How To Put A Jag On Your School Roof

Did you ever commit any pranks in your time at high school, college, or university? Maybe you moss-painted a rude word on the wall somewhere, or put a design in a sports field with herbicide, or even worse, slow-release fertiliser. [Roman Kozak] and his friends went far further than that last summer when they replicated some of the most famous student pranks; they put a Jaguar S type car on the roof of their school. And now the dust has settled, he’s posted an account of how they did it.

jag-on-roof-guy-cuttingOf course, putting a car on the roof is a significant challenge, particularly when you only have the resources of a high-school student. Ensuring the roof was strong enough for a car, and then hiring a crane to do the deed, was beyond them. They therefore decided to take the wheels and outer body panels of a car and mount them on a wooden frame to give the appearance of a car.

They needed a statement vehicle and they didn’t have a huge budget, so it took them a while to spot a for-parts Jaguar S type which when it came into their possession they found only had a fault with its reverse gear. Some hard work removed the panels, and the rest of the car was taken for scrap.

Frenetic work as the term end approached gave them their frame, and a daring midnight raid was mounted to winch the parts to the roof with a pulley. The result was so popular with their classmates and teachers that they owned up to the prank rather than preserve their anonymity. We think these young scamps will go far.

This is definitely the first car-on-roof prank we’ve brought you on Hackaday, but it’s not the first to be done. [Roman] and his friends cited an MIT prank as their inspiration, but the daddy of car-on-roof stunts has to go to Cambridge University students in the 1950s. Their Austin might be a lot smaller than the MIT Chevy or [Roman]’s Jag, but they got it onto their roof in one piece as a full car rather than a facsimile of one.

Important note: The author would like to state for the record that she and her friends were somewhere else entirely and had solid alibis when in summer 1993 the logo of Hull University Union Technical Committee appeared in the lawn outside Hull University Union. We’re sure that commenters will be anxious to set their own records straight for posterity in a similar manner.

33 thoughts on “How To Put A Jag On Your School Roof

      1. Most americans have turned into scaredy sissy pants. and sadly it’s getting worse. Any kids that I talk to that have interest in anything technical I tell them to keep a low profile and stay quiet about what they do. Even someone taking apart radios scare the “normals”

  1. In theory, I think these pranks are hilarious.
    Now the perspective of the square, stick-in-the-mud school administrator: Ballasted rubber membrane roofs are not meant for any foot traffic. That roof is going to start leaking now, requiring repairs. And if one of the kids had hurt themselves, the insurance companies would have gone after the school for not doing enough to prevent access.

    1. Not meant for foot traffic? If that were true, you wouldn’t find RTUs (roof-top HVAC units) on every single commercial flat roof in the western world. I’ve been on enough ballasted roofs myself to know this.
      Also, there could be exceptions, but every rubber membrane roof I’ve seen has had no ballast, and all of the ballasted roofs I’ve seen have been hot-rolled bitumen. Perhaps an actual roofer could respond to this, I only did roof repairs (never caused by foot traffic), not installation.

      1. “Dirt cheap”? It was $750 CAD, the car’s 15 years old with transmission problems, and its blue book value is only around $2000 CAD. I’d actually say it was a good price for the seller.

        1. For that amout it is really dirt cheap and in good share. Transmison could be easy fix. For me it is just a wasting a good car. Destroing complete car just for panels which you can buy at scrapyard.

  2. In my engineering school, they disassembled the director’s old car (Citroen 2CV) he was using by the time and re-assembled it in its office, 3rd floor. They were 27 and it took them few days of work while he was on a conference. I don’t remember if the car started in the office, but it’s one of the famous picture in the school hall of fame.

  3. > so it took them a while to spot a for-parts Jaguar S type which when it came into their possession they found only had a fault with its reverse gear.

    They had to look for more than 5 minutes? The only thing you can rely on with a Jaguar is that it’ll be at the shop for 2 days a week.

  4. I had a chemistry teacher in HS that always told the story of how he and some buddies in HS disassembled a VW Bug and reassembled it in their HS chemistry teacher’s classroom as a senior prank. Teacher was more impressed they pulled it off than angry! Of course they were then required to tear it all back apart again to remove it, but it still ran and drove when all was said and done.

  5. At my high school it was tradition for the senior class to steal a large fiberglass statue of a chicken from an extremely popular local mom-and-pop restaurant located a few miles across town and place it upon the roof of the performing arts center on campus. As far as I can remember, it happened every year, and despite (perfunctory) attempts by both the restaurant and school to catch the culprits each year, they never have caught anyone, as far as I know. Security cameras would magically have corrupted files, posted sentries would be called away for unexpected emergencies, etc. Amazing coincidences….

  6. A friend of mine “stole” someone’s dormitory room over Christmas break. This was an older school, with thick walls and recessed dorm room doors along the main hallway. He used lumber to frame a wall in the recess, covered it with wallboard, then used drywall tape and mud to blend it in with the existing walls. A coat of paint, trim boards along the floor, and the room was gone.

  7. My college used MS Exchange as the backend for their email system. My senior year, a ‘friend’ (I, of course, had a rock-solid alibi) discovered that TCP access to the exchange server had never been locked down – it was possible to send emails to anyone on the system, and display any ‘from’ address they liked. Early on April 1st, they sent several emails from various fictitious college departments notifying the student body of multiple exorbitant and distressing policy changes. To wrap up the prank, they sent a final email from the IT department to the student body that denied the college had ever sent a prank email, and requesting that students ‘please adhere to all college policies’.

    The college never acknowledged the emails were sent.

  8. Damn! I was in Hull ’91 to ’94 and didn’t see that one. Having said that, coming out of the SU with a skin-full of Flowers made noticing anything difficult. Off to the Tower for an Hour…

  9. University of British Columbia engineering students used to put Beetle carcasses all over the place back in the 80’s. On top of the library clock tower, under Vancouver’s suspension bridge, etc, etc. It got to be so bad that school admin put a stop to it by expelling students. Of course, I only knew some of these students, not having been in the engineering faculty at all….

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