Haroon Habib

DHAKA: The Dhaka Motor Show 2006 attracted huge crowds last week at the Bangladesh-China Friendship Conference Centre here. The three-day show introduced an array of automobiles and related services to customers.

The models displayed were all imported but for one designed by Nizamuddin Awlia Leepu, a young Bangladeshi. His sports model attracted all. In fact, he stole the show.

The name of the attractive car, M26, has a resonance for the Independence Day of Bangladesh, March 26. The chassis is imported, a 22-year-old Toyota Sprinter. The four-seater is painted scarlet red. Leepu said he did it in four weeks. Bernie Fineman, a veteran in the trade who helped Leepu in the work, congratulated him and his team for building the rear-wheel-drive car. Mr. Fineman said: "I really enjoyed working with Leepu and he deserved this recognition five years ago."

Leepu is a devoted designer. Her started designing cars years ago with his limited resources, but recognition came late. M26 has an almost new power plant. The 1.8-litre 7K Toyota engine produces 84 brake horsepower.

Mr. Fineman said: "People would throng the streets of London if the car was taken there."

Leepu has been working with Discovery Channel for a series on him, working on different models without any advanced equipment. The channel is initially shooting for two TV programmes with Leepu working on two different cars, said Bruce Fletcher, producer.