Thembelani Zondo, popularly known from his Tiktok handle as Mrtech170 from Woodford Bergville, Kwazulu-Natal in South-Africa has manufactured a “Bugatti Shark” look alike from scratch using old materials he purchased from workshops, community members and old garages and then recycled. According to his interview with Daily Maverick, he expressed his love for experimenting with building new things from scratch since his Grade 4 which started with him building a small remote controlled car from wire; seeing the car grew his passion and love for cars and he knew then that he wanted to build a car that will fit a human being.
During the surge of Covid-19, Thembelani had to return home from school at Durban and subsequently did not resume. He decided to pursue his dreams of building a life sized car. In his interview with daily Maverick, he stated “leaving school was a blessing in disguise because it made me go back to my childhood dream to make a car that would fit a human being which I have done using the R350 social relief of distress grant and my hands”.
Thembelani started building his car in August 2021 and he documented the process on his Tiktok platform in a video he posted in August, 2023. When asked why he chose to replicate the Bugatti Shark he said it was because it was his favorite brand. In the conclusion of his earlier interview with daily maverick, he said “I need to complete the engine which I want to work on both fuel and electricity. I just want the car to start moving. Maybe then, the world will be convinced and I can be better placed in an institution that supports my dream of becoming an engineer”. However, four days ago on his Tiktok page he uploaded a video of the car in motion. In his comment section, a fan asked if he finally got an engine to which he replied “yes but something is missing, it has less power”.
The body of the car looks like it was constructed with cartons. Nevertheless, when he sat on it in one of his videos, it was not dented which rules out the possibility of the body being made with cartons.