Watch This Guy Turn His Crappy Russian Hatchback Into A Pedal-Car

Screenshot: Garage 54 ENG (YouTube)

If you’ve ever been curious to know how hard it would be to power your car with your own legs via bicycle pedals, Russian mechanic and YouTube star Vlad is here to show you with his VAZ-1111 “Oka” hatchback.

This “Vlad” guy from YouTube channel Garage 54 ENG spends his days running ridiculous experiments on Soviet-era shitboxes, and that—if you think about it—makes his channel everything you could ever want out of the internet.

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The latest test? Hacking up an old Russian “Ural” bicycle, welding it into the footwell of a VAZ-1111, and hooking its chain to the front axle shaft of the old “Oka” hatchback.

According to the Lane Motor Museum, the Oka was meant to act as a replacement for the affordable small city cars known as ZAZ Zaporozhets. The museum describes the car’s design process, saying:

The project began in 1983, using the Japanese Diahatsu Cuore as its design inspiration. To cut costs, VAZ simply “chopped in half” an existing four cylinder engine, creating a 649cc two-cylinder putting out almost 30hp.

But the VAZ in the video above makes much less than 30 horsepower, and yet it still somehow manages to scoot down the road with only one humanpower going through the front axle shaft via a bicycle chain.

A cursory look on the vast interwebs shows that the VAZ-1111 has a curb weight of about 1,500 pounds; gut the interior and remove the two-cylinder engine, and who knows, maybe this thing comes in at under 1,000 pounds.

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That’d still be ridiculously heavy for a bike, but it sure as hell looks like a lot of fun.

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About the author

David Tracy

Writer, Jalopnik. 1979 Jeep Cherokee Golden Eagle, 1985 Jeep J10, 1948 Willys CJ-2A, 1995 Jeep Cherokee, 1992 Jeep Cherokee auto, 1991 Jeep Cherokee 5spd, 1976 Jeep DJ-5D, totaled 2003 Kia Rio