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Photos: The wooden car with a split personality

Beneath the oaken exterior of a homemade auto in the Ukraine beats the heart of a 1981 Opel.

Lazarenko's wooden car
Itar-Tass/Vasily Kiyashko

If you've got a hankering for wood paneling on the side of your car, no one says you have to settle for a vinyl applique. It's just that the alternatives are probably neither cheap nor easy.

You could start poking around old barns or, at least trolling the Web, for an old Woodie station wagon or two. Or you could do what Vasily Lazarenko of the Ukraine did: he built his own.

Lazarenko's creation goes well beyond a few strips of wood on either side of the vehicle. He fashioned the entire exterior out of oak, with a few coats of veneer putting on a nice finishing touch.

He also made a most unusual design decision. The passenger side of the Lazarenko-mobile (see photos) has a retro roadster look that just cries out for passengers wearing raccoon coats and waving Ivy League football banners. The driver's side is decidedly more stately, and also provides better shelter against the rain.