Interstyl Hustler Is The Quirky Wood Kit Car You’ve Never Heard Of

Wood is not what you would call a popular material for building cars. It’s been used on occasion by mainstream auto makers, especially with American companies in the late 1940s, and of course there’s Morgan. The point is that wood is usually relegated to certain sections of the vehicle car. This crazy kit car creation pushes the concept a step further.

It’s called the Hustler, and yes, the whole body is marine plywood. We’re not talking about wood panels on a metal unibody either – everything from the wheels is wood. This includes the dashboard, pillars, floor, and even small items like the shift knob. The same goes under the hood, where you’ll find wooden interior fenders, a wooden core support, and a wooden firewall. In the unfortunate event of a collision, this car doesn’t really have any crumple zones, but rather, shine areas.

It is not entirely wood, however. The underside is fiberglass and uses front and rear subframes from a Mini. In fact, most of the mechanical components come from a Mini, not to mention the steering wheel and dashboard. The headlights are from a Hillman Hunter, the taillights from a Triumph Dolomite, but a few other components such as the exterior mirrors are not identified.

As you browse the exterior of this car, you might notice an eerie resemblance to the Aston Martin Lagonda, especially up front. This is because both vehicles were designed by famous designer William Towns around the same time. Towns created the Hustler as a concept in 1978, then began offering them for sale in 1979. Wood wasn’t the only option for buyers, but it’s clearly the most attractive of the bunch. It is believed that 500 kits were eventually sold through Towns’ Interstyl Design studio which he set up after leaving Aston Martin.

This is a 1982 model, and the person who built it was a fairly skilled carpenter. According to the video of mad on YouTube, the wood kit was not supplied with pre-cut pieces of wood but with plans. The doors are actually just large sections of sliding glass that fit into the wooden bodywork, and this car even has wooden luggage rails for the roof. It can accommodate two in the front and two more booster seats are located in the rear. It would drive like a Mini – albeit with a bit more noise and vibration – and it gets a lot of attention.

Of the 500 Hustler kits sold, we don’t know how many were for timber construction. Plus, with the wooden body being essentially custom-made for every Hustler kit sold with blueprints, this early 1980s relic is technically the only one of its kind.

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