Car-wash owner and one-man assembly-line Ngean Phalet in his first creation, the Angkor.
The Kingdom's home-grown automobile production sector looks set to double its total
output during the second quarter of 2004.
Ngean Phalet, 45-year-old car wash owner, inventor and one-man assembly line, says
he expects to complete his second car by the end of April next year.
Phalet's first car, which he calls the Angkor and built by hand from scrap parts-a
100cc motobike engine and wheels from two old Chalys-took to the streets earlier
The two-seater convertible was a real eye-catcher in Phnom Penh and engendered press
coverage that went around the planet.
The French petrol company Total decided to display the car at five of its gas stations
in Phnom Penh over a 20-day period, drawing curious crowds at each stop.
Phalet had numerous offers to buy his Angkor and says one Malaysian businessman approached
him to discuss providing the funds needed to set up a car factory, an idea the inventor
says he has put on hold until his second car is completed.
Obviously not content with mass producing his first prototype, Phalet's second stab
at vehicle design and construction will see major improvements over his initial endeavor.
He plans to add air-conditioning, a larger 660cc Suzuki engine, more seats and a
larger gas tank, enabling his new and improved vehicle to take trips to the provinces.
Phalet estimates that his second car will cost around $2,000 to build, not including
the free labor he donates cheerfully.
"I am curious about everything and I want to understand how everything works,"
Phalet says as he hammers away, sometimes 10 hours a day, at his new creation.
"My family supports me because they see that I made a name for myself in the