Sandy Sanderson’s Beer Can Automobiles

Sandy Sanderson is a resourceful New Zealand artist who uses empty soda and beer cans to create detailed models of famous automobiles.

England-born Sandy was trained as a draughtsman, but later became a Technology teacher and emigrated to far away New Zealand. Here he pursued his interest in building airplane, car and bike models, until the age of 40, when he joined a local band and started playing bass guitar. This made him change from building models to making electric string instruments.

Unfortunately, a bike accident shattered one of his wrists and his dream of retiring as a luthier. After surgery, he was still able to use his hand, ride a bike, but the sensitivity and fine control needed to play bass and follow his dream were gone. But it was during his recovery period that he discovered a new hobby – looking at some Coruba and Coke cans he remembered seeing some beautiful aircraft models made from aluminum cans, only they had the plain silvery side on the outside. This didn’t make any sense to him, as the whole point of using such a resource would be to show it to the world and celebrate it instead of hiding it.

He used those Coruba cans to make his first automobile, the Cooper Climax, and moved on to even more complex models. He tries to improve his technique with each CanCar model he creates, and plans to continue until there’s no more improvement to be made. Whens starting work, there are two things Sandy takes into consideration: the actual car and the cans he wants to use. Picking the car may seem easy, but it has to be something that can be recreated using flat panels single curvature panels, or a combination of the two. Most modern cars, like the new Mini or the VW Beetle have compound curves which makes them impossible to recreate in a realistic way. That’s why most of Sandy Sanderson’s CanCars are mostly antiques.

Sandy sells his beer and soda can vehicles on his website, Sandy’s CanCars,for prices between $800 and $2,000. DIY enthusiasts can also buy building plans for the cars, for just $10, and put them together in the comfort of their own home.











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