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Monday 20 November 2017

Check out our starter motor! Cuban youths make pedal-powered Model T

Dany Gomez, centre, and friends show off his pedal-powered Model-T Ford replica in Havana (AP)
Dany Gomez, centre, and friends show off his pedal-powered Model-T Ford replica in Havana (AP)

It may be a rattle-heap but buying and running your first car marks a rite of passage for most teenagers, usually requiring a fill-up from the Bank of Mum and Dad, a friendly mechanic - and don't mention the insurance.

But high school pupils in Cuba, a country where few can contemplate, let alone afford, a car, decided to take banger-nomics to a new level and have built a replica of a Model T Ford - propelled with pedals instead of a petrol engine.

The teenagers painstakingly acquired and installed thousands of nuts, bolts and used car parts to complete their creation.

Transport is daunting for many Cubans, with old cars selling for an eye-watering £24,000-plus and new cars for more than £40,000.

Adding to their woes, the state-run bus system is overburdened and unreliable.

Dany Gomez, 18, was the mastermind behind the home-made pedal car, which will "leg" four people to nearby beaches and on to Havana's coastal Malecon boulevard at night.

It may not be perfect, but Dany says it allows him and his friends to get around - and get some exercise too.

AP

Press Association

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