Finely crafted hot rods, buggies, and race cars made entirely from aluminum
Sandy Sanderson was born in England and trained as a draughtsman before emigrating to New Zealand as a technology teacher. These days he spends his time creating exquisite model cars made entirely from aluminum cans. Available in all shapes and sizes, each of the models takes upwards of 40 hours to make.
Even though Sandy’s original intention was to retire from teaching and carry on full time as a luthier, a motorbike accident put him out of action and did some serious damage to one of his hands. As he explains on his website: “The great news is that I can still ride the bike and do stuff like that. The not so great news is that I have lost the sensitivity, fine control, and strength that was there previously. No more working with woodworking power tools!”
From there he decided to take a long hard look at the Coruba and Cola cans that were put aside as recycling. Aware that people had already used drink cans to create model aircraft, Sandy questioned the logic of having plain aluminum from the inside of the can on the outside of the model. “This defeats the purpose of using the drinks can as far as I am concerned,” he says. “You want everyone who looks to be able to see instantly what your basic resource was. Celebrate the fact, don’t hide it!”
As you can see from the pictures, Sandy has been hard at work creating all sorts of different aluminum models. Along the way he has figured what works and what doesn’t, making sure that he learns from his mistakes and forges onwards. “Indeed, each subsequent car has been an improvement upon the last, and until that stops happening, I’ll keep going,” says the aluminum alchemist.
Anyone with an interest in building their own beer can model car can buy a set of plans for $10. Those who appreciate the art, but lack the creative chops also have the option to buy one of the finished products. As an example of price, the buggy shown below is made from 30 cans and costs $2000 to buy.
Images by Sandy Sanderson