By Henry Bodkin

WITH a cruising speed of 55mph, this wooden car is a carpentry project with a difference

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Videographer / director: Robert Nemeti
Producer: Crystal Chung, Nick Johnson
Editor: Jack Stevens

Car fanatic, Peter Szabo created 'Julia' a one-off wooden car

Created by Romanian Peter Szabo, the vehicle took more than 4,500 hours to build over three years and cost $20,000 in hard ash wood.

Szabo got the idea to build the car around three and half years ago while finishing another project

Nicknamed ‘Julia', the vehicle combines the retro lines and old school growl of a classic automobile with modern innovations such as tablet-controlled headlights and music.

Peter has combined traditional carpentry with modern technology

“After building a wooden carriage I said I wanted a bigger challenge,” said Peter.

Peter’s original design drawings took him a couple of days, he then spent a month making a 1 to 10 scale maquette

“It’s very rare to find a hard wood concept car of very good quality. It’s almost impossible to find it anywhere in the world.

Peter wanted to try and build something that was rare and this led him to build the hard wood concept car

“It was a hard time for me but also a happy time. It was a great happiness for me to build it.”

Julia became such a large project that after one year Peter was forced to build a bigger workshop because his current space was no longer fit for purpose.

Szabo built the car inside a workshop beside his home

Now complete, he likes nothing better than driving the unique car around his home village - and receiving admiring waves from his neighbours.

“The reaction of people makes me happy,” he said.

Peter said: “In Romania a lot of people work with their hands so people really appreciate a car built by hand”

“Here in Romania a lot of people work with their hands and they know that to build something with your hands is difficult. They appreciate it.”

The car was shown off to great acclaim at the Frankfurt Motor Show in September 2015

The car travels comfortably around the village at 50 or 60 mph, but Peter is confident Julia will achieve faster speeds once her is able to take her on the highway.

The car fanatic said: “My wife and our children are very proud of this car and of their father!”

And with Julia under his belt, Peter is already planning his next project – another wooden car with a ‘futuristic’ design and an electric engine.