According to Merriam-Webster, ingenuity can be defined as "skill or cleverness in devising or combining" or "cleverness or aptness of design or contrivance." We'd say that's an apt description of a Frenchman named Emile who reportedly found himself stranded in the deserts of Northwest Africa after breaking a frame rail and a suspension swingarm underneath his Citroën 2CV.

What to do? Why, disassemble the broken hulk and build yourself a motorcycle from its pile of parts, of course! As the story goes, Emile was able to use the inventive machine to escape the desert, though not before convincing the local authorities that he wasn't an insurgent and paying a fine for importing a non-conforming vehicle...

Since Emile was the only soul in the area, nobody has been able to confirm the veracity of the events that led to the little French runabout's conversion into a makeshift motorcycle. That said, judging by the images you can see here (apparently from the March 2003 issue of 2CV Magazine), this Citroën-bred two-wheeler does indeed exist, and it was definitely fashioned from parts scavenged from an old 2CV.

Emile, wherever you are, we take our hats off to your real-life MacGyver skills, sir.


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  • 172 Comments
      Dave Pinter
      • 2 Years Ago
      This story is made for Mythbusters.
        Muddie Mike
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Dave Pinter
        Why not check into a story further before saying all that? Go check out this mans website ( notice the small arrows at bottom of page) and see just what he has accomplished with these little cars, then and only then will you be able to comment properly as well as anyone else here! There's even a video of him riding the bike! SO there, ha! YOUR COMMENT Fails the true test of checking out what your talking about before putting ones foot in mouth.
      SloopJohnB
      • 2 Years Ago
      Pretty neat if true. I don't believe it.
        recharged95
        • 2 Years Ago
        @SloopJohnB
        Would be cooler if he built a miniature arc reactor and a iron suit. What else would one do in the desert?
        Muddie Mike
        • 2 Years Ago
        @SloopJohnB
        CHECK OUT THE GUYS WEBSITE! http://chameaudacier.free.fr/index.html I DIDN'T Believe it at first either but there's video and all sorts of stuff to see how he did it. USE Google translate to read the site, its a great story. I take my hat off to this man. Its more a story of putting together an idea the guy had in his head to see if it would work. He had everything he needed with him to make this work, He works with these cars a lot! http://chameaudacier.free.fr/index.html
      diffrunt
      • 2 Years Ago
      The car broke because it was overloaded w/tools & equipment
      fred schumacher
      • 2 Years Ago
      The guy is a bricoleur, a person who takes bits and pieces and makes something useful out of it. My French isn't great but it's good enough to understand that he calls himself a Doctor of African Engineering who received his diploma by working in garages in the desert areas of western Africa. This motorcycle was made from a 2CV. It's light, simple, can be taken apart with ordinary tools. This guy was accustomed to driving in the desert. He would have had water, food, and tools with him in the same way that I, who live on the Northern Plains, always carry a winter survival kit and full tool kit with me in my cars. This was a true Top Gear stunt, one not done for laughs, but to get him out of the desert and a war zone. That so many people find it hard to accept it could be done shows a lack of familiarity with the 2CV, perhaps the greatest automotive design of all time, delivering more with less than any other vehicle ever built.
      Jim Hubert
      • 2 Years Ago
      How lucky for him he happened to have that welding rig and a complete set of tools in that 2CV when it broke down, and enough water to stay alive while he built the bike (desert water requirements average 3-6 gallons a day).
        Jeffrey Stimson
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Jim Hubert
        He did not have to weld anything on, except that kick stand that looks funny. Both wheels and suspension attached are all a part of the original car as they were already attached. Its the complete front cross memeber. It appears the broken side now makes up the back wheel. Gas tank and engine are strapped on. Steering linkage is original, partially severed. Still some questions to it.
        GasMan
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Jim Hubert
        I read that he tracked and caught 47 gerbils in the desert to run in a cage and generate the electricity for the arc welder.
        GasMan
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Jim Hubert
        I heard he tracked and captured 47 Gerbils in the desert to run in a cage and power the arc welder.
      Evan Hayden
      • 2 Years Ago
      I'm not sure which I'm more impressed by... his ingenuity and skill in fashioning a makeshift motorcycle out of a 2CV, or the fact that he had the guts to trust his old timer enough to drive it out into the desert! I love classic cars, but I wouldn't trust any of them enough to drive out into a place where the weather could potentially kill me, if stranded, haha..
      Sardondi
      • 2 Years Ago
      Okay, there's got to be a lot of "rest of the story" here. There's "stranded" and then there's being someplace inconvenient. When reading the come-ons, we see images of a guy at death's door, alone, no water, vultures circling, 100 miles of scorched nothing in every direction. I mean, didn't anybody else get an idea this was a "Fight of the Phoenix" situation?. Well, we were wrong. Actually, were misled. This guy was broken down in some desert settlement and chose not to hitch a ride with passerby or residents. He had food and water and other people around. Plus a fairly well-stocked metal shop which had welding equipment and plenty of tools and some materials. So let's dispense with visions of "127 Hours" danger and courage. It would have been a lot more impressive if the author had been truthful from the start. I just feel lied to like usual.
        jdhegnes
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Sardondi
        You nailed it. This thing was built in a shop with a full complement of fabrication tools, i.e. cutting and welding. 2cv's were front engine and fwd. It's easy to identify the front of this vehicle by the steering gear and handlebar placement. So, how did he move the engine into the passenger compartment without cutting and welding equipment? It's obvious that it won't even move, since the engine is facing the wrong way and it would be impossible to alter the transaxle case and flip the ring and pinion in the desert. Also, there is no drivetrain. The drum brakes are a fake-out, as 2cv's had discs mounted directly to the transaxle, which is nowhere near the front. There appears to be a sort of tie rod, but no other steering components like a steering box, idler arm, pitman arm, or even a brake and line There is no line to the rear caliper. And where is the steering tube mounted? It can't be to the front axle since the axle has to pivot. There is no way that steering tube can pivot without a u-joint, based upon the cowl mount and its curve. Those who really know cars can pick this thing to pieces all day long, but it's obvious that it doesn't brake, steer, or even move. If this guy had the "ingenuity" and resources to build this thing, it would have been much easier to just repair the frame and swingarm. It's possible that the engine might start, but this thing didn't get anybody out of the desert. Way, way too many things wrong. It's a hoax, and not a very good one.
          Badfish941
          • 2 Years Ago
          @jdhegnes
          Agreed, the guy had 12 days and a metal shop... not exactly stranded in the desert. I also don't think this thing is drivable either. some of the obvious questions: where do you sit? how do you steer? where are the brakes? where is the drive train? looks more like a sculpture than a real attempt to make a motorcycle
      Pappy
      • 2 Years Ago
      why are some of you doubting this? I once escaped drowning at the great barrier reef when my tour boat left me stranded by fashioning a make shift rubber raft out of octopus anus (for the nozzle to blow it up) great white shark intestines (for the internal hose) and blue whale skin which I stitched together using a herring bone and cartilage from the shark. took as long to blow it up as it did to kill the three of them with my diving knife....
      PeterScott
      • 2 Years Ago
      He couldn't fix a broken frame rail enough to drive, but he rebuild his car into a motorcycle?
      Allen Grim
      • 2 Years Ago
      This is fake as all hell, but still cool. It's even got a kick stand, really?
      • 2 Years Ago
      [blocked]
      Free Truth
      • 2 Years Ago
      I suppose if you just happened to have a complete set tools, welder, torch, vice, and engine crane with you. No one man lifted and held that engine in place. I call bullsh** on this story.
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