A barking-mad scheme to turn a Peugeot 305 into a giant dog was achieved by three men with a pile of fibreglass, some fake fur, and a lot of ambition.
The mission, inspired by the “Mutts Cutts” van from the film Dumb and Dumber, was to transform the perfectly serviceable 305 into a petrol-powered pooch, complete with legs, paws, and a full head jutting from the bonnet.
The result was so successful that the dogmobile was recently used for a school prom. Jack White, the 15-year-old son of Ben White, who worked on the car, arrived in style at the Claverham Community College prom at the Powdermills Hotel recently. Rather than a ruff reception, Jack was met with loud applause.
The car - no subwoofers in this model - was built around five years ago by Ben, of High Street, Ninfield, with two friends who also work in creative events production from studios based on Burnt Barns Farm, Ninfield.
“We just wanted a fun and interesting project,” said Ben, who says the transformation took around five months, and decided against estimating the costs. “At the time I worked on this farm, and and we used to have a sheepdog that looked very similar, so there may have been some inspiration there, too.
“Really we wanted something for our modelmaker to get involved in, but we were pleased how it turned out.”
The project involved stripping off parts of the old car before building up a new fibreglass shell and covering it in fur. Now, the car now mostly lives in a barn on the Frickley Lane farm.
Its occasional outings are often accompanied by residents whipping out their camera phones.
This was especially true for the Claverham prom, as Ben and his two friends - modelmaker Dougie Daynes, of Eastbourne, and car owner David Isaac, of Ninfield - gave the dog-car a new fur coat for its outing.
“The hair got a bit mangy so we decided to give him a new coat,” said Ben. “It got a fantastic reception at Powdermills. I drove it in and it got a lot of attention.”
But owning a dog-car 305 does present some problems. Storage, for instance, as well as cornering.
“It’s just that - well, what to do with it?” said Ben. “Stick it on eBay? Someone out there has a need for a car that’s been made to look like a dog, but we’re not sure how to connect it with a new owner.”
Responsible owners with a doghouse vacancy are invited to contact the Observer for information on 01424 854242.