The idea behind Garage 54's latest contraption sprang from an offhand comment. One of their friends remarked that the group was so clever if they were thrown into a forest, they would drive out in a car. This led the team to wonder if they could build a car out of logs.
Known for their Lada abuse, the Garage 54 team has built some truly oddball creations. They made an engine run on half gas and half diesel, modified a car with true four-wheel steering, and built a snow removal system that shook the whole car. They seem to have no shortage of junk cars and auto parts lying around to aid in their mad scientist experiments.
Starting with a pile of spare parts, including an engine, transmission, axels, and wheels, the team begins assembling a car in a forest. They build a frame out of logs, using the larger diameter ones for frame rails and smaller diameter logs for traverse beams. The front axle is a solid wood log with upper and lower control arms lashed to it with steel wire. Before long, they have a rolling chassis.
From there, they are able to mount the engine and transmission, connecting the driveshaft to the rear wheels. A steering rack allows them to steer the car normally. Up to this point, the subframe for the steering assembly presented the biggest challenge because it slid around, making the chassis hard to steer. However the team is able to engineer a fix using extra logs and more than a little steel wire.
The next day, Garage 54 installs a driver's seat, shifter, and a two-pedal arrangement for the gas and clutch. Braking is managed with a hand lever as opposed to modern hydraulics. Test-driving the vehicle, they discover the log car produces wheelspin. It may not drift like an LS-swapped BMW E36, but the potential is there nonetheless.
Looking like an oversized gocart or something the Flintstones would drive, the log car catches people's attention. Two boys look on in amazement before chasing after it. Other people stopped the Garage 54 team to ask questions and pose for photos. Everywhere it went, it drew people like a supercar.