Click above for more shots of the custom Ariel-powered wooden car
Wood. It's sustainable right? Cool, sounds like the perfect material to make new cars from. Now, the next question is how are we going to power them? The traditional American answer would be a big honkin' V8, but we're thinking something a little more, say... European. British to be exact, and it's going to be of relatively small displacement, like from a motorcycle. Sounds like a recipe for something truly unique, but that's not even the half of it. The car we're talking about was built by an enterprising woodworker in the 1950s with plans from Modern Mechanix Magazine. Its creator took time from his normal occupation (boat building) to fashion bodywork from wood, which was mated to an engine from an Ariel Square Four. That four cylinder powerplant itself was unique, using two sets of pistons with a single cast cylinder head. Suspension bits from Citroen hold it all off the ground.
When we saw this 1952 custom, we were struck by its similarity with another home-built machine that's been featured on our pages. Like today's eBay Find of the Day, this machine is based on the design of an Ariel, this time the remarkable Atom track-day special. Many people only dream of building their own cars, but these two amazing vehicles take the practice to a while new level. Both cars used parts from a variety of sources and represent automotive recycling at its finest.