A former metalwork teacher has turned his skills and powers of patience on creating remarkable scale models of classic cars using empty beer and soft drink cans.

Sandy Sanderson came up with the ultimate recycling project while recovering from a nasty motorbike accident nine years ago. After his first attempt at building a 1959 Formula One car, a Cooper Climax, from eight Coruba & Cola cans was a success, he went on to make many more.

The vehicles are recreated using the colourful branded aluminium cans to make the bodywork, steering wheels, interiors, headlights and tyres for hot rods, roadsters, racers, and other classic cars. The metal is glued on to a balsa wood frame to keep the models sturdy.

Each one takes around 80 hours to complete, but the 59-year-old grandfather doesn't see it as a painstaking process.


"It's my passion and I absolutely love it."

Mr Sanderson, who lives in Hikutaia, Waikato with wife Jo, 54, is selling them for up to $2,387 each, as well as detailed plans on how to build each model to other potential enthusiasts.

The trained draughtsman and technology teacher says he's always had an interest in competition model aircraft, classic cars, and bikes.

He said pictures he had seen of fine model aircraft made from cans had the plain side facing out, which "defeats the purpose".

"You want everyone to be able to see instantly what your basic resource was. Celebrate the fact, don't hide it."