Wednesday, July 4, 2012

The Amazing Story of the Day...

The real Tony Stark: How French electrician stranded in Moroccan desert rebuilt his wrecked car as a motorbike and drove back to civilisation
When Frenchman Emile Leray became stranded in a Moroccan desert with a badly damaged car, his ordeal was one which would have left most men helpless and desperate.

But after his Citroen car ground to a halt, the enterprising electrician would not be denied in his quest to find his way back to civilisation.

His amazing escape from the barren terrain saw Mr Leray singlehandedly rebuild his Citreon into a makeshift motorbike, in a dramatic escape which has seen him dubbed the most 'extreme' mechanic in the world.
(Side note: I am hereby nominating The Daily Mail as the website with the longest headlines...)

Here's what he started with:

(picture from Wikipedia)

And what he wound up with:

(picture from story link)

As heard in GBC chat:
Converting a Citroen into transportation is pretty big.
All kidding aside, that's damn impressive right there. Now, I don't know if it was worth 12 days worth of work to save 20 miles, but  then again, he was out in the middle of the desert. 20 miles might not seem like that far of a distance, but doing it on foot in 120ºF weather, well... All I know is that I've done the Walk for Hunger in Boston in May, and that's pretty trying - now make it twice as hot with no place to rest... I can see the extreme lengths.

In any case, it's good to see that the French embrace "garagineering"...

That is all.


Brad_in_MA said...

Heh. Check out "Flight of the Pheonix". The original version from the mid 1960's with Jimmy Stewart, not the 2010-ish remake.


Glenn B said...

So, he had enough water, enough food, enough tool, enough fuel for his welding torch, and enough of whatever else was needed to spend what must have been 12 grueling days in tortuous heat BUT he did not have the foresight to realize that walking out would have been ever so much easier than disassembling a car to build a bike. That stands even in the Sahara and maybe especially in it, since the walk should have taken no more than 2-3 nights.

Having tools and enough supplies on hand to get the job done over 12days - wonderful, having enough skill, know-how and ability to improvise to make a bike out of a car - outstanding, not having enough smarts to realize that walking 20 miles would have been about 20 times easier than laboring for 12 days - absolutely priceless.

Borepatch said...

In defense of Citroes, the 2CV was simplicity itself and so easy to work on that it could get fixed literally anywhere.

It's actually a huge automotive success story, which is why you still see them around.

Angus McThag said...

With my crippled leg, building a bike from a car is faster than walking 20 miles.

Besides walking would have meant ABANDONING HIS CAR!

Jay G said...

Borepatch is defending the French? Sacré bleu! :D

Andrew Deschenes said...

Jay, I think you may have missed the scary part of the image. After all of his travails (appropriateness of his decision notwithstanding)...he was still fined for having an unlicensed vehicle.