The MotorPunk mancave is an excellent place to tinker, and when there’s not a scabby old Alfa Romeo to fix, or MX-5 to fettle, my creativity needs another outlet. I am a bit of a hoarder. From my own childhood toys, to drunken eBay purchases, junk shop relics and scrapyard treasures, I stack them up in the mancave – and occasionally I get the urge to turn it into something vaguely useful. Here are a few recent creations. If you like the look of any of these, drop me an email (rich at and I’d be happy to knock up something similar when time allows.

“You’re only supposed to blow the bloody doors off!”

Four old Minis; A Cooper S, something badly painted in gold, a Traveller with a roofrack and a van sans tyres (but retains it original plastic aerial). Mounting these on their sides was tricky but I love the uniformity of them. The Traveller has a number handwritten on the bonnet (not visible in the pic), I bet these were all pressed into racing duties on someone’s carpet back in the ’70s. These are all happily knackered and look great in a simple boxframe with on a plain white card backdrop. Is there anything cooler than an old Mini?

“Lots of trouble, usually serious #1”

Fifteen almost-identical Corgi Lotus Esprits, mounted in a white boxframe, on a backdrop of adverts for new Esprits in the classifieds of c.1989 Autosport magazines. They look identical until you look very closely, and see they’ve all been handled differently, some with wonky fins, others with missing 007 decals. The one thing they all have in common, though, is that the red plastic torpedoes are missing. They’re glued onto tiny metal screws, fixed into a wooden backboard, which is covered with the adverts. I wanted an Esprit back then and I still want one now.

“Stuttgart standard lamp #2”

I owned a Porsche. Once. And when it went I hung onto some old spares just in case. Then the realisation dawned than I won’t be getting another and I ought to have a clear out. This is the frame of a 1986 Porsche 944 headlamp, mounted with the lamp, and a gentle white LED bulb housed inside the casing. A very neat fit. The stand is a kind of pewter colour, it’s an 1980s German camera tripod from a company called Biloret who made famously high-quality kit back then. The chromed ‘neck’ of the lamp is adjustable, there’s a thumbscrew on the back so it can be tilted. The legs are all adjustable for height and have a kind of spike on the bottom. It’s best stood on a carpet, or with rubber feet adding for slippery floors, I would say. I love the oxidisation on the skeletal frame behind the lamp, and the chromed mechanism of the tripod.

“Lots of trouble, usually serious #2”

I made this one for a friend. Similar to #1, it’s five almost-identical Esprits, fixed in a white wooden, boxframe, set against a backdrop of old Lotus adverts from the ’80s. Finance for your Excel? No problem!

“Daphne does Revival”

I bought Daphne from an antique shop in Oakham. She has a lovely face. There was a stag with her as well, but he had a properly pissed-off expression, which, to be fair, is understandable considering he’d been shot for fun. Anyway, Daphne became a bit of a coat-hanger of sorts and ended up wearing a genuine Goodwood press pass and a rather battered old brass instrument I used to annoy PPI cold callers with.

“Stuttgart standard lamp #1”

The headlamp is in it’s casing this time, guards red, from a 944 Turbo, I believe. There’s a conventional bulb fitted inside. It sits on a new (but looks old) wooden tripod with legs adjustable with brass-coloured wingnuts. There’s a leather strap on one leg which holds the cable. It’ll adjust for height, but not ‘poise’. This is heavy, the wood has a nice ‘dry oiled’ feel to it, and the lamp gives off a softly yellowish light.

I have lumps of Sinclair c5, more Porsche bits, some VW cast-offs and even a tub of all the rust scraped from my MX-5. There’s some 1950’s RAF jet components looking to be repurposed and some electrical junk that is useless but looks pretty. With a fully stocked beer fridge and some Radio 6 on the go, the MotorPunk mancave is a fine place to go and create. I’d be happy to take a commission if you’d like something similar, or some pointers on how I made these.


About The Author

Rich Duisberg

Rich's drivel regularly appears in Practical Performance Car and GT Porsche magazines. He has also written for Classic & Sportscar, MogMag, Classic Performance and Retro, Banzai, Evo, and Modern Mini. He also did a book no-one bought. His hungover fizzog also often appears on CBS’s Carfection channel enthusing about historic motoring. Le Mans winner Derek Bell once refused to get in Rich's Morgan Three Wheeler with him at the wheel. Currently amongst the detritus in his garage is a 1972 Fiat 500 Abarth, a fat BMW and a Lotus Elise. Previous machinery includes a Porsche 968, an Alfa GTV V6 and a dreadful Sinclair C5. He also owns a vintage Royal Enfield pushbike.

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