The BMW M10 engine is probably one of the greatest the brand has ever made. In terms of power output or performance, maybe not, but in terms of sheer importance it is absolutely in the brand’s engine ring of honor. The M10 was originally designed as a workhorse engine, something to power a vast array of different BMW models. It started out life as a 1.5 liter SOHC inline four-cylinder engine and then expanded to 2.0 liters in the BMW 2002, the car that put BMW on the map in America.
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It didn’t stop there, though, as different variations of the M10 engine have not only powered various other BMWs but race cars as well, including the absolutely brilliant M12 engine that powered the Brabram Formula 1 car. So it’s one of BMW’s most successful and important engines of all time. Which is why this perfect 1:1 scale of the M10 engine, made entirely of cardboard, is so damn cool.
Mark W. Zak is the man behind this cardboard model of the M10 engine and he’s a brilliant madman. He spent the better part of a year making this cardboard engine entirely from scratch and with excruciating attention to detail. It’s remarkable just how detailed it is. Zak even went out of his way to create little tiny head studs and bolts for various different parts of the “engine”. If you take the valve cover off, because it does come off, you can see the camshafts and everything. It’s incredible.
In this video, Zak shows off a time-lapse demonstration of his build and it’s seriously impressive. It’s a bit insane, and we’re not sure why anyone would venture into such a project, but we’re happy he did it because it’s really cool. The craziest part about it? It works. Well, not really, obviously, but if you turn the crankshaft, the pistons go up and down in the cylinders. That’s remarkable. Literally everything about it is made from cardboard. Every single piece, made from scratch, by hand, from cardboard.
If you like anything mechanical, watch this video. It’s genuinely impressive.