Episode 140: Spy Car Escape

Air Date: April 7, 2010

During a car chase, the pursuing car can be stopped or eluded using road spikes or tacks deployed from the fleeing car.


While the road spikes managed to puncture the pursuit car’s tires, the tires did not instantly deflate and the pursuit car managed to catch Adam. The failure of the spikes was attributed to the fact that the spikes stuck to the tires, partially plugging up the holes and causing the tires to deflate slowly.

During a car chase, the pursuing car can be stopped or eluded using a smokescreen deployed from the fleeing car.


During the first run, Jamie attached several smoke grenades to the rear of his car to create a makeshift smokescreen. While intially successful, the smokescreen quickly backfired when the smoke was sucked into Jamie’s car as well, blinding and choking him and forcing him to stop the chase. They modified the rig to keep the smoke grenades outside of the car, and Adam became the driver while wearing a oxygen mask. The second test was more successful, with Adam being able to use the smokescreen to elude the pursuit car.

During a car chase, the pursuing car can be stopped or eluded using an oil slick deployed from the fleeing car.


The pursuit car was slowed down signficantly by the oil slick, allowing Jamie to elude it. However, the pursuit car did not instantly spin out as is popularly shown in movies.

During a car chase, the pursuing car can be stopped or eluded using Adam’s parachute rig.


As part of the Mythbuster Challenge, Adam designed a rig that would deploy a parachute and release it in hopes of blinding the pursuit car. While the parachute successfully deployed, the pursuit car was able to avoid it and chase down Adam.

During a car chase, the pursuing car can be stopped or eluded using Jamie’s specialized car stopping devices.


As part of the Mythbuster Challenge, Jamie designed specialized carstoppers meant to get caught in the pursuit car’s undercarriage and slow it down. While they deployed successfully, the pursuit car managed to stay on Jamie’s tail, despite taking serious damage from the carstoppers. While it did not work in the short run, the Mythbusters pointed out that they would have been successful if the chase had gone on any longer.

An object thrown backwards from a moving vehicle – at the same speed as the vehicle – will simply fall straight to the ground.


For their first test, the Build Team used a treadmill running at 10 miles per hour to launch a weight off the back of a parked truck. The weight was propelled 6 feet away. Next, the Build Team repeated the experiment with the truck driving at 10 miles per hour, and the weight seemed to drop straight down. Next, they repeated the experiment at 60 miles per hour using an air cannon to fire a soccer ball. However, they couldn’t get the ball to drop straight down and decided to change their method of firing the ball. They tested a soccer ball pitching machine and Grant’s ball kicking robot against the air cannon. However, they decided to stay with the air cannon after finding out it performed the most consistently among all three machines. The Build Team attempted the experiment again, and after a number of tries, finally managed to get the ball to drop straight down.


  1. Kirre says:

    Those roadspikes were made incorrectly… a proper roadspike is made with HOLLOW steel tubes, sharpened syringe-style. Of course the tires didn’t deflate with friggin’ corks in them

    • Brian says:


  2. darren smith says:

    can you try to make a rocket only out of paper plates and 3M Rubber & Vinyl spray adhesive

  3. Arch says:

    escaping with a smoke screen sounds fun.

  4. Cole says:

    Ha, just watched this episode and almost died of laughter from the smoke screen fail!!

  5. Jason says:

    Just watched this episode only hours after a truck drove down the road I live on. It spilled roughly about 20 liters of chicken offal. I couldn’t work out why there was a car in the ditch out front. I went to investigate. When I reached the wreck and checked on the driver I noticed another car sliding 360’s uncontrollably up the hill !!! coming to rest in my neighbors fence, then another and another. 4 cars breaking traction with all 4 wheels in and uphill direction. Seems to me this would stop any pursuit vehicle within 30 meters

  6. Paul Malley says:

    I was touring Ireland some years ago.
    The Northern Ireland Police Stations with all their anti IRA netting were like something out of a Science Fiction film.
    At the border posts, running the full width of the road,they had a presumably hydraulically actuated hinged plate covered in spikes.
    A Gendarme high up in a watchtower would no doubt get the word that a dude was trying for a home run and hit the appropriate button!

  7. the_dude says:

    @Kirre I agree BUT those road spikes will definitely rapidly deflate the good old inner tube kind of tires which is actually seen in all those old movies where that myth originated, I am most definitely sure that the tires we saw in this episode were the tubeless kind which will simply get plugged and that is one of the advantages of the tubeless kind so i say this is NOT BUSTED at all, our mythbusters just

  8. Freeballer says:

    Even declasified spy gadgets had the “hollow” spikes that would help the tires deflate faster. They RAELLY need to revisit and see how effective the “real world” gadgets were:


  9. Mattias says:

    Please respond, but what is the scale in the background for the soccer ball launch, and what is the frame rate of the video?

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