Life-size, road-going Lego roadster hits the bricks

It's the first law of Lego: You can build anything if you have enough bricks, enough time and enough imagination. After seven decades of toybuilding, adults now routinely make life-size contraptions using tiny bits of interconnecting plastic, from motorcycles to X-Wing Fighters that would make Luke Skywalker nostalgic.

But the vast majority of these supersized projects just sit there. Thanks to the ingenuity of an Australian entrepreneur and a Romanian builder, the world now has a new height in Lego achievement — an adult-size hot rod that doesn't just roll, but can move on its own power, with only 500,000 bricks required.

The idea, dubbed the Super Awesome Micro Project, was launched by Australian Steve Sommarito, who raised the money for building it from 40 donors. Built in Romania under the direction of Raul Oaida, 20, the car uses compressed air to turn 256 pistons in four rotary engines — all made of Legos. Total construction time: 18 months, for a cost of about $40,000.

Clearly the entire SAMP isn't Lego, as the toy company doesn't make rubber tires quite that big nor air pressure gauges and tanks. But it does work, an accomplishment Sommarito chalks up entirely to Oaida — who reached out to him randomly over LinkedIn, looking for a way to publicize a smaller project. As anyone who's ever finished a Lego project knows, it's all about finding the right way to fit the pieces together.