I'd always thought the origin story of Iron Man was a bit far-fetched. No matter how smart Tony Stark is, it wouldn't really be possible to build something as complicated as the Iron Man suit "in a cave in the desert! From a box of scraps!" as we are repeatedly informed.
Well, it seems I was wrong. Apparently in 1993, a gentleman named Emile Leray, prevented from driving from Tan-tan to Tilemsem, Morocco due to a military blockade, decided to circumvent the blockade by driving his car through the desert, only to break down some tens of kilometers from Tan-tan. Like any sane desert driver, he had ample food and water on hand, so, not wanting to leave his gear to walk back to the city for fear of it being stolen in his absence, he chose instead to build a motorcycle from his car. In the desert. With a box of scraps.
Unlike Mr. Stark, he had no cave and no long-sleeved shirts, so he made sleeves out of a pair of socks to protect his arms against sunburn. He guessed the process would take him three days—it took him twelve.
His biggest problem: he had no welding equipment, so everything needed to be put together with screws, but he also had no drill, so he had to use as many original holes as possible. When creating new holes was unavoidable, he first needed to bend the metal, saw at its edge with a hacksaw, and then flatten it again.
The resulting bike had no muffler and no brakes, but it got Emile out of the desert.
Tony Stark, watch out. You've got competition!
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