so what is impossible ? a wooden car from America ?
Nothing is impossible !
The idea behind making Splinter is to make a high performance super car from the composites of woodat the maximum extent. Chassis, body, wheels and a large proportion of suspension are also made of wood. The available specs are like this,
Engine: 4.3liter turbocharged V8
Now, the striking question is about the practicality of the car. Will it be able to hit the roads? The designer Joe Harmon and Team Splinter said:
“Our goal is to explore materials, learn, teach, share ideas, and stimulate creativity”
So, the practicality is yet another issue, but the design is inspiring ,and the fact that it is done in a wood shop makes it pretty unique and impressive. Even if it is not functional, the design is as beautiful as any supercar out there. Considering that how many small companies have made ugly looking supercars or prototypes, They deserve appreciation!!
Harmon not only made the car, he had to make the machines that wove the veneers into a kind of cloth that was then shaped and laminated.
Joe Harmon of Mooresville has spent the past two years perfecting a sports car, and it still isn't finished.
Yet even without its heavily modified Cadillac engine in place, the so-called Splinter is still a marvel, because it's made of molded wood.
Yes, a wooden car.
The Splinter is expected to be the big curiosity
The Splinter is expected to be the big curiosity piece this weekend at Lowe's Motor Speedway, during the Food Lion AutoFair.
“People who see it often think it's painted to look like wood,” said Harmon, 28, who is already braced for the inevitable Pinewood Derby punch lines. “You'd be amazed how many exterminators go to auto shows. They leave off their business cards and ask if I've got termite insurance. It was funny the first 100 times.”
There is no pine in the car. However, there are 20 types of tree represented, but not by any single board. Instead, Harmon built the car from wood veneers, which he used to weave into a kind of cloth that was shaped and laminated. Non-wooden parts include the windshield, tires, bolts, and the motor, which is aluminum. However, everything else grew out of the dirt, including woven cane seat covers and wood spokes of rotary-cut oak veneer, with walnut and ash accents.
The obvious question, of course, is why? And Harmon has a lot of answers, including a point he was trying to make about how the world's greatest renewable resource could be better put to better use by the environmentally unfriendly auto industry.
However, the truth of the matter is, the Splinter is a very complicated, very flashy graduate-school project Harmon did to earn an industrial design degree from N.C. State.
He passed – even without the engine installed – and got his degree in December.
The ink on the diploma was still wet when he was offered a job at Mooresville-based Corvid Technologies, a company that solves complex engineering problems for the Department of Defense, including work on new types of sniper rounds and armor defense.
Corvid President David Robinson says the company's staff first heard of the Splinter from a magazine article. But it wasn't the car that got their attention, he says: It was the idea that Harmon didn't let the impossibility of his task get in the way.
“He did everything necessary to build a car, including creating machines that didn't exist, like a loom to weave the wood,” says Robinson. “We find that kids coming out of college can do what we tell them, but they get stuck easily. He doesn't get stuck. He finds a way.”
That includes finding a way to pay for the car. Harmon persuaded his dad, Charleston pathologist Joe Harmon, to cover part of the cost. Then he lined up sponsors in the wood, glue and coating industry to come up with the rest. In return, Harmon promised to have the body ready to unveil at an Atlanta car show last August. He made that deadline, but it took working every day for a solid year.
His inspiration came from the World War II de Havilland Mosquito, a British twin-engine fighter built entirely from birch, balsa and other woods. “I figured that if England could build a 415-mph airplane 70 years ago out of laminated plywood and primitive glue, then I should be able to use modern technology to create a 200-mph automobile.”
The end result is a flashy, two-seater that will have a 4.6-liter, 700-horsepower, Northstar V-8 engine, but no ash tray.
No cup holders, either.
It should be finished next year, he says.
“It will be loud and bumpy, but real fast, and a lot of fun.”
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