GREASEL: Aladdin Garris’ Veggie/Diesel-Powered ’75 Chevrolet Nova

Car enthusiasts can take things to the extreme sometimes and for Missouri-native Aladdin Garris, that is so true. I was recently at a local car show and noticed his super-clean 1975 Chevrolet Nova. It has been cleaned up and changed quite a bit from how it rolled out of the plant. A few paint touch-ups, its new nickname “Greasel” on the side, and a 6.2-liter diesel engine. Yes, the 6.2 engine in the GM trucks back in the 1980s.

“This engine is a 6.2 and it came out of a 1982 GMC 1500 pickup truck. To support the weight of the engine, we utilized big block springs on the front of Greasel,” Garris said. “Backed by a 700R4 transmission and an 8.5 posi rear differential, Greasel is a really fun car.”

Now, as if a diesel-powered Nova isn’t cool enough as it is, one really cool thing about this is he makes the fuel himself. It is not 100-percent diesel fuel. In fact, Greasel runs on a very unique fuel that most can find in their kitchen. This 30-MPG Nova runs on used grease or vegetable oil collected from restaurant kitchens across the area mixed with diesel fuel.

"I mix the fuel in a 500-gallon tank," Garris said. "Roughly 75-percent filtered vegetable oil and the rest is diesel."

I mean, restaurants arent going anywhere so I’d say Greasel will be on the road for as long as he needs it to. According to Garris, alternative fuels have always been an interesting topic to him so his wheels started turning. After searching for area picnics, restaurants, and any other place he could find grease or used oil, it kind of took off from there.

“People have always done a poor job of disposing of oil. They would pour it into the ground or along county roads. This just offered a safe option to dispose of it and it will get recycled into usable fuel,” Garris said. “I drive this car everywhere. In fact, I drove it 1,500-miles on the Hot Rod Power Tour in 2015. That drive started in Madison, Wisconsin, and ended all the way in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.” Talk about trusting your science. That is a long way to go on veggie juice!

Greasel is what some people call bio-diesel.

“A lot of people don’t know what bio diesel is but it is made through a process called transesterification. The glycerin is separated from the fat or vegetable oil. The process leaves two elements. Methyl esters and glycerin which make a byproduct that can be used for the production of soap”

A pretty cool find at a local car event for sure. For more diesel news, stay tuned right here to Diesel Army.

About the author

Artie Maupin

Artie Maupin is from Southeast Missouri and has an extreme passion for anything diesel. He loves drag racing of all kinds, as well as sled pulling competitions.
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