The 5 Second Hand Cars you’ll need to build a Space Shuttle

The space shuttle was a quite phenomenal feat of science, engineering and technology. Through 30 years of missions, it has taken hundreds of astronauts into space; it has launched and fixed satellites; built the International Space Station; conducted cutting-edge research across all branches of science and pushed the limits of what we deemed possible, advancing technology to hitherto unknown realms. Put simply it has amplified our understanding of the world we live in and beyond.

But, this is a piece about cars, not spaceships. Everyone loves a cool list of statistics and while we could have given you page after page of space shuttle stats, the one we’re focusing on for this article is the cold, hard cash.  The shuttle program cost NASA and the American taxpayers somewhere north of $200bn (or 1.4m 2015 Porsche 911 Turbos) but we reckon we could do it much, much cheaper…*

*It’s important to note here that we haven’t factored in the cost of 500,000 litres of liquid oxygen, 1.5m litres of liquid hydrogen and the 450,000kg of unbelievably complex propellant we need, so we’re a fair way from sitting on the launch pad… Equally we’re not really talking about actually going into space, more making something that sort of looks like a space shuttle or as close as you can get with five banged up second hand cars. But it’s just a bit of fun, isn’t it.

So, what five cars do we think would make a decent attempt on a space shuttle?




table-lowFor the nose of our shuttle, we’ve opted for a Robin Reliant. Not the most technically-advanced car in the world, granted, but it’s a bit pointy and the additional 0.8-litre power could come in handy if there’s a bit of unexpected turbulence on the way up.

Cost: V-Reg (2000) Reliant Robin SLX, blue, 34k, manual, 848cc – £3,999



Read any account of trips into space and the overriding memory is the view as they leave our atmosphere and travel upwards and outwards. Views of the Earth and the Moon are said to be utterly spectacular so we’ll need a car with good all-round visibility, and the AMC Pacer – the ‘greenhouse on wheels’ – is perfect. The Wheeler Dealer pilots (probably Mike and Edd if we can get the insurance) could steer and control everything from there.

Cost: R-Reg (1976) AMC Pacer, blue, 36k, auto, 4.6-litre – £6,000



Once the boys are in orbit and on their way out into the deepest, darkest depths of space, they can switch on Otto the Autopilot (if you get the reference, let us know on Facebook) and relax. But how? They’re going to need somewhere to sit, perform experiments* (*make cocktails), read and watch Wheeler Dealers on the Discovery Channel, so where better to do it than in a Rolls-Royce stretch limo? It’s got a bar, an L-shaped couch, TV and DVD and most likely a glittery disco ball.

Cost: A-Reg (1983) Rolls-Royce Silver Spur Stretch Limo, silver, auto – £42,700


Engines – Range

To get into space, you need some serious power, but coupled with that power, you need range and if possible, low emissions. For range, we’ve not opted for electric or hybrid cars since in space there are no plug holes so we went for the Peugeot 308 BlueHDI. It’s got a decent little 1.6-litre diesel engine and a range of 79 mpg so we should be fine. Also, with CO2 emissions of 82g/km, we save over £100 on road tax…

Cost: 15-Reg (2015) Peugeot 308 Access 1.6 HDI, manual, any colour you like – £16,945


Engines – Power

Space travel requires some proper horsepower under the bonnet so we can only look in one direction – the Bugatti Veyron Super Sport.  In fact, we’ve decided to go for two, one on each side for when you need that little bit of extra thrust.

Cost: 63-Reg (2013) Bugatti Veyron Super Sport, 8.0-litre W16 – £1,900,000 x 2


It’s the Shuttle Jim, But not as we Know It

We were trying to better the $1.7bn it cost to build Endeavour, so how did we do?

Price Table

Success! Easy wasn’t it? Someone call NASA…


Get Onboard

What cars do you think would make up the component parts of a Wheeler Dealers Space Shuttle? Let us know on Twitter @DiscoveryUK or on our Facebook page!


Episodes Season 13

Mercedes 560SL 1987

Episode 1

Mike and Edd return to Discovery Channel for another all-new series. In this episode, Mike ...

Read More

Volvo PV544

Episode 2

Mike has been challenged to find a classic endurance sports car, and the Volvo PV544 ...

Read More

Honda CVCC

Episode 3

The guys want to tackle something eco-friendly, and get their wish when Mike chooses the ...

Read More

Chevy LUV

Episode 4

When Edd sets Mike the task of finding him a classic American truck, Mike heads ...

Read More

Ford Mustang

Episode 5

In this episode, Mike and Edd decide that an '80s classic - the Ford ...

Read More

Chevy Corvair

Episode 6

Mike and Edd decide to create an eye-catching, inexpensive beach cruiser, and the Corvair is ...

Read More

Land Rover IIA

Episode 7

Edd and Mike set the challenge to find the ultimate bug-out vehicle that would ceaselessly ...

Read More

Chevy Corvette

Episode 8

Mike and Edd go back and forth about the definition of a real sports car. ...

Read More

Best Of

Episode 9

Edd and Mike look back on the memories of the last eight cars. Which were ...

Read More

Ford Bronco

Episode 10

Mike seeks a classic adventure, and finds it in a 1970 Ford Bronco.  First impressions can ...

Read More

Mercedes 500 SEC

Episode 11

Mike's looking for luxury, and finds it in the most expensive car Mercedes had to ...

Read More

Porsche 912E

Episode 12

Mike and Edd renovate a classic Porsche.

Read More

Chevrolet Camaro

Episode 13

A classic Camaro gets the Mike and Edd treatment in this all-new episode.

Read More

Sunbeam Alpine

Episode 14

A classic two-seater sports coupé gets some elbow grease and a bit of spit and ...

Read More


Episode 15

Mike is on a hunt for the military-grade off-roader, the Humvee.  He’s met with ...

Read More

Maserati Bi-Turbo

Episode 16

Whilst looking for a 1985 Maserati Bi-Turbo, Mike discovers a truly unique example: a Bi-Turbo without ...

Read More

Cadillac V8

Episode 17

Is there anything cooler than a Caddy? In this episode, Mike and Edd get their ...

Read More

Best Of

Episode 18

Take a look back at some classic Mike and Edd moments with this best-of compilation.

Read More

Explore More

The 5 Second Hand Cars you’ll need to build a Space Shuttle

You’d be surprised what you can do with a second hand car. Ambitious? We think not.

Read More

The Ultimate Movie Car Chases

Many films boast a solid car chase but few have a truly great, mind-blowing automotive pursuit. When it happens, it’s movie magic.

Read More

The Future of Supercars

Supercars are game-changers by their very nature. So what does the super-future look like and how will it shape our own lives?

Read More