Car-themed furniture driving a new trend
Manama, February 23, 2014
From a bedside table made from a large car wheel to an entire bed made from a Volkswagen Beetle, unique furniture that started with one man's obsession with cars is creating a buzz in Bahrain.
Indian expat Surej Jacob, 50, has been obsessed with cars all his life and as he grew older he learnt how to take them apart and put them back together, reported the Gulf Daily News (GDN), our sister publication.
However, while most people give up their old bangers for scrap he decided to harvest their parts for use in other day-to-day settings.
"I've been a car enthusiast since I was a small boy, I was obsessed with cars and I've been playing around with vehicles for a long time," he told the GDN.
"When you have a car you can't repair and all you are left with are its parts I can't bear to throw it away, so I came up with the idea of making something from it.
"I discovered I can make all sorts of things from the remains of a car and its parts."
Using a large metal cutting machine, the businessman is able to slice cars from one end to the other, smooth down the edges and add rubber beading so they can be transformed into beds, desks, sideboards and other furniture.
Once he has tracked down the car and the parts he needs, the entire process takes about eight to 10 days.
"Some cars are much tougher than others to turn into the desired piece of furniture," said Jacob, who has a degree in commerce.
"For example, classic cars made before 1960 have much thicker metal than many of the cars you get today.
"They also have lots of curves and angles which make it harder to cut."
As well as beds made to order, with car lights that work as bedside lamps, he builds fish tanks into bed frames, coffee tables or kitchen units - and recently made a desk complete with a leather driver's chair from the back of a Chevrolet Corvette.
Launched last month, his handmade car-themed furniture is already proving popular among Bahrainis and American expats.
However, he admits to spending a lot of time rummaging through scrap yards to find the parts he needs.
"It is a lot of leg work to find the cars and parts I need and there is a lot of dirty work involved.
"I spend a lot of time in the middle of scrap yards these days trying to find what I need.
"I was recently asked to make a child's bed from a pink Volkswagen Beetle, but luckily I already had that in stock!"
Jacob is selling his innovative furniture through his business Matcon, which has been designing and manufacturing home cinemas in Bahrain and Saudi Arabia for the last six years.
He also plans to hold a workshop to teach people some of the skills he has acquired over the years, enabling them to make their own automobile furniture. - TradeArabia News Service