Interwoven horsepower

Splinter in North Carolina, USA by Joe Harmon Design

“WOODIES” ARE CARS with wooden bodywork. Many major car makers – including Ford, Pontiac and Nash – made such vehicles back in the 30s and 40s. But American designer Joe Harmon and his life’s work Splinter are something else: a muscle car where just about everything, including the chassis, steering and wheels, are made from epoxy laminated wood. It took over five years to make all the parts and assemble the car.

The materials are sliced veneers of cherry, mahogany, walnut and oak. The bodywork is a marvel to behold: regular veneers refuse to be pressed into such sharp curves. Instead, Harmon developed a method where thin strips of cherry veneer were woven together to form a kind of organic carbon fibre fabric. And to do this he used an ordinary weaver’s loom.

“Wood allows you to create fantastic structures while also doing something good for the environment,” says Joe Harmon.

Under the hood sits a seven-litre V8. Not quite so eco-friendly, but it rumbles so beautifully.«


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