Meet Splinter: A Supercar Built Almost Entirely of Wood

It’s fast. It’s sharp. It’s highly flammable.

By The Editors
December 14, 2015 9:00 am

Using wood on the interior of a car is a sign of class.

Using wood for the exterior is usually a sign your car was last used when most folks were still being carted about town by horses.

Unless you’re talking about Splinter by Joe Harmon Design, a supercar made almost entirely of wood.

“Wood,” says Harmon, “has high-performance capabilities … a higher strength-to-weight ratio than aluminum, steel or carbon fiber.” It took him and his team two years of work to make the car, a Lambo-esque rear-engine two-seater paneled in 90% wood. Each panel is made of thousands of sheets of wafer-thin veneer glued together with epoxy, polyvinyl acetate and a host of other industrial adhesives. They also literally reinvented the wheel by building it with 32 layers of rotary-cut oak veneer. Each spoke can handle 6,000 pounds before snapping.

Splinter, the First Wooden Car2:24

In the back: a 700 horsepower Chevrolet L57 engine raised higher within the frame so that the car’s ventilation system can keep it cool and prevent the whole operation from igniting as it hits speeds of up to 240 mph. It’s almost completely biodegradable.

Future cars built using antiquated materials: one of the great ironies, that wood be.

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