Photo courtesy Antti Rahko. Antti Rahko just needed something to keep him occupied in his retirement years. While most recent Floridian transplants take up golf or
Photo courtesy Antti Rahko.
Antti Rahko just needed something to keep him occupied in his retirement years. While most recent Floridian transplants take up golf or maybe golf with the occasional afternoon of golf, the Finnish transplant decided instead to build one of the world’s most well-known art cars, the Finnjet, which he’s now put up for sale.
Not like he had that goal in mind right away. Rather, following his retirement in 1984, he began amassing chrome pieces and other shiny bits—mirrors, lights, bumpers, more lights, more mirrors—from trips to junkyards. Not until 2000 or so did he actually build a rig on which to install all those parts and pieces: a combination of two Eighties Mercedes-Benz W123 station wagons and a 1962 Imperial front end placed atop a tri-axle chassis with a dually axle in the center of the car and a Chevrolet truck front axle mounted at the rear, steering opposite the front wheels. A Mercedes-Benz turbodiesel engine powers the 29-foot laden limousine.
Inside, Rahko fitted the Finnjet—which he named after a famous Finnish turbine-powered ferry—with a microwave, freezer, television, two air-conditioning units and a functional sauna, all fed by three batteries and three alternators. But it’s the exterior of the Finnjet that attracts the most attention, with parts from an estimated 40 different cars, 36 mirrors, 86 lamps, various turbine housings, wings, chrome bumpers, strakes, hubcaps, a space shuttle and a continental kit for good measure.
For his efforts, Rahko has won first place in the Houston Art Car Parade—perhaps the world’s largest art car event—three times, but he built it to drive rather than show, and he’s reported mileage in the mid-20s thanks to the turodiesel. He’s also been invited to show it overseas at the Essen Motor Show a couple years back.
While he did list the Finnjet for sale about five years ago for $950,000; he has since lowered the asking price to $100,000 in an ad for the car that appears in the July 2015 issue of Hemmings Motor News.