NMIT students create pushmi-pullyu car

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Take two clapped out small cars. Back them up, bumper to bumper. Cut each in half and then weld them together.

What have you got?

For one thing a unique project for Nelson Marlborough Institute of Technology’s automotive trades and engineering and construction students.

And, for another, a double-fronted Mazda that isn’t sure if it’s coming or going.

The eccentric hybrid – with two engines, two gearboxes (and two drivers) – is the brainchild of tutors Steve McIntyre and Andy Woolley.

Steve says the unusual vehicle is a way of attracting the interest of school leavers in a trade’s career.

“If we go to schools to talk about a career and do, say a wheel change exercise it’s all ‘so what’ for the kids. We need something more exciting.

“If we can take this car along to school, kids will go, wow and talk about it to their parents”.

That may lead to interest in a career as an automotive or mechanical engineer or in construction.

Steve and Andy have fused the two Mazdas together with the enthusiastic involvement of their students.

Steve McIntyre says the car can be driven in each direction and – with sets of wheels facing in opposite directions – is capable of a few tricks, like driving down the road like a crab.

Steve – a man who is now planning a V8 chainsaw – says the car should be promotional value for the trades programme and NMIT in general.

The final look of the car isn’t certain. If the tutors can find a paint and panel shop that wants to be involved, the dual “Mazdadzam” may end up in smart new livery.