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Russian Man Makes a Driveable Mercedes-Benz G-Wagen Out of Ice in Siberia

Ice, Ice, Baby.

A true automotive enthusiast won’t let circumstances come between themselves and their passion. Such is the story of a Russian man in Siberia named Vladislac Barashenko, who decided to build himself a running, driving copy of a Mercedes-Benz G-Wagen out of the most plentiful resource around him: Ice.

Barashenko owns a custom car shop called Garage 54 in the city of Novosibirsk, a large urban enclave nestled on the banks of the Ob River in central Russia. With an average high of just 10 degrees Fahrenheit (-12 degrees Celsius) in January, there’s plenty of ice to go around, and Barashenko decided to take advantage of that and create his own unique version of Daimler’s iconic off-roader.

YouTube | Garage 54

Of course, an internal combustion engine demands something a little more melt-proof than ice, which is also famously lousy for things like tires and suspension systems. So Barashenko got ahold of an old UAZ 469—a Soviet Jeep Wrangler, basically—and stripped it down to the chassis and running gear to create a blank canvas. With the help of a steel frame to help hold everything together, he and his team attached six tons of carefully-sculpted ice blocks made from “pure frozen Siberian water,” according to a local news report.

And the seats and steering wheel inside aren’t just for show. Despite weighing as much as an woolly mammoth, the icy G-Wagen (Gelïcedewagen?) actually runs and drives, as seen in this YouTube video the garage made to show it off. The whole thing is in Russian, but you can skip ahead to six minutes in to see the ice truck romp through the snow. Be sure not to miss the psychedelic light show as well.