Smati Turtle: car made from scrap parts by Ghanian artisans and Dutch artists


I hate to break it to you, but the perfect car that meets all those criteria is a VW Beetle.

Mechanically simple, easy to fix, can run in any environment just about, and can modified with a rear bed.


I’m pretty sure that a VW Bug doesn’t meet the first item on the list:

“1. It is built in Suame Magazine, from locally crafted, refurbished and used parts from different brands of (discarded) cars”


These guys should hookup with the bush mechanics!


On the one hand I like the idea. A no frills easy to scrounge parts for vehicle that uses existing material ratherthan new bits and pieces. On the other I’m not sure what performance and reliability are like.

confused about how you run an engine designed to be controlled by ECU ‘mechanically’ but rock on !! wouldn’t mind them africa-izing & making more durable my suspension!

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Probably just me being over-sensitive, but the phrase “African concept car” gets my hackles up immediately. Because obviously Ghana = Africa

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Not sure what about that phrase ups your hackles.
Because Ghana isn’t populated by Carthaginians?


How do you feel about European cars? Wolfsburg = Europe?

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Well, sorry, “Former British Colony at the Gulf of Guinea Concept Car” simply doesn’t work for me. Doesn’t even make a cool acronym.

At the moment, Volkswagen ist made up of:
Bentley (Yes, Bentley. BMW bought Rolls Royce Motorcars, not to be confused with the guys who make the turbines.)
Volkswagen Nutzfahrzeuge (Lorries and stuff)
Porsche (Porsche tried to take over VW recently, but the scheme backfired and VW ended up controlling Porsche.)

That’s pretty much of Europe…


How hard would it have been to call it a Ghanian concept car though? Its like going to Argentina, building a train and talking about it in terms of being ‘all-american’: strictly true, but useless when talking about the guiding philosophy behind the design. And if we’re going to start labeling broadly, then wouldn’t this if be a European-African concept car as half of the team is Dutch?

I mentioned the oversensitive part, right?

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Yes, you did.

I guess whoever came up with the phrase was thinking along one of these lines:
1 It’s a concept that would not only work in Ghana, but on the whole continent
2 Calling it a European-African or Dutch-African concept has colonialistic undertones
(2.1 technically it’s The Netherlands)
(2.2 BTW, The Netherlands had colonies too)
3 There are more people who know what Africa ist than there are people who know what Ghana is
4 It just sounds cooler

[Yes, I’m actually sitting at my PC trying to get some work done, but procastrinating is so much easier…]

I hope it turns out better than the ill-conceived Africar project did. It does seem to have much more local sensibility to it. This could become the first practical open source automobile.

It would have been nice if you would have credited the source of this news:

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Thanks for the link!

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