we've seen, but any time you have the words garden tiller and Lada in the same sentence, you know something crazy is coming. No, the mad mechanical scientists aren't turning a helpless Lada into some kind of strange garden tractor. It's much worse than that, because their idea of a homemade tiller involves the Lada's exposed powertrain connected to a small trailer by a makeshift Universal Joint. If we have any readers who work in the field of safety regulations, best to look away.
For the rest of us, feast your eyes on an 80-horsepower Lada engine and transmission on a makeshift frame turning a pair of aggressive mud tires. Like any modest walk-behind tiller, it's controlled by a set of handlebars but come on ... do you really think Garage 54 is going to walk behind a tiller? Instead, a small two-axle trailer is connected to the drive section with a U-joint, allowing the now four-wheeled tiller to turn in the middle. That's also where a seat is rigged up for the driver, and if you're skeptical on this thing even working, the first test sees it go all of 10 feet before breaking.
If you've seen previous Garage 54 videos you know they don't accept defeat. A new-and-improved U-joint was installed and the entire contraption was trailered to a remote location for testing. And you know what? The damn thing actually worked. Sort of, anyway – it's a tad difficult to turn and the driver gets thrashed around quite a bit even at low speeds. Also, the spinning tiller blades have yet to be installed. This was just a proof of concept exercise and unfortunately, it proved successful.
That means we're standing by for a second video where, God willing, they will actually try to churn up some ground with this Lada-powered Frankenstein tiller. Let's hope the next experiment doesn't see blades spinning at the speed of sound.