A man in Arizona builds his shrunken cars out of refrigerators, but you’d never know it by looking at them. In Washington State, a teacher built his car from a boat, and there’s no mistaking it. And in Ghana, a student built a car that looks like a ramshackle DeLorean — and if you guessed that he made it with junkyard scraps, you’d be right.
Their creations turn heads, bring smiles and get them around town, all because they see promise in materials most of us would never put to use in the garage.
Kelvin Odartei Cruickshank, who is 19 and lives in Accra, Ghana’s capital city, has had a passion for building machines since he was 10. “I started by building prototype or micro-machines such as vacuum cleaners, robots, cars, a helicopter, etc.,” he said in interviews that were conducted via email and WhatsApp.
He moved on to bigger machines and got to work building, from scratch, a two-person car made from scrap materials that cost around $200. It took three years to complete. Mr. Cruickshank used scrap metal and parts not normally used in cars because of financial constraints.
a 1928 Chevy two-door sedan. The car is less than four and a half feet high and is just nine feet long — about 70 percent the size of the original. The engine clocks in at 13 horsepower, with 12-inch pneumatic tires and a three-speed transmission “from a 1964 three-wheeled mail cart,” he said.
“I didn’t have room for a full-size car in the trailer park we lived in, nor money to buy one, so I built my own little car,” he said. The project used nine old refrigerators and “was a work in progress for eight years,” Mr. Adams said.
Dwarf Car Museum in Maricopa.
All of his cars draw looks.
“A man was beside me at a stoplight,” Mr. Adams said of a quick neighborhood jaunt in the Grandpa Dwarf. “He looked down at me and said, ‘Hey, man, where’d you get that, out of a crackerjack box?’”
Mr. Adams also recalled an officer stopping him on the highway. “When he came up to my door,” he said, “he got down on his knees and looked in the window at me and said, ‘Sir, this is the first time I ever had to get on my knees to talk to somebody in a car.’”
Mr. Lorentz, too, enjoys making people laugh. “I tell my students they need to think ‘outside the boat,’” he said.