World's tallest man gets special-built auto from Ukraine president

( dpa )- Leonid Stadnyk , at 2.58 metre tall, the world's tallest man, received a specially-designed automobile on Monday from Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko .

Yuschenko handed over the keys of a custom Chevrolet mini-van outside the main entrance to the president's main office building in Kiev to Stadnyk .

The Chevrolet was built manually by a design team of Ukraine's ZAZ automotive factory in Zaporizhia , a manufacturer of some of the American corporation's marques under license.

A resident of the village Podolyantsi in central Ukraine, Stadnyk has suffered from a growth disorder since undergoing brain surgery at age 12.

Stadnyk had written to Yushchenko for assistance, as no vehicles on the market are roomy enough for him.

Stadnyk , 36, had long been reckoned in Ukraine the unofficial world's tallest man, but the Guinness organization only recognised him as the owner of humanity's greatest height in 2007.

Shy of attention and living with his mother, Stadnyk avoided the limelight for most of his life, but became a celebrity after receiving the status from Guinness.

"In this car I will be able to drive more and to travel more, as I very much enjoy travelling ," Stadnyk told reporters.

A lack of a driver's license would not deter him from spending time behind the wheel, he said.

"For now someone will have to drive me," Stadnyk said. "But I will 'resolve' the question of a driver's license soon."

Other assistance from Ukraine's central government or private donors to Stadnyk , once his status became widely known, has included improved roads in his village, electricity hooked up to his home, a telephone, a satellite dish, and a home computer.

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