There’s really very little I don’t adore about this kid and the car he built. The kid — well, no longer a kid, as he is now 19-year-old Kelvin Odartei Cruickshank —started building his car at the age of 14 or so, with, absolutely minimal support in the form of money or materials or equipment, or, really, much of anything. But, incredibly, he pulled off an amazing DIY feat, and it even has gullwing doors.
Kelvin lives in Accra, Ghana, and grew up without much in the way of wealth or material resources, but with what seems to have been a lot of support from friends and family, and a good amount of scrap materials to salvage.
Collecting scrap metal containers, pipes, discarded machinery and pretty much anything he could get his hands on, Kelvin began to build his car, starting with a scrap, DIY version of a tube-frame chassis.
Of the chassis building process, Kelvin said
“The hardest parts of the car [to build] were the frame, the chassis, and the engine seat. These parts were made from iron rods, square pipes, and round pipes. They were made to provide the vehicle with good strength to prevent accidents.”
Kelvin’s Instagram account has a video that shows the tube frame before the body was built:
There’s a good number of videos around of Kelvin and his car, some of which show it in earlier stages of completion:
Design-wise, Kelvin seems to have modeled the car on high-end sports cars like the Lamborghini Aventador, sort of. There’s a bit of that angular, faceted look that modern Lamborghinis have, and he has a pair of rakish fairings that flow down the windowless back.
And then there’s the gull-wing doors, of course. Because you gotta have those.
It looks like he’s got sockets for light units that he perhaps may still be in the process of sourcing, and the specificity of the shapes makes me wonder if he has certain ones in mind.
Even though the Interesting Engineering article about him says that the engine makes “300 hp,” I’m very, very skeptical of that, as it looks to be a single-cylinder, air-cooled motorcycle engine, as you can see here:
Other images seem to show a chain drive to the rear axle, which seems to make sense.
The video above may be the most recent, as the car has been partially primered, and there’s some little round taillight units installed in a more refined-looking rear end. Also, there’s a wing, and some cool flappy vents in the hood.
The interior features a wooden dashboard and what appear to be salvaged motorbike instruments, a steering wheel and shifter from actual manufactured cars, and something electronic in the radio position on the dash, though I’m unclear what that is.
This would be an amazing DIY achievement for anyone, building a car effectively from scratch, and doing it with such limited resources and with such clever and determined re-purposing of materials just makes it all the more astounding.
In interviews, Kelvin talks about how he’d like to start building cars in Ghana as a real, serious venture, and selling them all over the world.
I’d love to see him do just that.