Last February, a man living in Melbourne, Australia sent out a single, cryptic tweet asking for 20 investors to fork over $500-$1,000 dollars for a new startup. Forty people responded and that was all the funding his project ever needed. The next thing he did, obviously, was buy over half a million Legos and ship them to Romania.
The man's name is Steve Sammartino and what he was doing with those Legos and investor dollars was building a life-sized, drivable car. Okay, technically speaking it was his 20-year-old Romanian partner, Raul Oaida doing the building, but Sammartino is taking the credit. Once in Oaida's hands, the blocks morphed into four working Lego-constructed engines, containing a total of 256 Lego pistons, all of which run on compressed air as fuel.
The rest of the car, except for the wheels and a few other load-bearing components, is also made of Legos. Resembling a classic hot rod, the car doesn't exactly burn rubber off the starting line, but it can top out at an impressive 20 miles per hour. That's pretty impressive for children's building blocks.
The working Lego car, also known as "Super Awesome Micro Project" now resides in an undisclosed suburban Mebourne address. As for those investors and their money, they've pretty much been separated permanently as the project's prospectus (PDF) promised a whopping zero financial return. Still, they get their name on the car's site and the pride in knowing that they helped create the first life-sized car to ever run on a Lego engine.