First Wooden Supercar

It's curious how people can be passionate about the most extraordinary things.


Such is the case with Joe Harmon, a designer and builder from North Carolina, who spent 9 years of his life building a wooden supercar, putting in roughly 20,000 hours into the process. Harmon says that he was inspired by a WWII airplane called Havilland Mosquito, nicknamed "Wooden Wonder." 


The car, appropriately named Splinter, is estimated to be 90% wood. It was first devised as a graduate project for school and then took on an all-consuming life of its own. But hey, if you're into that sort of thing, and have lots of time and sandpaper, why not? It certainly looks fabulous.


Joe says "wood is our only naturally renewable building material, it is biodegradable and takes a small amount of energy to produce." The car contains about 20 different types of wood: walnut, cherry, maple, birch, ash, walnut, you name it, it's probably in there somewhere. He points out that wood actually has a better weight to strength ratio than steel and aluminum.


Joe reports that the vehicle is hot, clunky, and uncomfortable. You can't really see what's behind you; actually, you can't even see what's in front of you properly. But, what the heck, it's sleek, looks great and has a 650 HP engine (that's not made from wood).

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