The airplane was substantially damaged during rollout following a forced landing after a complete loss of engine power in cruise flight. The private pilot and pilot-rated passenger were not injured. Visual conditions prevailed.
While en route and cruising at 4500 feet msl, the occupants heard a slight “pop.” Both of them looked at each other and said, “What was that?” They then scanned the instruments and all looked good. A minute or two later they heard more pops and began looking for alternate airports and descended to get under a broken cloud deck. At approximately 2000 feet msl, the pilot tried to increase power but the engine shortly lost all power. The pilot landed on a road and noticed he was gaining on a car in front of him, then steered off the road to avoid the car. The airplane went down the shoulder of the road and the right wing got caught in grass, which caused the airplane to veer right. The airplane then struck a barbed wire fence and came to rest.