How hard could it be to build a motorcycle out of Meccano toys and then drive it around Britain’s Isle of Man?
Well, Top Gear’s James May is going to try and find out.
When not producing the world’s best motoring show, Mr. May hosts a series called Toy Stories that builds incredible things from toys as well as exploring their histories. Last year the folks at Toy Stories built a functioning bridge out of Meccano for their Christmas Special. This year they are even more ambitious.
For those of you who don’t know – in fact I had to look it up myself – Meccano is actually the original name for “Erector Set” and the ones we get in the U.S. are actually made my Meccano of France. The more you know!
The motorcycle is built entirely from the toy, including, it seems, the propulsion. This is particularly impressive when you consider that the bike and sidecar must be able to carry two adults at speeds of 15 mph over a 37-mile course. In fact the course is the same TT course that motorcycle GT races are held on. That means that the toy motorbike has got to be able to handle steep hills and tough turns.
Fortunately for May and his head engineer Simon Oakley, they aren’t trying to make the trip in one go. According to ToyNews, May plans to make the trip over three days. Presumably, they went with an extended because the basic mechanical drive will need to be wound up, or something similar, fairly frequently.
We won’t know whether or not May and the Meccano bike managed its trip around the Isle of Man until the special airs this Christmas. But given Top Gear‘s history of challenges, I am not all that optimistic.