Estonians convert old car into sauna

  • Published
Car turned into a saunaImage source, SaunAudi
Image caption,
It comes with a four-speaker sound system, USB ports and a big black chimney

A sauna festival in the Estonian town of Rakvere over the weekend had some unusual steam room conversions on display, including a functioning, bright yellow Audi car.

Residents were able to marvel at tents, trailers and trucks serving as saunas. One of the most eye-catching exhibits was the old car turned into a wood-fired sauna, reports Virumaa Journal.

Image source, SaunAudi
Image caption,
A lovely bit of wood panelling (left hand drive only)

The old banger was used as a funeral service car before the conversion lent it a new lease of life.

The upcycled third generation Audi 100 Avant from 1984 would look innocuous from the outside if it wasn't for one dead give-away - a chimney sticking out of the bonnet. Inside, the soft seating has been replaced with the customary sauna wood interior.

The space, which also boasts LED lighting, a four-speaker sound system and a USB connection, can accommodate up to five people before it might begin to feel too cosy.

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The sauna was created by a group of friends who once ran into difficulties while planning a steamy evening at a location that was still under construction, writes sauna blogger Adam Rang.

They first looked at options for renting a mobile sauna, but figured out that it would be cheaper to buy an old car and convert it into a sauna that they could keep. The total cost was just 200 Euro.

'A joke?'

Mr Rang, who's currently writing a book about the wonderful and weird saunas of Estonia, told the BBC the little sauna delivered beyond his expectations.

Image source, Adam Rang
Image caption,
The car offers a genuine - if a little cramped - sauna experience

"When I first saw it, I thought it was just a good joke but to my surprise it delivered a great sauna experience too. It's a bit of a tight squeeze inside but it has a nice wood-burning stove with rocks at a low level that circulate leil, or sauna steam in Estonian, very well around the space."

The SaunAudi has another little surprise - it doubles up as a functioning, if not road-worthy car. The wooden panels beneath the steering wheel can be removed to reveal the pedals.

The lack of seats and seatbelts is the only obstacle for the car to be legally driven on the roads, according to owner Willem Mäesalu.

The self-propelled sauna has been towed to events around the country where it's proven a popular rental option among steam enthusiasts.

Reporting by Alistair Coleman and Krassi Twigg

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