Hooniverse Asks- What's Your Favorite Art Car?

Many would argue that automobiles in themselves represent an art form. In fact, in 1951, New York’s Museum of Modern Art held an exhibit of landmark automotive designs, highlighted by a Figoni & Falaschi-bodied TalbotLago T23 goutte d’eau coupe. But others see the automobile as but a blank canvas, which they are free to imbue with a creative expression unconnected to the underlying machine. Many of these, by popular artists, have gained notoriety in both art and motoring circles, and I’m sure you are familiar with one or more. But which one really speaks to you?
Calder, Hockney, even hipster diva Andy Warhol – they all splashed some paint on BMW racers, and immediately increased their value one hundred fold. Other, less well known artists regularly use the auto as a both canvas and mobile gallery. Whether pens, or pennies, computer keyboard keys or the detritus of society, there seems nothing that these budding Bob Ross’ won’t hot-glue to their rides in outlet of their creative drive.
Those cars usually end up in the junk yard rather than the art museum, but even there, their novelty attracts attention and the occasional appreciative nod. Of course, Pick-A-Part critiques are not what their creators had in mind when the vested their time and artistic expression in the work, but then, if they could have paid all those parking tickets they wouldn’t have been starving artists now would they?
So, amateur, undiscovered, or pretentious art-house favorite, there’s lots of art cars out there from which to choose. One of these must have tickled your fancy – oh perhaps not enough to replace that dogs playing poker painting you cherish so much, but maybe as an addition to your collection? Are you partial to the big guns, or do you like the whimsy of something with a dadaist’s perspective ? Each one is valid in its own way because, to quote Plato:

Remember how in that communion only, beholding beauty with the eye of the mind, he will be enabled to bring forth, not images of beauty, but realities (for he has hold not of an image but of a reality), and bringing forth and nourishing true virtue to become the friend of God and be immortal, if mortal man may.

Which is another way of saying, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. So with that in mind, which art car do you behold as being the most beautiful?
Image sources: [theage.com, texastravel.com]

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44 responses to “Hooniverse Asks- What's Your Favorite Art Car?”

  1. retro Avatar

    <img src=http://ploader.net/files/5fd8b942ecb5289bf20b0f2cfe27d235.jpg>
    Roy Lichtenstein

    1. Baron Von Danger Avatar

      The Warhol M1 is pretty hot.

    1. Tim Odell Avatar

      You'd be impressed with my artistic skills, as I hand-drew on the "1"s needed to make us "143".
      (was too late in the draw to get 43).
      Also repainted the wing and our various scuffs.

  2. scroggzilla Avatar

    In regard to BMW's Art Cars, I prefer Alexander Calder's CSL. In general, I like this piece of rolling sculpture by Sergio Scaglietti.
    <img src="http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4079/4797181384_03f883cbf9_z.jpg"&gt;

    1. zaddikim Avatar

      I saw a video of the STC car on BoingBoing, and I gotta say, it was f***ing creepy.

  3. Smells_Homeless Avatar

    I'd also vote for the Shashimi Tabernacle Choir. With its combination of over-the-top weirdness and techie cool, it's a winner.
    However, in the early 90s, one of my buds had a 74 Mustang that was sky blue and burned more 30w than gas which inspired him to paint it up with a city skyline along the bottom half so he could recreate the smog haze of the day. If I had a pic, that would be my vote.

  4. Seth L Avatar

    The Muppets Electric Mayhem Bus.

    1. Tim Odell Avatar

      Dr Teeth!

  5. engineerd Avatar

    One of the few art cars I've seen in person was Janis Joplin's 356C, which a roadie painted for her.
    <img src="http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2602/3692622770_42118d7ede.jpg&quot; style="width: 500px; height: 375px; border: 0" alt="imgTag" />
    I'm not sure it's my favorite, that might go to the Cadillac ranch. Hey, you never specified that the cars still had to be drivable.
    <img src="http://www.roadsideamerica.com/attract/images/tx/TXAMAcaddy1.jpg&quot; style="width: 300px; height: 160px; border: 0" alt="imgTag" />

    1. DailyArtCarDriver Avatar

      This picture does no justice to how magnificent this car is!!

  6. Tim Odell Avatar

    Rusty, the e28 built by Stanceworks.:
    <img src="http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2756/4334716077_7949610fb5.jpg"&gt;
    http://vimeo.com/11016295
    Not an art car in the traditional sense, but if you back away from it just being a performance car build and think of it as a multi-faceted piece of art it's pretty cool, IMO.

  7. Peter Tanshanomi Avatar

    There are two kinds of art cars: i-stuck-a-bunch-of-random-crap-on-my-beater, and whimsically engineered custom vehicles. The former are lame. The latter are awesome. Two of the best:
    <img src="http://thepirata.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/04/the_phone_car_05.jpg"&gt;
    <img src="http://www.baronmargo.com/pm1.jpg"&gt;

    1. PapayaSF Avatar

      What the heck is that second one?? I love the little wings for slicing pedestrians in half before they can interfere with the front suspension.

      1. Peter Tanshanomi Avatar

        It's by Baron Margo, who is seriously weird. Mostly in a good way.
        Check out http://baronmargo.com

        1. PapayaSF Avatar

          Wow, lots of great stuff at the link. Too bad there's no detailed info about the vehicles, though.

  8. Gary Avatar

    I also have to say that the Sashimi car is my fave: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kYlSTvAW1Po

  9. Tim Odell Avatar

    Yeah, there's a fine line, to be sure.
    We've all seen too many otherwise nice cars trashed for the sake of getting a "trashed" look, which is really unfortunate.

  10. Harrod Blank Avatar

    check out the trailer for the new film on Art Cars "Automorphosis" On tour with it now http://www.automorphosis.com
    <object width="480" height="385"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/-tMO-5sCacQ&amp;hl=en_US&amp;fs=1?rel=0"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/-tMO-5sCacQ&amp;hl=en_US&amp;fs=1?rel=0&quot; type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" width="480" height="385"></embed></object>

  11. Harrod Blank Avatar

    Oops here's the link for "Automorphosis" trailer
    [youtube -tMO-5sCacQ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-tMO-5sCacQ youtube]

    1. PapayaSF Avatar

      Looks good. Let's hear it for the "I-stuck-a-bunch-of-random-crap-on-my-beater" cars!

  12. Sonny Fenwick Avatar

    the bubble truck a daily driver and an interactive art car[youtube 7t37Bzq_HlQ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7t37Bzq_HlQ youtube]

  13. Dave Major Avatar

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=96eQlKqqpjY&mo
    The Propeller Car from Kansas has no transmission & is powered by a Lycoming airplane engine turning a 6 foot wood prop.
    In the winter it rides on 3 skies.

  14. Dave Major Avatar

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZZXnWWYiUf0
    Rex Rosenberg's Chewbru is one of my favorites.
    He takes it to art car events all over the US.

  15. penguy Avatar

    My favorite car is the one covered in 10,000 pens the mercedes pens

  16. extremo thew clown Avatar
    1. Klone Gone Rong Avatar

      Oh, yes. ANOTHER Reverend Chas…

  17. jos Avatar

    I have to Vote for The Sashimi Tabernackle Choir. It makes me happy every time I see it and hear it. It must be seen in action to get the full effect. of all of those singing lobsters and fish. Though I also love WT's work. His work is a piece of sculptural art.

  18. Paul McRae Avatar

    I like to light up the night in my artcar.
    <img src="http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2262/2343775536_e12cc8c859.jpg&quot; />

  19. Tim Odell Avatar

    Ummm…the current Koonz car is an M3 GTS, not a 6.

    1. engineerd Avatar

      Yup, it ran at the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Well, it did until it crashed 5 hours in, then spent a bunch of time getting repaired, then developed mysterious technical issues and finally just pulled over and shut down. But, it looked good doing it!

    1. A_E Avatar

      Sorry about that. Anyway, I vote for Some Kind of Bat Car.

    2. Tim Odell Avatar

      Here ya go:
      <img src="http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4136/4852845455_aae717dea4.jpg&quot; width="334" height="500" alt="DSC_0740" />

  20. kelly Avatar

    Hmm, faves, too many to list, but here's a few:
    Rebecca Caldwell's CARTHEDRAL (spectacular!)
    Harrod Blank's CAMERA VAN (love the precision & fact that it really takes pictures)
    Charles Hunt's THE GRAPE (sort of Mad Max w/ a better sense of humour)
    Julian Stock's SKULL TRUCK (New Orleans victim of Katrina)
    Jose Benavides' Our LADY done in license plates.
    Extremo the Clown's MSV
    And yup, SASHIMI.
    Mine are all the paint & 'glue crap on' variety. Haven't figured out how to upload images on this thing.
    kelly

  21. Klone Gone Rong Avatar

    Well, I DID marry the Danger car…

  22. robynn Avatar

    Here are some of mine… Psychedelic Surfer Dude, etc
    http://www.krop.com/robynnsanders/

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