Sometimes the coolest stuff you find at auto shows isn't the new cars, but the crazy stuff automakers bring along and display next to them. Case in point over at the Fiat booth at the LA Auto Show: they have a giant wood buck used to build the original Fiat 500. Neat!

Fiat has been bringing this car-sized piece of mahogany around the auto show circuit as they promote the new 500X, and it's quite a sight to see. When was the last time you saw a piece of wood the size of a car, let alone wood this beautiful?

Back in the day wooden bucks were built to shape the metal body panels and ensure that every car's body part had the same proper size and fit. Think of it as a kind of master template for a car. Though it's been replaced by more modern methods, today's restorers and hobbyists still use bucks to create body components.

This buck was used from 1956 to 1964, following Dante Giacosa's design for the car. You can see over the years how they tweaked the body panels by making changes to the buck, most notably with the badge up front.

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It's quite lovely. I kind of want to buy it and stick it in my living room. It would make a great conversation piece.

Top photo credit Jason Torchinsky