Bob Ferry's 1906 Oldsmobile replica. Photo: Inside Google BooksEnlarge Photo
That's exactly what Kentucky-based vintage car enthusiast Bob Ferry did, constructing his "brand new" 1906 Oldsmobile Model B Runabout using information downloaded from Google Books.
Car enthusiasts the world over have benefitted massively from the amount of information available across the internet. Whether you're looking for inspiration for a project, buying that long-lost part from eBay or simply want to speak with like-minded gearheads, the internet has brought the hobby to a global scale.
As Bob has proven, there's now enough information to entirely replicate a car from over a century ago. Using Google Books and old magazine issues he found plans, diagrams, descriptions and pictures - everything he needed to allow him to source parts and build the car from the ground up.
It's not just great for enthusiasts, the local community benefits too. Bob has been exhibiting the Oldsmobile replica at local shows and senior citizen's homes - the latter going down particularly well, some even remembering the car from their own early days of motoring!
Using the ebooks and an Apple iPad like a modern-day workshop manual Bob was able to construct the car to the exact specifications he wanted. Fellow enthusiasts have taken his lead and begun researching their own special projects using ebooks, so this probably won't be the last story we hear of an internet-built car.
As for Bob Ferry, he already has further replica plans, including a 1902 De Dion Bouton and a 1920s Norton motorcycle. One thing is for sure, he'll continue to use electronic resources. In Bob's own words, "It has really, really been fun".