How a Mechanic Miraculously Escaped an African Desert by Building a Motorbike Out of His Broken-Down Car

In a Nutshell

Back in the nineties, a French electrician named Emile Leray embarked on an individual journey deep into the heart of Northern Africa. However, he was prematurely halted by a military intervention. Although, Leray decided to continue his journey by any means necessary, which led to him becoming stranded in the Moroccan desert. His survival instincts kicked in, and he turned his broken car into an operational motorbike, which took him back to safety.

The Whole Bushel

Typically, those who become isolated in a desert, miles away from civilization and medical help, tend to suffer a slow demise. The severe lack of water, materials, and food supply is almost an impossible survival mission. But, a French electrician, Emile Leray, proved otherwise when he defied the odds by making it out of a tricky situation.

He was originally heading for a region in Northern Africa, but a military guard which was securing an inaccessible area prevented him from going any further. Now, after getting so far into the trip, Leray didn’t want to just accept what was going on and go back home. Therefore, in his small Citroen 2CV, he made a diversion to try and reach his destination. Little did he know that the path he chose was not designed for a city vehicle.

After a short ride full of vibrations, bumps, and dips, he eventually careered into a substantial piece of rock. Expectedly, the car was no longer drivable, as both the swing arm and the wheel axle had both been destroyed in the collision. Leray did have some food and water, but it was only a very limited amount. Plus, the nearest village was 10-kilometers away, which was unfortunately not a walking distance.

He quickly came to the realization that he’d need to do something drastic, otherwise, he’d be in serious trouble. After making it through the night, he began an optimistic project to turn his broken-down car, into a DIY motorbike. First, he removed the body, shortened the chassis, and then fitted the axles and two wheels.

Following that, he managed to connect the engine, and then attached the gearbox to the center. It’s hard to believe that the motorbike actually operated, considering Leray had barely any tools to help him and it took him just twelve days. To connect parts, he’d just screw them instead of welding. To make holes, he’d weaken the area with a hacksaw, then attacked it with a hammer and punch.

Furthermore, the seat was constructed from the cars’ bumper. Luckily, he finished the project at the right time, as he only had half a liter of water remaining. So, he ended up driving the motorbike for a whole day and was then discovered by the Moroccan police. Crazily, he was fined for incorrect documents, as they stated he’d be driving a car, not a motorbike.

Emile Leray still has the bike to this very day, as it not only reminds him of the eventful experience all of those years ago but also of the Iron Man comparisons as well!