Those who subscribe to Amazon Prime video may be familiar with the streaming service’s new-for-2020 car show, Deathwish. The show follows Vague Industries’ owner Jason Mazerolle and his “band of knuckleheads,” as they build and drive all sorts of different weird vehicles – all with minimal health safety standards and questionable fabrication techniques. The show is also available through the YouTube channel Busted Knuckly Films, however, providing car fans hours of content for free.
In Episode 9 of the first season of Deathwish, Mazerolle and his team attempt to create a purpose-built wheelie machine out of a short Chevrolet Express chassis cab school bus. To do this, he proposes bolting a pair of cheap turbochargers to the factory General Motors LS V8 engine that came in the Chevrolet Express-based bus.
Not surprisingly, the turbochargers alone wouldn’t be nearly enough to get the school bus to pop a wheelie. After all, a tired old GM LS V8 with stock internals and a pair of inexpensive turbos hastily bolted to it probably won’t produce much more than 400-450 horsepower, so the crew decides to take a grinder to the bus chassis and shorten it significantly. This, they hope, will be enough to get the bus to stand up on its rear wheels and drag its rear bumper down the road on demand.
Unfortunately, things don’t go as planned. The twin-turbo LS doesn’t make enough power to shift the weight of the school bus rearward by using the throttle alone. There is one solution to this problem, but we don’t want to ruin the entire episode for you, so check it out in the YouTube video embedded just below. And as a quick aside, we’d suggest throwing on a pair of safety goggles for some of the work these guys are doing in the video – even if they seem to have misplaced theirs for this particular episode.