Ukrainians created world’s first wooden racing car using no electronics

Ukrainian start-up “Ugears” has created the world’s first mechanical 3D- puzzle moving wooden sports car that uses no electronics, named the “U-9 Grand Prix Sport Car”. The design of the model is based on the technology of the Golden age of the automobile industry at the beginning of the XX century. The car is using UGears signature “know how” that allows implementing assembly without glue or any additional tools. 

"Most people like novelty, which makes electric cars quite popular. Although, we decided to address the roots instead”, - said Oleksii Zabolotnii, Ugears designer, in his interview the "NewWest Media".

Realising his idea to make a special focus on the engine, the designer put a real eight-cylinder V-engine with fully functional valves under the hood of his creation. The car is equipped with a transmission switching the modes between forward, reverse, and idle. The rubberized wheels of the model ensure smooth running. The car accelerates rapidly and has a long driving range – wind it up completely, and it covers up to 10 meters. 

Mechanical Model U-9 Grand Prix Car

 "The engine and the valves are fully articulated – as well as the steering wheel. To wind it up you use the hand crank in its front”, - Oleksii explained while demonstrating the new model’s performance capabilities.

The design of the U-9 Grand Prix Sport Car is based on racing-sports cars that participated in the early Grand Prix races that had taken place in Italy and Monaco. Those were American and Italian automobiles. A century ago, the motor racing culture was at its very dawn, but modern automobile manufacturers employ innovations and engineering designs of that time even nowadays.

The first Italian Grand Prix was held in Montichiari, near Brescia, on the 4th of September, 1921. Later, when the construction of the Monza autodrome was completed, car competitions moved to the new premises. In was during the Italian Grand Prix of 1950, in the 7 of 7 race, when the first ever Formula One World Champion won his historic race. Since that time, the Italian Grand Prix has become an essential part of every Formula One season.

 Wooden self-propelled puzzle of Racing Car: U-9 Grand Prix

“One of the reasons we created this model is to remind people about the history of mechanics and the automobile industry. Grand Prix racing had been there long before Formula One. And if you want to know, Ferrari started with an Alpha Romeo that took part in that first ever motor race, one hundred years ago. At that time it had 6 inline valves and 2 turbo fans,” – the designer said.

Being passionate about automobiles since childhood, Oleksii became determined to materialise centenary traditions in his new wooden creation. 

“Ever since I was a child, I was fond of cars. To me, the automobile is much more than merely a vehicle that takes you from A to B. Figuring out all the peculiarities was not a burden to me”, – Oleksii explained.

 Model kit U-9 Grand Prix Car

It took Oleksii over 2 months to develop the original concept. He studied every type and all the technical characteristics of the engines of the early XX century cars. 

At first, he created a 3D model and transferred the technical drawing to paper and only after that moved on to working with wooden materials.

Oleksii said that the main challenge was to work around the uniform thickness of the details. Since the plywood used for the models has a standard thickness, he had to be very precise calculating the load to make sure that all parts will be put together during assembly and the car’s mechanism will work fine.

The U-9 Grand Prix Sport Car – just like the rest of Ugears’ models – assembles from plywood puzzle pieces, none of which need to be glued together. The model kit box includes a detailed assembly manual.

U-9 Grand Prix Car in a box 



UGEARS model U-9 Grand Prix Car

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