On December 23rd, Melbourne residents witnessed an unusual sight - A roadster made almost entirely from Lego bricks cruising down the streets. Assembled from 500,000 of the versatile bricks, the stunning black and yellow vehicle that is being hailed as a technical marvel, is the brainchild of 20-year-old Romanian student, Raul Oida.
Big enough to seat two adults, the car is powered by four orbital engines, each holding 256 pistons that run on air. The best part is that they are built entirely of Lego bricks. That also holds true for the rest of the car - From the steering wheel to the seats which not surprisingly are rather uncomfortable, as well as, the doors and even the transparent windscreen! The only non-Lego components are the wheels, tires, steering control mechanisms and air pressure gauges that sit on the console.
The one drawback to this otherwise cool hot rod is that its top speed is a mere 30km/hr. The inventors say that it can probably go faster, but they are afraid that it may result in tiny Lego brick explosions from one of its 256 pistons. Given that there are no plans to turn this into a commercial venture, neither is concerned about finding a solution to increase the speed.
In fact, the only reason Australian entrepreneur Steve Sammartino who helped Raul with the marketing and funding even came up with the idea, was to try encourage car manufacturers to start thinking 'out of the box' when designing new vehicles.
Believing that others would be interested in his radical project, on March 2012 he sent out a tweet to his thousands of followers. He asked them if they wished to donate between $500-$1000 AUD for a project that was going to be 'super awesome and a world first'. Forty Australians responded and the 'Super Awesome Micro Project' was born. Raul then retreated to Romania, where he spent 18 months building the car in complete secrecy. Once ready, it was shipped to Melbourne for some final tweaks, before the big test run.
As to what is going to happen to this one-of-a-kind vehicle? If rumors are to be believed, it may be sold to US talk show host and car aficionado Jay Leno. Steve and Raul are also thinking about offering it for display at car shows all across the world.
This is not the first time the two men have collaborated on an unusual project. In December 2011, in honor of the end of the Space Shuttle era, they built and successfully launched one that was made entirely from . . . Lego bricks, of course!
Resources: gizmag.com,news.com.au, bbc.co.uk