When Kai Grundt announced his decision to build the ultimate snowblower from a discarded V8 engine, a friend of his just laughed. So a year later, instead of showing his buddy the finished product, Grundt showed him what it could do. He buried the man's truck under a seven-foot-tall pyramid of snow. From two houses away.
Since Grundt, a metal fabricator in Muskoka, Ontario, started with the huge engine from his old Chevy truck, he knew power wouldn't be a problem. But the 800-plus-pound machine also had to be easy to handle. He didn't want the snowblower racing away when he revved the blades that suck up the snow -- the V8's crankshaft spins them up to 6,200 rpm -- so he chose to run its tank-like tracks via a different system. Powered by the 412-horsepower V8, a hydraulic pump feeds a pair of hydraulic motors that each turn one of the tracks. This allows him to give the blades a boost while keeping the massive machine moving at a safe pace. Using controls built into the handlebars, he can also turn one track forward and the other in reverse, spinning the rig in place.