Engineer Builds £75,000 Working Car out of LEGO
An Australian engineer has become an internet star after building a working hot rod out of 500,000 LEGO bricks.
The project started when Steve Sammartino and Raul Oaido met on an online forum, and began discussing the idea of a LEGO vehicle.
They then tweeted asking people to donate between $500 and $1000 to a “mystery project”, stating that he’d need 20 donors for the project to go ahead. Interested parties were sent a cryptic proposal that promised no financial return from the project and gave very few details on what the pair were planning, but nevertheless, they had their money within days.
It took 20 months to build the vehicle, which they nicknamed the Super Awesome Micro Project, and it cost a total of £75,000. As well as the 500,000 Legos, the car required a set of tyres, some load-bearing elements and gauges. The car is powered by four orbital engines with a total of 256 pistons – all made completely from LEGO – which are driven by compressed air. The car has so far achieved speeds of 20mph, although the designers have been cautious about pushing it further: “We were scared of a LEGO explosion, so we drive slowly.”
The initial build took place in Romania, before the car was shipped to Australia for its unveiling. It’s first trip didn’t go well, though, and the car fell to pieces during transit. It took a further three weeks to rebuild the car before it could be unveiled to the public, and driven around an Australian neighbourhood.
The pair have remained coy on whether they are planning future LEGO projects. Raul is keen for the car’s success to motivate other people to try building functional vehicles though, going as far as to share more engineering details on Twitter. “We had two air tanks in the back. 256 cyclinders, about 1.1 total displacement, max RPM 1500, 64 crankshafts.”
You can see the car in action in the video below: