The formula for creating an art car is pretty straightforward: take a vehicle of any year, make, model, or style and modify it to express your own creativity and artistic ability. The result is that anything you can dream up and build is considered art.
For example, this car began its life as a Cadillac Eldorado hearse. It was then transformed into the Pirate Surf Mobile by art car builder Richard Fletcher. From the double front axle to the two-tone blue and gold paint, this 28-foot long vehicle really stands out from the crowd.
The front grille boasts a large skull and crossbones and the hood has been completely removed. In its place, we see an engine with a variety of weird-looking customizations. The exhaust exits the engine just before the firewall through a pair of unusually shaped 4-into-1 exhaust manifolds with no mufflers. The intake manifold towers above the engine bay and looks like something that belongs in Disneyland’s ToonTown.
Getting into the car looks to be a little tricky as the doors have been smoothed into the body. Fortunately, the roof has been chopped off to allow for easier entry. The windshield has also been lowered to mere inches above the dashboard, so you will need a pair of sunglasses or goggles when taking this baby to the beach!
The rear of the car retains more of its Cadillac heritage, though it still contains a number of cosmetic embellishments.
What are your thoughts on the Pirate Surf Mobile? Personally, I don’t like it. I feel that it is too gaudy, too ridiculous, and the overall concept is not well executed (the elements of pirates, surfing, and Cadillacs lack cohesion). However, it succeeds as an art car in that it brings the creator’s vision to life in a unique way.
You can see the Pirate Surf Mobile for yourself in the collection at the Scottsdale International Auto Museum in Scottsdale, Arizona. UPDATE: Since this post was published, the museum has closed permanently.