This Car Has Wooden Performance

If you were to take a look at the car parked closest to where you are sitting, there’s an overwhelming probability that its main structural parts are made of steel. A few might be aluminium and fewer still composite materials, but by and large that’s it for automotive structures. This hasn’t stopped the inventive Russians at [Garage 54] from experimenting though, and in their latest they’ve made a car with a chassis made of wood. Not carefully sawn and assembled wooden structural components, oh no. These are wooden tree trunks and branches.

Of course it’s an opportunity for them to run wild on their very successful schtick of the crazy Eastern European YouTuber, but behind that it’s entertaining to watch how they adapt a drive train — taken we’re guessing from the FIAT 124-derived Zhiguli, or Lada as most of us would know it — to such an unconventional chassis. A lot of wire binding is used, and even then the car has a lot of the flexible about it. We’re not so sure about the differential without oil or indeed the front suspension that appears to be developing a lean, but they do manage to take it out of the forest and onto the road.

Are unconventional and definitely-not-road-legal motors your thing? Here’s another, courtesy of some Dutch lads.

40 thoughts on “This Car Has Wooden Performance

    1. When I was young, I had a boss with a wood framed MG.

      He and his wife were t-boned in it. They lived, barely.
      You don’t want a wood framed car.

      You also don’t want an English car, but I digress.

    1. That reminds me, I used to travel by Belle Fourche, SD a couple of decades ago. At the north end of town was a lawyer’s office “Woodruff”, the exterior of the building was clad with rough sawn lumber (rough wood).

          1. You’d need to change the final drive gear at least. Oversized tires could do it.

            I doubt any sane person could keep his foot on the gas past 25 MPH. Alignment is an issue.

  1. What if you did have a small engine and wheels in a crate you could easily drop somewhere and use to assemble a car in a few hours, using whatever sticks and trees you can find, and then use it to move soldiers and supplies around? They used to air-drop motorcycles and even Jeeps and tanks in WW2.

      1. Obviously you wouldn’t be assembling them directly at the front lines. Think about it: you need to establish a logistics chain quickly – one vehicle can carry crates full of engines and wheels, and engineers can quickly lash them up into these “mules” at the destination. They can then be driven up to the front, where they can be more or less expendable or used for other purposes, such as self-propelled generators etc.

    1. Feels very TOTK…

      You know, electric scooter/bike kits available on line are very close to this. Battery, motor controller, and assembled wheel with hub motor.

      What more could you need?

        1. Esp.: 10 kg of fuel = 20 kWh of useful energy. 10 kg of batteries = 2 kWh of useful energy. Which one you’d rather carry to the front lines, remembering that at some point, people are probably going to have to move it by foot to reach the stalled motor?

      1. The battery would make any electric scooter based version essentially a disposable single-use item since you can’t really expect to charge them out in the field. You’d need another vehicle to come by and start acting as a generator, at which point you might as well have the engine in the first vehicle and just bring fuel.

  2. The roll cage looks safe…

    While I’m sure the wood is terrible from a strength:weight perspective, and the chassis lacks rigidity… I wonder if the natural damping properties of wood improve the ride quality to some extent.

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