Fact-checking the claim that Vietnamese youths built a Bugatti car out of clay

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A video clip was shared by several social media users yesterday claiming it shows young Vietnamese people building a replica Bugatti car using clay. However, the video was shared with a misleading claim, as the final replica of the car is not made with clay, and a short video was prepared by editing an original 45-minute video that was widely reported. two months ago.

The 2:20 minute video shows the youngsters picking up clay in a field, placing it on a frame of steel pipes and plastic sheets, shaping and chiseling the clay into the shape of a Bugatti Chiron supercar . The video also shows the youngsters driving around a steel chassis with an engine mounted on it, giving the car a proper paint job, and finally driving the Bugatti Chiron replica in its traditional blue and black livery through the streets.

The video was posted by a verified Twitter account named fgnszen, with the caption, “A year-long study of young Vietnamese who built their own mud-clay Bugatti.” The Tweet has nearly 74,000 retweets, over 8,000 quote tweets and over 384,000 likes.

The Tweet also received thousands of replies, with many wondering how long a “clay car” will last. Many commented that the car will not be able to withstand even a bump in the road, and it will be shattered into pieces after an accident. Others have commented that it will be very and therefore will consume a lot of fuel etc.

The same video was also shared by several other Twitter users with the same or similar claim that the youngsters made the car out of clay.

The fact of the ‘Bugatti clay car’

However, the claim that the replica car is made of clay is completely false and misleading, as the final car was made with steel and fiberglass, making it a very strong car. . The short video shows a few bits of fiberglass work and the steel frame, but due to the accompanying text, many people blindly believed that the final car was also made of clay. Many other netizens verified the video, saying it was not made of clay.

The short video was made from the original video posted by the young people themselves who built the car. Young Vietnamese have a YouTube channel named NHẾT TV dedicated to their replica car building efforts, and the video posted on Twitter was edited from a 46-minute video of the entire car-making process. which they had published on February 1 of this year. , with title 365 full days to home-build a million-dollar Bugatti supercar. This video, along with other videos of the car posted by the youths, received widespread media coverage around the world.

The video shows the youngsters starting with a steel frame and wrapping in plastic, roughly the shape of the car body, forming the base to hold a mold. They then apply loads of clay to it and painstakingly shape it to look like a Bugatti Chiron, in a process that must have taken weeks or months, the whole car was ready within a year. After polishing the clay car to give it a very smooth surface, the clay model is ready, however, it is not the final car, only the model to form a mold, to be used to make the final body of the car.

Once the clay model is ready, they apply plaster to it. The young people fix the plaster with metal rods and, once the plaster has hardened, the clay is removed from the underside of the plaster mould. Now car enthusiasts are left with an exact negative copy of the plaster car.

Once the mold is ready, the young people apply fiberglass to the entire interior surface of the mold using resin. Once the fiberglass has hardened and hardened, the plaster mold is removed, exposing the car’s fiberglass panel body, an exact replica of the original clay model.

The youngsters also built a frame for the car using steel pipes and even made discs for the brakes and an A-arm suspension system. The car gets a small four-cylinder Toyota engine, a far cry from the turbocharged 8-litre 16-cylinder engine that came with the original, one of the most powerful engines in a commercially produced car. However, the engine installed in the middle like a real sports car.

The video shows the youngsters then fitting the fiberglass body to the steel frame, attaching the wheels and giving it a good paint job. Some parts were purchased, like windshields, windows, LED lights, etc., but the taillight was resin. The car’s interior, including the dashboard, is also made of fiberglass using the same clay modeling techniques. For some parts they just used cardboard instead of clay.

Therefore, the video originally posted by the young people who made the car clearly indicates that the car was made from steel, fiberglass and other materials used in cars, and that it was not made with clay. The clay was only used to make the car model to shape the fiberglass, which is common practice.

Although the 365 Days video shows the entire process of making the car, it doesn’t include everything. The NHẾT TV channel released several more videos, showing how they made and installed several other parts of the car. They are also constantly modifying and improving the car and have also released several videos of the same.

In other videos, they can be seen making seats, a fender, a steering wheel, etc., and installing windshields, electric windows, mirrors, electrical and electronic systems, etc., and others videos show the detailed work carried out in different phases, parts of which were shown in the 365 Days video.

Clay modeling in the automotive sector

While many people expressed their shock that the car was made out of clay, in fact most of the model cars we see on the road are just clay models, just like those made by the youth. After the car designers finalize the design of a new car model, a clay model is created from it, which is a 3D representation of the new car. This allows designers to see what the car will actually look like. A clay model also allows designers to identify design changes that may not be identified in paper or computer drawings.

Even though nowadays computer modeling and 3D printing are used to make models of a new car design, many car manufacturers still use clay models. While some automakers no longer use it for mass-produced cars, high-end luxury car makers still use this process. For example, this video shows Porsche using modeling clay to design its new 911 car.

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