Mar 16, 2012
Chris Salamone

Wacky Swiss Man Adds Wood Stove To Volvo

What’s the strangest eco-friendly thing you’ve seen this week? Feces powered vehicles step aside, one Swiss man actually decided to install a real deal wood-burning stove into his 1990 Volvo 240. If life were some kind of exotic variety show, Pascal Prokop might just take home the automotive gold.

Prokop’s design actually looks somewhat functional – and it had to be. The Swiss Technical Inspection Authority has already granted permission for this Volvo wood burner to tear up the streets: classified as a “Sedan with a wood oven.”

As crazy as it sounds, adding a wood burning stove for warmth seems to work out well in this instance. Pictures and video demonstrate a well composed Pascal Prokop gallivanting his Volvo 240 around the Swiss landscape without spilling a single ash or inciting forest fire. In theory, Prokop is driving around the streets of Mettmenstetten, Switzerland (which is about 25km south of Zurich). But onlookers really won’t be looking at the scenery. No amount of snowy countryside could ever cover up a Volvo 240 with chimney protruding through the roof.

Poking around the internet, a linguistically sophisticated blogger at OddityCentral.com actually managed to divine some meaning from the untranslated footage: “Temperatures across Europe have been declining steadily, especially in the past couple of weeks. So Prokop came up with the ultimate heating solution. He simply removed the passenger seat in the Volvo and replaced it with an oven, the perfect passenger. He feeds the oven occasionally with wood sticks and in turn it keeps him nice and warm all the time. Prokop likes it so much inside his car that he sometimes ends up spending the night too, mostly when he’s tired or has had too much to drink.”

The real question, from an environmental perspective, is whether or not a wood burning stove actually has a net reduction in resource use and pollution relative to a normal Volvo 240 heater. Without causing a faux-hipster green debate, let’s just say that wood burning stoves are capable of producing significantly more heat than traditional car heaters, perhaps with significantly less resources. And the true benefit: passengers in the backseat can roast (a) chestnuts or (b) marshmallows on an open fire. Nothing says *plug* green car headline like a car heater that also subs as a cooking implement for s’mores.

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