Cherthala: A bike's engine. Tyres from an auto and some GI sheet. Combine these with the expertise of Rakesh Babu and you have a car, that too a vintage Volkswagen Beetle that could cost lakhs of rupees.
Though it looks small, two people can comfortably travel in the car. It is high in mileage too - about 25 to 30 km per litre. The price tag is also tiny - Rs 40,000. The low-cost car was developed by Rakesh Babu (29), son of Suresh who is a skilled worker at Autocast in Cherthala.
The engine was taken from a Suzuki Samurai. GI sheet was used to build the body and the tyres came from an old Bajaj auto. Glasses were made from poly carbon. The GI sheet was cut in different shapes and sizes to build the chassis, petrol tank and gear box. The headlight too was borrowed from the auto. The bumper, wheels, steering wheel, seats and reverse gear took shape from Rakesh's own ideas.
Equipped with four forward gears and a reverse gear, the car can be switched on or kick started. Though the car looks like a Beetle, Rakesh had only seen the original in a photo.
Rakesh said that since he could not afford a car, he decided to build one. He took three months to make his dream come true. Earlier, he had made a jeep using the components of a bike. He is supported by mother Indu and wife Megha in his endeavours.