• Sep 2nd 2009 at 12:30PM
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Muammar Gaddafi's Libyan Rocket - Click above for high-res image gallery

It's been a big month for Libya. First, convicted Lockerbie bomber Abdel Basset al-Megrahi was returned to the northern African nation by the new Scottish government because he's dying of prostate cancer. Second, Brotherly Leader and Guide of the Revolution (aka Muammar Gaddafi) designed a car. Called the Saroukh el-Jamahiriya (Libyan Rocket), Gaddafi's car seats five, has a 230-hp V6 and the nose and tail of a rocket. While different, it's not entirely terrible. Kinda like how the 2024 Honda Civic might look. Hey Muammar, quit your day job.

Launched at
a conference called the Organization of African Unity and organized by Colonel Gaddafi, the Rocket is set to be be produced in Tripoli, Libya's capital where a factory is set to be built next month. Why is Libya building a car, and why did Col. Gaddafi design it? Safety. In response to the high numbers of people killed and injured annually on Libya's roads, Gaddafi had to act. Says a spokeshole, "The leader spent so many hours of his valuable time thinking of an effective solution. It is the safest car produced anywhere."

How so safe? We're not entirely sure, the Libyan Rocket does come with airbags, an "electronic defense system" (
no idea) and collapsible bumpers that supposedly help out in a crash. Somehow we don't think Volvo's losing any sleep. However, the spokeshole goes on to say, "The invention of the safest car in the world is proof that the Libyan revolution is built on the happiness of man." We were wondering. Hat tip to Peter

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[Source: BBC | Photos by AFP/Getty]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 6 Years Ago
      let's give it a shot---just because he's a dictator and religous fanatic, doesn't mean he is unable to design a decent auto--and you know he didn't do it, he ordered someone else to and then took the credit.
      • 6 Years Ago
      I don't like the idea of Libya having a rocket.
      • 6 Years Ago
      From the front it doesn't look too bad. And the interior looks nice too. Not so sure about the back end, but overall a decent effort.
      • 6 Years Ago
      What's up with the two different font sizes in the summary?
      • 6 Years Ago
      Well screw the lot of you I think it looks good. I'm curious what kind of drag that body has, looks surprisingly sleek.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Gaddafi has actually been improving relations with the US since we bombed him. Around the time the US invaded Iraq, he dismantled Libya's WMD program and invited in weapons inspectors. He may not be a perfect leader, but at least we're talking to him.

      As for knowing about cars, he is a partner with all of us Americans building cars - you see, he owns a large chunk of Fiat, which in turn is a partner with the US Gov't in Chrysler. So, if you are a US taxpayer, somewhere on a balance sheet your money is coming together with Gaddafi's and hopefully paying for building Vipers or Challengers.

      Small world, huh?
        • 6 Years Ago
        Hm, I didn't know about his involvement with Fiat...

        So you're saying I'll be seeing this soon in my local Chrysler dealer? :P (Of course, they closed my local Chrysler dealership, but ignore that...)
      • 6 Years Ago
      I recall that Gaddafi designed a car back in the '80s, another rocket car, that I recall was black in the photo I saw.

      As for making Libyan roads safer, that's probably more a function of teaching people to be responsible drivers, than of improvements in auto design. Just a guess, based on what I know of drivers around the world.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Hmmm... I hate to say, I like the looks of this car.

      Then again, I think the '70 Plymouth Fury was the best looking car ever made.

      I really have weird taste in automobiles.

      • 6 Years Ago
      So that explains why Obama took over GM. Rumor has it that he will also design a car. it will be called ....The Commisar Coup.
      • 6 Years Ago
      spokeshole??? WTF???
      • 6 Years Ago
      Because if there's one thing we learnt from Bricklin it's that people put 'safety' first in their decision to buy a supercar
      • 6 Years Ago
      how many do they plan to build???
        • 6 Years Ago
        One for him, some for his friends, and one for Hugo Chavez in Venezuela. It is going to the Cadillac for Dictators.
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