This Guy Turned His Citroen 2CV Into a Motorcycle After it Was Totalled in the Desert

He rigged this thing together in 1993 and it still works today.

YouTube / Great Big Story

An obliterated front axle and a ruined chassis didn’t stop French engineer Emile Leray from getting home when his Citroën 2CV hit a big rock in the Moroccan desert.

“In 1993, I went to Morocco; it’s a country I know well that I’ve been to many times,” Leray told Great Big Story (in French) in the video below. “The problem came in a little village called Tilemsen, where the military stopped me. So, the military demanded that I stop at this road and return to Tan-Tan. I didn’t do that—I pretended to return towards Tan-Tan. I went several kilometers, but unfortunately, I hit a rock and I destroyed the front axle and destroyed the chassis.” The closest town was about 20 miles away.

The process of rescuing himself began by removing the body of the car and using it as a little house. Then he shortened the frame, fixed the axles, and put three of the wheels on his new invention. He crafted a seat, put the engine in front of it, put some suspension on the rear wheel, and rigged the ignition to the handlebar. He ended up spending 12 days and 11 nights in the desert until his creation was complete.

But riding home wasn’t easy, and it wasn’t because of mechanical issues. On the road to Tan-Tan, some cops stopped him and slapped him with a 4,550 dirham (450 euro) fine because the “vehicle didn’t conform to the specifications of the Deux Chevaux (Citroën 2CV).”

He eventually rode the thing back home to France all the way from Morocco and he still has it. It lives with his other Frankenstein Citroëns like a boat, a rugby ball, a table saw, and goggles made out of the rubber from a Citroën seat.

“You can make a lot of things,” said Leray, “the only thing I am missing is an airplane.”