17-Year-Old Engineer from South Africa Builds Functional Car out of Scrap Metal
Obakeng Thetele, a 17-year-old teenager from Bloemfontein, the capital city of the Free State Province of South Africa, has built an innovative car from scrap metal and spare parts. Thetele was fond of cars and wanted one for himself, but his father said that he had to finish school and save up money to buy a new car. The young teenager couldn’t wait till after high school to get a car, so he ventured out on building one.
Given that his father is a mechanical and welding school teacher, he always had a knack for mechanics, so he started working on building his own set of four wheels. However, things didn’t always go according to his plan. Thetele’s first project in 2015 did not succeed as he did not have enough materials, but the setback did not discourage him. He made a second attempt last year in 2020 after his father gifted him a bike, which offered the drivetrain for the car. However, he had to source few extra parts to make sure it ran properly in real world conditions.
The crucial part of the car was to get the engine right. He made sure that the systems of the engine were well connected with discarded wires, and secured the wire with insulating tape. The engine that Thetele used in the DIY car was dismantled from his bike.
He then covered the parts of the engine with scrap metal, which was bent to the desired shape. The car has a large space behind it, and it does not have glass windows, while two layers of scrap metal are welded together to make the doors.
Watch this intriguing video of the 17-year-old South African, as he builds a car from scrap metal. Isn’t that pure ingenious?
The fuel storage is also located in the front, near the engine. He used an old steering wheel, connected the wires with the engine, and secured it together. Obakeng installed three control buttons to start and stop the car, right in front of the steering. Also, he sourced the headlights from a scooter. The scrap metal was beaten in to give the car a proper structure. He then connected the gear of the car with the engine.
The teenager had posted photos of his work on his Facebook page, where people have admired his work and have written words of encouragement. The young innovator wants to build an entirely South African car one day, and we wish him all the best for that!