Introduction: 1 Gig Flash Drive Mini Cooper

Picture of 1 Gig Flash Drive Mini Cooper

Flip plug USB flash drive keeps this Mini looking stock when not connected.

Step 1: Supplies!

Picture of Supplies!

I've made several Hot Wheels/ Matchbox Flash drives, and with all of them I've tried to keep the plug hidden when not in use. The wow effect is kind of spoiled when you've got a USB plug sticking out the back of the car that at scale would be the size of a bookcase. Fortunately companies keep coming up with smaller drives and ways to hide/ retract the plug.

When I saw this little dude, I knew it would fit nicely in something. The working parts are contained entirely in the plug.

So, you will need:

OCZ Roadster (appropriate, eh?) flash drive. I think these go up to 4 gig; this one's 1 gig.

Update: I was recently thinking of making another one, and found that this flash drive is no longer made! I couldn't find anything like it. Bummer!

Matchbox/ Hot Wheels car. I just took the drive to the store and held it up to various cars until I found one that fit. Turns out, the Mini's perfect.


Drill with a 3/16 bit
X-acto knife
Jeweler's saw, a cutoff wheel in a Dremel might work
A fine file, a set of needle files is a great investment for this sort of stuff
Hot Glue Gun, What else would hold this together?

Step 2: Dismantle the Car

Picture of Dismantle the Car

Time to open up the micro chop shop...

These things are held together by stubs from the body rivetted over on the underside holding the bottom of the car on. It is a simple matter to carefully drill off the peened metal, allowing the "chassis" to separate from the body. (Don't drill through your hand.)

Step 3: Deconstruct the Drive

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This thing is really simple. The USB plug part snaps between the sides of the cover and is held in with two rubber plugs. A little head scratching lead to the perfect way to integrate drive and car...

Step 4: A Little Rear Axle Work

Picture of A Little Rear Axle Work

The wheels are held to the axle by the ends being peened over. Carefully file off one of these heads. (I forgot to photograph this step.)

With the X-acto knife, cut off the heads off the rubber plugs. Poke or drill a hole through the center of each plug. This is a little trickier than it sounds due to the d-shaped part on the inside. I sliced a little channel in that part so the axle would be right in the center.

Assemble the drive and wheels. I was thinking I'd have to glue one wheel on because I filed the head off, but I got lucky and there was just enough burr left to hold the wheel on. A few months later and it still hasn't fallen off.

I also cut the lanyard loop off the flash drive case, and had to file a little off the bottom edges to get the wheels to be on the "ground".

Step 5: Chassis Mods

Picture of Chassis Mods

Trace the drive case onto the bottom of the car, and cut out. The plastic cuts easily with the X-acto. (Don't cut yourself.)

Step 6: Interior Mods

Picture of Interior Mods

Lining up the chassis with the interior, mark out the parts that need to be removed. This is trickier, because the case will be going through the seats and stuff. Go slowly, check often, and always cut away from your flesh.

Step 7: Body Mods

Picture of Body Mods

The only thing that needs to be trimmed on the body is the after rivet stud. This is fairly thick metal, so it has to be sawed. A jeweler's saw works wonders, but you could do it with a Dremel.

Step 8: Test Fit and Glue Up!

Picture of Test Fit and Glue Up!

Make sure all is in readiness, and it all fits together nicely. Heat up the ol' glue gun (man, these things are handy!), and stick it all together.

Step 9: The Showroom Floor and Test Drives

Picture of The Showroom Floor and Test Drives

So, here's the finished product and a couple of others I made and gave away as Christmas presents.

The maroon retractable one is my favorite. The only problem with it is that because of the orientation of the slider, when it's plugged into a port on a computer, the car is upside down. But when you use a cable, the drive lights up underneath the car! Pimp my flash drive!

The skull car was cut in half with the jeweler's saw, and a USB plug cap was glued into the front half. It's surprisingly secure, and rolls just fine.


souza005 (author)2011-11-16

In your other project "The maroon retractable", what is the model of this car?


Marcio E de Souza
Sao Paulo, Brasil

CementTruck (author)2007-03-05

Are there any lights on these drives at all? If so, you could get a couple of strands of fiber, and polish the ends on 1000 or 2000 grit sandpaper. Then you could superglue them to the light on the drive, and superglue the other end to a hole drilled in the car body to simulate driving, fog, or tuner lights. Great idea/hack/instructable. Cheers!

skrod (author)CementTruck2011-10-14

I've made a deloreAn that has the rear time machine components lights up.

CementTruck (author)CementTruck2007-03-05

Hey, I think I've seen Cement Truck Matchbox/Hotwheels vehicles! This could be a cool little project.

altaria1993 (author)CementTruck2007-09-22

put in a little motor too and connect it to the usb part for power :p

raykholo (author)CementTruck2007-06-29

sounds like a great idea, although you would need more than a few strands of fiber.

sodiumcanine (author)2011-09-09

Ahoy Captain!

Made one out of a GT-40, Retractable

Mike MarinerMcV

preethiblossom (author)2011-01-30

wow....awesome....thank u so much...this is going to be the perfect valentine's gift for my "car loving" boy friend...

TSC (author)2010-02-01

I have made a flash drive car to i will post pic of it later nice  job!

batcher (author)2009-04-28

What scale (1:?) is the mini?

Captain Pedantic (author)batcher2009-04-28

According to wikipedia, roughly 1/64.

batcher (author)Captain Pedantic2009-04-29

ok thanks

invisiblebluerobot9 (author)2009-03-30

What kind of flash drive is that?

Capt. Fat (author)2009-01-28

This is awesome. I thought I was the only captian on instructables though. Oh well. Nice job. If you make another type of flash drive let me know

GonzoCooper (author)2008-02-02

This was fun! I made one with rear wheel drive (1 GB USB Flash Drive on rear) and one with front wheel drive (1 GB USB Flash Drive on front). Cutting and fitting for the front variation seemed easier. See photos.

raykholo (author)GonzoCooper2008-11-11

good idea with the red one looks better

senario 158 (author)2008-10-06

i think if you have it out, it will look like a rocket car!

Robin87 (author)2008-09-26

Hi! I have had the same idea, but with a Bluetooth Dongle! Anyways, it's not as perfect as yours... great job!

sincityrednek333 (author)2008-03-08

here is the first accomplishment.....oops

sincityrednek333 (author)2008-03-08

all i gotta say is you inspired me to tear up my kids cars, but it looks damn good. here is my first accomplishment, hopefully there will be many more, thanks.....

stkbgr2004 (author)2007-03-10

I got a Chevy SSR truck that had 2 little screws on the bottom from Walmart for $2.97. I didn't to much to the stock SSR but knock out the plastic rear window, then installed my USB Drive. I added 2 dog eared popsicle sticks to make it look like a surf board sticking out the back.

ultrauber (author)stkbgr20042008-02-26

how does that fit into your computer without the car blocking the plug. do you need an extension usb cord?

Guitarpik14 (author)stkbgr20042007-12-27


Frogzard101 (author)2008-01-23

DUDE!!!! that is flippin sweet!!!

ultrauber (author)2008-01-21

Wow its amazing how perfectly it fits. i would make one if i had the tools

Crashmaxx (author)2007-10-26

Trying this today and a few things. First, I NEED my tools. If I had my dremel I would be done by now. I have already hacked up this Skyline, so I think I'll get something else and start over after getting at least a jeweler's saw, if not another dremel. But I found a great way to do the cruzer micro slider right-side up. Just crack it open, take the board off the slider piece and flip it over. Now it will be too big for the top to go back on and you need it still so it will slide. So just cut where the USB plug is when it is in. Normally, this would look aweful, but since it will be in the car anyway, its a great solution. I think I want to solder in some headlights too. I can see where the micro LED is soldered to the board and if I'm careful, wiring in a couple more lights will be no problem. So I'll get another car soon and try this again, perhaps with lights. I was very disappointed in the selection at Wal-Mart and Toys-R-Us. They only had maybe 10-20 cars each to choose from. I remember they used to have almost the whole aisle full, but maybe it is just this one.

Great idea on flipping the cruzer drive... I'll have to try that.

Fastchevyfan (author)2007-11-01

Great Stuff! Great customizing idea!!! Should make great gifts for everyone!!!

Darkshot (author)2007-09-15

wicked cool

Captain Pedantic (author)2007-09-07

Um, what's with the brake pad link...?

Wiimote Master (author)2007-07-29

very nice tut.

raykholo (author)2007-05-04

can you make this from a car where the doors open and with a flash drive where the usb connector is pushed out? that way, the usb can extend from the front bumper area, and you can open the door to access the slide swith to extend and retract the connector. rak

I was pondering that, but there's some real engineering in that to make it all work right. Or how about a funny car where the USB plug extends when you lift the shell?

cool point. you would need a set of gears to make your "funny" car. you would need a rack and pinion. when you lift the shell, a bevel gear turns, and the rack moves toward the front. attach the flash drive to the rack. as for my idea, you need a flash drive with retractable usb connector and a toy car where the doors open and you can fit the drive inside. simply make a hole in the front and open the door to access the switch that extends the connector.

Mr. Smart Kid (author)2007-06-27

hey i have the same usb cable i got it from the $ store $1 b ut it broke todayb

Broke in what way?, because I got this one at a dollar store.

Bran (author)2007-06-26

Sorry about the trip-post, but what is the best way to cut my (not the skull car though) Hot-Wheel that has a metal body, plastic "chassis" or bottom part. I already opened up a car like it and figured that I would only need to do a bit of removing of some plastic. Dremel maybe? What type of blade, if so? I don't suppose a band or table saw would work, would it? Thanks again.

Captain Pedantic (author)Bran2007-06-27

If you're interested in this sort of thing you really should invest in a jeweler's saw. Don't let the name put you off; it's pretty much just a more rigid coping saw designed to hold really fine blades. Being a hand saw, you have excellent control of the cut and the kerf (the width of the saw cut) is tiny. I really can't think of another tool to make cuts like the one along the panel line on the skull car.

If you can't get one at your local hobby shop, I'm sure you can mail-order one. In addition to hacking up hot wheels, they're great for cutting coins.

P.S. The plastic is easy to cut with an ex-acto knife.

Bran (author)2007-06-26

Funny, I have that same skull car. Cool.

Bran (author)2007-06-25

Hey, great Instructable, I would have never of thought of it, but am now trying my hardest to make gifts for people I know. Only problem, I don't have a fancy drill like you, so I can't get the rivets off from the bottom. Any other methods? I'm trying to pry the plastic off with a screw driver, but I'm a bit worried about ing it. Nice tut and thanks!

Fenwick (author)2007-03-29

someone at my school made one of these. I'm suspicious he read this instructable >.>

Captain Pedantic (author)Fenwick2007-05-31

Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.

PikesPeak (author)2007-05-28

I made two of these out of the Green Spider-Man roadster, and one from a small Altoids can with a slide-back top. If my Digi' was working I'd post pics. I found that the resin is a mess, plain and simple. I started using the 5-minute epoxy (just make sure you have everything ready to be put together) and it is less mess, and you need alot less. Just use it for tacking the usb into place inside the car and it will stay solidly mounted. I drilled the "rivets" down on the bottom of the car, where the body is attached to the insides, just enough to open it all up, and no more. When putting the car back together, after the usb was set with epoxy, I was able to superglue the riveting areas together with no problems, and tacked the inside mounting areas of the car pieces with superglue also. I am sure if a person could not work around the bottom rivetting a Dremel tool with a cut-off wheel can easily remove the top at the frame posts, and be glued back into place.

homicidal.cereal.killer (author)2007-05-20

is there any way to make one of these without much sawing and cutting? cuz i have a bunch of cars at home, but unfortunately not a whole range of drills and saws... but anyway, its an awesome idea! p.s how much and where can you get an inexpensive usb device?

krazy (author)2007-04-05

kickarse job! only thing it is missing is a key ring so you can show that bad boy off and have a way of not losing it

sumplesnoob (author)2007-03-26

lol, a USB "Drive"

HandyMan1959 (author)2007-03-20

Totaly Awsome You should patent this!

fenris (author)2007-03-20

The OCZ 'Mini Kart' also has a blue LED in it. It doesn't fold but is very tiny. I guess they come in one and two Gb versions. Seems to me that flashing blue light would be very cool, especially if a bodacious Lamborghini or Ferrari or something were to be painted up like a police car. I wonder if the police in super affluent places like Monaco and San Marino have such cars.

mr depo (author)2007-03-14


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