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Sculptor creates Iron Man out of old Lada

Bulgarian sculptor Nikola Nikolov turned his old car, a Lada, into an exquisite sculpture of a robot warrior. Now he drives a Citroën Berlingo. What's next?

Nikola Nikolov

Bulgarian artist Nikola Nikolov hates throwing old stuff away. When he worked as a dishwasher, he'd turn broken plates into art. And when it was time to retire his first car, a Lada, he decided to give it new life as a robot warrior.

Nikolov transforms junk into artworks at Studio Re-Creation in the Netherlands. He has turned old wooden furniture into giant rabbits and dogs, and turned broken plates into colorful mural art.

But his most impressive work is The Transformer, a 6-foot, 200-pound robot warrior fashioned from an old Lada Samara Diva.

It took about 100 hours to cut up the car and weld the pieces into the imposing Iron Man-like form. It was completed in March.

Nikolov says he drew inspiration from a trip to Japan and Japanese anime; he's now participating in an exhibition called "Post Fossil: Excavating 21st Century Creation" at 21_21 Design Sight in Tokyo. He was also inspired by the Lada itself.

"The Transformer symbolizes the relationship between man and machine," Nikolov writes. "He is in the moment between knowing what he was and knowing what he has become."

So what does Nikolov drive now? A Citroën Berlingo and a Suzuki GSX-R1000. Now those two would make a bitchin' Transformer.