Stranded in the Moroccan desert after buggering his 2CV hitting a rock, Emile Leray spent the next 12 days turning the 2CV into a motorbike.
Yeah, he turned his car into a motorbike…
We’ve all heard tales of adventurers breaking down in the desert and surviving on bugger all until help arrived, or those who bend their cars in the outback and spend a literal fortune on recovery services. But I’ll bet you’ve never heard about Emile Leray, the Frenchman who headed off on a sub-Saharan adventure with a 2CV, a toolbox and some food and water. Oh, and he must have watched a lot of MacGyver.
It was meant to be one of those adventures he’d tell his friends about but it ended up being so much more than that, see, a couple of days into his journey, Leray managed to hit a rock bending the steering arm and cracking the chassis…some rock, right.
With no phone, no EPIRB, and no-one around for miles and miles, Leray did what any bush mechanic would do. He got to work trying to fix his 2CV. It wasn’t long before he realised the thing was stuffed. But, instead of thinking, well, I’ll set up some shelter and hope someone comes along, he thought, nup, I’ll turn this wreck into a motorbike…as you do.
The plan was to complete the tear down and build in just three days. Remember, Leray had no welder or grinder, or drill either but with a MacGyver like determination he set to work. The body was removed and became his “house” and then the rest of the vehicle was pulled apart and put back together.
The first test ride, according to Leray, nearly killed him as the bike wanted to wheelstand all the time. Some tweaking managed to calm the thing down and he was away, limited to around 20km/h. Better than nothing.
Scudding back towards civilization on his Franken-bike he was stopped by militia and detained as he’d illegally crossed into their territory. He was fairly quickly released and returned to France after a small ransom was paid. He’s still got the bike. Check out the video below by CNN, it’s a cracker.
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