Artist constructs Mercedes-Benz V12 from wood, bone and fossils

After receiving a grant, artist Eric van Hove headed to Morocco to create the V12 Laraki.

In contrast to the exotic and high tech materials used increasingly under the hoods of most new cars, artist Eric van Hove was inspired by more natural, organic items when he created a replica of a 12-cylinder engine made entirely of items like wood, bones and fossils.

After receiving a grant for the project, van Hove headed to Morocco, where he enlisted the expertise of 35 local craftsmen to help him build a life-size replica of a Mercedes-Benz V12 engine.

van Hove started the project by taking apart a real Mercedes V12 and set to work recreating each one of the 465 parts, piece by piece. Held together with 660 cast copper bolts, the V12 Laraki is composed of, according to Colossal, 35 different materials, including 10 kinds of wood, mother of pearl, cow and goat bone, ammonite fossils, and black marble of Ouarzazate - to name just a few.

As one might expect, the V12 Laraki is not a functional engine but rather a piece of art meant for a gallery rather than an engine bay. While its parts are beautiful, they're not sturdy enough to withstand the stresses created by a real, running engine.

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