Homeless man builds his own junkyard car

A homeless Brazilian man set out to build the car he couldn’t afford with nothing more than a hammer, a chisel, junk and spare parts.

"Nobody believed, everybody laughed at me," said Orismar de Souza. “I was very humbled by this, but I won and I built my car alone with my own hands."

After four years of panhandling in the Brazilian city of Sao Jose de Piranha, Souza managed to raise an initial $270 for sheet metal which he painfully cut into shape using a borrowed hammer and chisel. He later scrounged for car parts across the city junkyards and even found a working 125cc motorcycle engine.

Souza had no experience working with metal or car mechanics and almost gave up several times when the work became too difficult with no regular food or shelter to sustain him.

In the end, Souza was able to replace the motorcycle kickstart system with a makeshift car ignition and even added a gearbox with reverse.

The ‘shrimpmobile’ as it is affectionately called, can reach up to 80km/h and has helped Souza find a home and job in the local sugarcane fields.

His next goal is to build a garage for his beloved car.

In the market for a new car? Check out Australia's Best Value Cars.

Sign up here to receive the latest round-up of Wheels news, reviews and video highlights straight to your inbox each week.

Want free access to 5 years of Wheels archive content? Sign up now!