Evel Knievel
Evel Knievel
New York City
Click image to enlarge
Click image to enlarge


The Legend Evel Knievel has asked Pierre J. Lachance to produce a wooden model of his 1977 XR750 Harley Stunt Bike. Stay tuned for images of this project at all stages of production...



He's the King of Wooden Automotive Crafts

Pierre J. Lachance has an entirely different and aesthetic vision: he transforms the metal sculpted lines of vehicles into the warm radiance of wood.

Lachance, 32, has parlayed his love of conveyances and construction vehicles into an art form that is winning raves–and plenty of sales orders–from automotive enthusiasts. His handcrafted wooden classics were proudly on display at Willowbrook Shopping Centre's "Just for '95" car show two weeks ago.

Lachance started his wood carvings while still an adolescent. The Cloverdale resident explains, "I always had a passion for automotive things and I dreamt of owning a Porsche. I just started creating my own. I thought, if I want it, I'll build whatever I want. I'll fill my hearts desires."

Twenty years later, the father of four continues to work from books and magazines, enhancing his designs into "instant specs" with computer graphics before crafting his vehicles with oak, alder and black walnut.

"I'm using a primitive format and integrating it into a very high tech format. I go with the past and the future and integrate them together for the now," he says.

Whether it's a boxy jalopy, a sleek and aerodynamic sports car. a chrome laden Chevy with outsized fins, Lachance approaches each reproduction with equal enthusiasm.

"I build everything–everything you can think of. You name it, I've got it. No one does what I do at the scale and the speed and with so much variety. I go from a Harley Davidson to a tractor trailer to a Jaguar."

"I spend two to three days on one item and start on another...It's unlimited. It doesn't stop. I like creating, creating, creating and creating with new concepts."

Lachance also hand crafts wooden toys and this Christmas donated 160 of his pieces to the children at Langley Memorial and Sunnyhill Hospitals. He took the remaining packages and gave them away door to door to children in lower-income housing complexes.

Sizes for Lachance's pieces range from miniature cars and trucks to expansive ships to full size motorcycles. Most of the pieces are custom built to order.

His joy comes in experimenting with the sculptural appearance of a vehicle and the challenge of perfecting each piece. His lifelong ambition is to become "The King of Wooden Automotive Crafts" and he believes that goal is well on the way to being realized.



Evel Knievel's Biography       http://www.evelknievel.com/bio.html

    Picture-039.jpg   Picture-081.jpg   Picture-103.jpg

Only wood used to build his bikes By Mike Choutnard

For Pierre Lachance, making cars and other replica vehicles from wood is a true labour of love.
The Agassiz wood sculptor has been doing it for about 35 years, not so much as a way of earning his keep but more as an honour to competitors on the stunt driver circuit. It's in his roots, after all, as his father worked in the circuit. The creations often end up as gifts, with some going to places like the Sunny Hill Health Centre for Children in Vancouver.
Recently, he had a display set up inside the Agassiz Library to show off a few of his pieces: two stretch limousines and a replica Molson Indy car.
"For 35 years I've been doing this," he says.
His big project right now is a version of the legendary Evel Knievel's Harley Davidson XR 750.
"It all comes apart like a big, huge model, like a real bike," he says. "The whole thing can be picked up in one piece....Everything locks into place."
The Knievel project is a real labour of love, as Lachance's dad did some work for the famed daredevil back in the 1970s. He is able to zero in on the details because of his intricate knowledge of his subjects, plus the odd pictures as a guide. The Knievel bike is based on the rider's model from 1972 to 1977.
"I'm building this thing strictly off photographs," he says.
Virtually all the pieces are made of wood, even the shocks and sprockets, and the replica gas tank that slides into place is solid oak. Lachance is approaching the end of the job, but he still needs to put in some finishing touches.
"I've got approximately 125 hours into it," he says.
*For more information see Lachance's website at www.stuntworld1.com

Copyright 2003-2012 Stunt World 1