Powered by a 50-year-old, 750-pound Boeing jet turbine that Stender bought for $5,000, the “Port-O-Jet” can top 46 mph with a tailwind. Check out this photo…

Some folks like to take their time on the can. Not Paul Stender. When the 43-year-old former pit mechanic feels the need for speed, he straps himself into his jet-engine-equipped toilet and roars off, trailing flame. Stender was running superfast snowmobiles on the drag-racing circuit when he saw his first jet-driven funny car. He liked it so much he bought one, and started building his own outlandishly overpowered vehicles: a jet motorcycle, a jet pickup, a jet school bus. Then one day at a show in Texas, he saw a windstorm blow portable toilets across the tarmac, and it was Newton’s apple all over again.



“It’s not real aerodynamic,” he allows. That said, he’s beaten buddy Tim Arfons’s jet barstool two of the four times they’ve raced.



During his shows at drag strips, arenas and airports across the country, Stender runs the outhouse up and down in front of the crowd, popping the burner and shooting out 30-foot fireballs before making a final high-speed run. (A burner pop happens when Stender hits the afterburner switch while the engine is running at high rpm’s—it dumps volatile JP-8 fuel into the rear burner pipe, which burns quickly, causing a loud explosion. If the engine is running at low rpm’s, hitting the switch sends out a long, loose, yellow fireball.)



On Stender’s blackboard is a jet-powered beer truck with a 24,000-horsepower F-16 engine. His advice to wannabe jet-engine hobbyists: Be careful. “So many things can go wrong,” he says. “You suck in a piece of garbage, it’s going to explode—and you’re going to go with it.”



Photo here.

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