Emile Leray was doing a solo trip in Morocco, in the distant year 1993. Circulating through the south of Morocco – then in armed conflict with the Western Sahara – he suffered an accident with his Citroën 2CV that prevented him from continuing on his way. Wanted to avoid a border post circulating field through and a stone finished with your luck. Only in the middle of the Sahara, built a bike improvised with the remains of his 2CV and saved his life. This is the amazing story of the known as a mechanic more end of the world.
A border problem that was about to end his life
The Citroën 2CV was considered to be in the Africa French “the camel of steel”, reliable and hard if it was treated properly.
Emile Leray was traveling in the south of Morocco alone with his Citroën 2CV. To leave the city of Tan Tan, was found a military patrol on the road, which will shut down the step to be an area controlled by the Polisario Front. Urged him to go back to so So, offering them to drive the car back. It was not common to see foreign travellers lonely in the area, and less with your own car. Leray suspected that he had ulterior motives in the kindness of the soldiers and gave a half-turn quickly.
Citing an issue of insurance not let him bring anyone else on board, Leray abandoned to the soldiers and set out to make a detour cross country to avoid the restricted zone. A stone hidden shattered the arm of the front suspension right, preventing the movement of the car. Leray was in a desert area by the that there was nothing and no one, too far to walk to any point in the civilized world, and with food/water for only about 10 days. He realized that he was in serious trouble.
the mouth of The fuel tank was used as a kickstand improvised for this particular bike.
Leray was then 43 years of age, after having lived in Mali it could be said that he had a doctorate in mechanical african, after working in various workshops in Bamako for years. After seeing that the fault had no possible solution with their tools – pliers, wrenches, wire, hammer, a short plate, a small hand saw and a screw – decided to build a bike with parts that are usable of his battered 2CV. A genius desperate that only a few years ago came to light in public.
The first thing he did was to separate the body from the chassis. With his socks became gloves improvised and used the car body to protect against the sand storms and take shelter from the freezing nights of the Sahara. The solutions that employed mr. Leray to build the bike that would lead you back to civilization leave McGyver to the height of the bitumen, I have no doubt. He shortened the chassis of the 2CV -reducing it to the central part only – and put the engine in the middle.
Leray retained the original registration of the Citroën 2CV to avoid problems with the border guards.
The front wheel was the only benefit of something of suspension, and the rear was in charge of propulsion. The engine was transmitting the force to the wheel in a similar way to the classic Vélosolex: the brake drum revolved directly on the tyre. The right wheel was locked with a belt so that the open differential convey all the force to the drive pulley. This solution allowed to run at a speed of about 20 km/h as a maximum, sufficient to achieve salvation.
Emile spent days and days bending pieces of metal, and uniendolos with the help of the screws provided. The seat of the bike is a piece of the bumper and coated in the plastic of the dashboard. The bike had no brakes and your exhaust was free. The controls were tedious and everything is desajustaba due to its artisanal nature, requiring you to perform a multitude of repairs improvised. Our protagonist fell several times on the bike while he was piloting, but at least managed to survive.
I Thought that it would take approximately 3 days to build it, but it actually took almost 12 days. For little is left without food and water.
When you only had half a litre of water was intercepted by an off-road military. The military does not believe the story until they found the remains of the 2CV, little more than the skeleton of your body. After being returned to the road, the police he got a fine for driving a different vehicle to the one described in the papers. Specifically, I got a ticket for “illegal importation of a vehicle”, and seized his machine. Emile returned to France and, after paying a sum of money, recovered his “bike” 3 months after.
Emile now lives in France and saved as gold cloth, the machine that saved her life.
Source: Daily Mail | Chameau d acier
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