French electrician Emile Leray proved himself a bonified MacGyver turning his wrecked Citroen 2CV into a survival motorbike, when stranded in the Moroccan dessert.
A French electrician proved himself to be a bonified MacGyver by building a makeshift motorbike out of his wrecked car after becoming stranded in the Moroccan dessert.
Emile Leray, now 43, was driving his Citroen 2CV across the Afrian desert when he was stopped at a military outpost by the Royal Gendermerie – the Moroccan military, reports Oddity Central.
He was told the area was restricted and he couldn’t go through. Ignoring the request, he instead drove off at top speed into the rocky terrain of the restricted area, making sure the military officials weren’t following him, according to the site.Leray told the UK’s Sunday Times that he had travelled around Africa about 10 times so knew the region well. But before long, his he crashed the car into a rock, rendering it unable to drive.
“In Africa they call [THE CITROEN] the ‘Steel Camel’ because it goes everywhere – provided you drive it gently,” he told the paper. “I obviously was too rough because I broke it.”
The nearest village was 20 miles away and Leray didn’t want to risk making the trek on foot. He had several days’ worth of water and a hacksaw on him. He set to work taking apart the wrecked car and building a DIY motorbike from the car parts.
It took 12 days. When he finished he had a half liter of water left. He rode to the nearest village, according to various reports.
He used the body of the car as shelter during sandstorms. He shortened the car’s chassis and reattached the axles and two of the wheels, and installed the engine and gearbox in the middle.
The Frenchman’s extreme adventure happened in 1993, but wasn’t heavily publicized at the time, according to the Mail. The story was unearthed last month via Reddit and Leray shared new details about the experience to the Sunday Times on June 24.
“I put myself in what one calls survival mode. I ate less; I monitored my supplies of water and food to make them last as long as possible,” he told the paper.
Dubbed the “extreme mechanic” for the awesome feat, the 43-year-old now lives in Northwest France.