Calling yourself a maker can mean different things, but very few people will assume that you have built your own car completely from scratch using everyday materials.
Well, that is exactly what Samuel Ngobeni has done with much success. Using square tubing, sheet metal and denim felt to serve as the vehicle’s body covering, this creator built himself a car that resembles a BMW Z3.
Having a passion for cars and a flair for innovation, Ngobeni built the vehicle to show what he is capable of.
“I wanted the car to be a curriculum vitae – to show what I’m capable of. A normal car is built by 200 people, but this one is built by only one person. I wanted to show that I’m multi-talented and multi-skilled. I’m hands-on not only with the drawings, but also with electrical, mechanical and I wanted to introduce a new style of glazing,” he told htxt.africa.
His design choices has specific reasons behind them, but for the denim felt that doubles up as the paint, it was a fashion accessory.
“I wanted to have a car with clothes. If you think about it, a convertible has clothes in the sense that the retractable roof is made from fabric. So why can’t you make the whole body from fabric?” he asks.
But he also wants to challenge the youth to start doing more for their communities, and explore the options of creating things for themselves.
“I want to inspire young people to do more. The young generation see things differently in the sense that everything is mechanically made. They don’t want to do things anymore as they only see objects created by machines.”
Although the car isn’t legally allowed to be driven on South African roads, Ngobeni can’t resist the occasional spin around town – even if he doesn’t really like the attention that the car brings him.
“When I arrived at the Sci-Bono Centre at 3am this morning for Maker Faire Africa, I had a crowd of people around the car. I don’t know where they came from, but they were there – the security had to come out.”
The current model took about three years to complete as part of a hobby, but Ngobeni has already set his sights on another project.
“I want to make something different – maybe a sedan with a different look. I really want to make a car with six wheels, because it will give it more balance and better traction. If I can get enough money, I will put a V8 or V12 engine in it.”