We can thank the Internet for bringing Steve Sammartino and Raul Oaida together, though we’re not sure what made them think — correctly — that the world needed a zero-emissions Lego hot rod. Though they had an idea, they didn’t have much cash, so Sammartino fired off a tweet seeking $500 to $1,000 for an unexplained project. He said they needed about 20 people to make it happen and, amazingly, got them. Sammartino sent out , and within days they had their cash. Then the build began.
Lego (the company) offered bricks valued at $60,000 at a discounted price, but were not official sponsors. “It’s not a Lego project but a project about technology and bringing together people from lands afar,” said Sammartino. The Lego hot rod is .
It was inevitable, really. We’ve blogged hot rods and a full size LEGO car before and British LEGO-Technic enthusiast built a large enough to carry a person a while ago (which we sadly neglected to blog at the time), but now there’s an actual full-size drivable LEGO hot rod, large enough to carry two people. This crazy contraption was built by Australian Steve Sammartino and Raul Oaida, from Romania.
The most exciting part of the Lego hot rod, of course, is the engine — which, rather miraculously, appears to be fashioned entirely out of Lego. There don’t seem to be many technical details, other than it consists of four separate orbital engines, each equipped with 64 cylinders and pistons. Without seeing inside the engine there’s a bit of a question mark over the “orbital” label — orbital engines, which were invented in 1972, are an odd type of engine that, as far as we know, never really got past the prototype stage. It is more likely that the Super Awesome Micro Project is actually powered by a radial engine (and indeed, it looks like a radial engine). In a radial engine, the pistons all work in concert to drive a central crank shaft. Somewhere out of sight is a canister of compressed air that drives each of the 256 pistons.
LEGO Technic Hot Rod (42022)