Real-Life Tony Stark?

Frenchman Turns His Broken Down Car Into a Motorcycle To Escape the Desert

As a kid I was always fascinated with super heroes, who wouldn’t be? Just recently there was this Mr. Iron Man a.k.a Tony Stark whose origin I’d always thought was a bit far-fetched. No matter how smart Tony Stark was, it wouldn’t really be possible to build a prototype of the Iron Man suit in a cave in the middle of no man’s land as was shown in Robert Downing Jr’s blockbuster ‘Iron Man.’

I must admit that I was wrong. Apparently in 1993, a gentleman named Emile Leray was prevented from driving from Tan-tan to Tilemsem, Morocco due to military blockade. So he decided to change his route by navigating his car through the desert, only to break down some ten kilometers from Tan-tan.

And – get this – not wanting to leave his gear to walk back to the city for fear of it being stolen in his absence, he chose instead to build a motorcycle from his car. In the desert! With a box of scraps!!

His biggest problem: he had no welding equipment, so everything needed to be put together with screws. He also had no drill, so he had to use as many original holes as possible. Creating new holes was unavoidable, he first needed to bend the metal, saw at its edge with a hacksaw, and then flatten it again. There was one little ray of hope for him though, he had ample food and water supply with him. The resulting bike had no muffler and no brakes, it had no physical presence you associate with today’s motorcycles but it got Emile out of the desert.

Now we think we know the answer about Tony Stark’s inspiration for the Iron Man suit.

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