What will you do when your car break down in the middle of a desert and there is nobody to help you?

Well, you'll panic, worry a lot try different ways to send an sos message etc etc..right? But this guy, turns out to be his own fairy Godmother. without wasting time panicking, he just turned his Citroen into a whole new motor cycle! Simple!


No, it wasn't that simple says Emile Leray, the mechanical magician who survived from a desert wreck all alone. Pretty unbelievable stuff, only it turned out to be absolutely 100% true. Though this incident took place 20 years ago and it was featured in brief on French television in the 1990s but the news was brought back into light after appearing in a motoring website.

Emile Leray, a Frenchman has traveled through many deserts at various points in his life, due to the kind of projects he undertakes. Back in 1993, his project required him to travel across a Moroccan desert. Being a Frenchman, Emile preferred to travel in a Peugeot or a Renault, most of the times. For this project, Emile chose to travel in his Citroen 2CV. Emile started his journey with 40 liters of fuel (apart from a full tank), water, food (dates and oranges), toolbox, and folding metal shutters which will act as sand plates in the desert heat.


His car broke down in the middle of the desert, tens of kilometers from the nearest settlement. To survive, the French MacGyver created a motorcycle out of parts of his broken down car.


After crossing first check point, Emile countered some military officials who asked him to abandon his project and turn back. The reason, recently a conflict had erupted amongst Sahrawi (people of Sahara desert) and Moroccan authorities, because of which it was unsafe to pass the region.

Unwilling to return, Emile decided to continue with his journey by taking a longer route around the conflict area. After a certain point, Emile faced another obstruction, this time it was more serious. Traveling through a bumpy terrain, Emily lost control of his car which bumped a little higher than it should have and landed on a rock, breaking frame arm and bending front wheel.


The Citroen’s swing arm and wheel axle were broken, and Leray knew he wasn't going to be driving it anywhere, anytime soon. He had food and water to last him about ten days, but the nearest human settlement was too far for him to reach on foot.

But then, what if Emile failed to find a village or even if he did, what are the chances of him tracking his way back to the same place where his car is stranded.

The French adventurer decided his only chance of survival was to construct a working vehicle from the parts of his broken-down Citroen 2CV.


Having patience, time and a toolbox at his disposal, Emile started working towards developing a motorcycle from a broken car in the middle of world’s largest desert.

He starts dismantling his Citroen, by removing the body or the car frame , which he then uses as shelter against the sandstorms. Working under the scorching sun in a shirt with short sleeves, he makes his own sleeves out of a pair of socks, and keeps tinkering on his Mad Max-style creation.


It seems almost impossible for someone to build a motorcycle in the middle of the desert, with just a few basic tools, and no drills, blowtorches or welding equipment. But Emile Leray created his two-wheeler only by screwing the parts together. To make the needed holes, he bent the pieces of metal to a 90 degree angle and weakened the thinner areas using a hacksaw or a round file, puncturing them with the hammer and punch. To stay within the law as possible, Emile Leray completes the back of the bike by attaching a license plate of his 2CV.

After surviving 12 days in the hot and cold weather of desert along with some sandstorms, he was ready to go back to civilization. Emile had created a motorcycle which would run on gas and save his life.

That was 25 years ago. Leray gets the MacGyver Award for that year, and every year thereafter, as nobody has done something quite so badass since then, except in movies.


The insanity of this creation couldn’t be better expressed than in the episode of Mythbusters, where they tried to recreate his process.


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