”My “beetle” is a car like any other, it’s just a little wooden. I will get everywhere in it, to Belgrade and Zagreb if necessary, I just have one problem. Every time I pass the technical inspection, but they always make fun of me with the question of what color to enter.
I tell them to put the color of oak, and they note that it is not in the catalog. And I tell them: ‘Put whatever you want, just let me pass,” Momir said.
This is how Momir Bojic, a pensioner from Celinac near BanjaLuka, will begin his story about his four-wheeled pet, not tin but wooden. The story of his Volkswagen “beetle“, covered with at least 21,000 oak planks, wooden steering wheel and gearbox, is widely famous. In fact, everything is wooden except for the headlights and turn signals, mirrors and seats, radio-cassette player and windshield.
”It’s not that there were no buyers. On one occasion, an Arab came forward and offered as much as a million dollars, but he died soon after. His younger brother also died later, so my Arabs died, and it wasn’t meant for me to sell the beetle,” recalls Momir Bojic.
He tells how a few years ago he was contacted by a rich man from Dubai who planned to open a museum of unique cars, the largest in the world. First, he offered Momir $750,000 for the “wood beetle,” and then upped the amount by another $250,000—just so he wouldn’t make another one.
”Everything was agreed and I didn’t want to take a down payment, because our word was a seal for both of us. But, well, people died and I was left with the car. My Nada and I did it for a full year and a half. In the evening, I drew plans, figured out how to do something, and during the day we would decorate the “beetle” in the garage.
And I didn’t place a single plank incorrectly, because I told myself – if you make a mistake once, hit your fingers with a hammer and you’re done,” Momir recalls.
He tells how he “suddenly felt the urge” to buy a beetle, because “he had nothing no vehicle that he could use to go to the market”. When he had already bought himself a toy, he continued, he wanted to have fun with something else and “remodel it a bit”.
At first, he didn’t even think of covering it with wood, but then “the idea fell from the sky” and the car in which he took his driving test once upon a time began to take on new shapes in his imagination.
Momir Bojic also tells how he acquired work habits, and especially discipline, in Germany, where he spent 20 years. He got the carpentry talent, he says, from his maternal grandfather, who he says was a top craftsman. And besides the “wooden beetle“, he boasts many other valuable and rare handicrafts.
He only doesn’t like working in the field
”I don’t know how to plow or dig or harvest. I don’t know anything in the field, except maybe tending cattle, because I used to do that when I was young, but now there are no cattle. Everything else I can do with my hands,” explained Momir.
If I ever sell the “beetle“, I would give all the money to poor children, promises Momir in the end, Blic.rs writes.