Video: An engineer built a motorcycle from a the desert

Picture this: You’re driving through the Moroccan desert in your car when it strikes a rock and breaks, miles from civilisation, you have only basic tools and supplies, what do you do to survive?

In 1993, this became reality for Frenchman Emile Leray. Stranded in the desert he decided to convert his broken Citroen 2CV into a motorcycle.


Faced with an axle that was destroyed and food supplies disappearing, Emile was forced to deal with a tricky situation.

“The problem started in a little village called Tilemsen, where the military stopped me and demanded that I return to Tan-Tan,” states Emile in the video. “I didn’t do that – I pretended to return towards Tan-Tan. I went several kilometres but unfortunately, I hit a rock, destroyed the front axle and destroyed the chassis.”

Citroen 2CV motorcycle

Using the shell of the car for shelter, he lived in the desert for 12 days while he built the motorcycle using the remaining parts of the vehicle, before successfully heading back to Tan-Tan, alive and well aboard his new motorcycle. 

It’s not the first time the eccentric engineer has constructed a bizarre creation from a 2CV either – one of his other inventions include a boat that has also been fashioned from the French car. And you’ll be glad to know, the boat wasn’t made because he was stranded on a lake. 

Still, his ingenuity has left us speechless. Emile, we salute you!

Looking for the perfect two-wheeled companion? Visit MCN Bikes For Sale website or use MCN’s Bikes For Sale App.

James Archibald

By James Archibald

Former MCN Junior Web Producer