An automobile can be much more than a means of transportation – it can also be a canvas for creative expression. In today’s post, we take a look at six vehicles where the owners have chosen to customize their rides in a patriotic fashion, expressing their love for the United States of America.
6). – 1929 Chevrolet “Low Flyer”
This 1929 Chevrolet has been customized in the style of a World War II fighter aircraft. It features a 235 inline-6 Chevrolet motor with dual Stromberg carburetors connected to a two-speed Powerglide transmission from a 1966 Chevelle. The exhaust features hand-made headers exiting through 4 old Harley Davidson exhaust pipes with custom drilled sheathing to simulate machine gun barrels. The interior features upholstery made from a 1940s US Army tent, an ammo can glove box, a vintage brass fire extinguisher, and a hand grenade shift knob.
5). Jet Engine Powered Mitsubishi Eclipse
Here we have a third-generation 2003 Mitsubishi Eclipse. This car has a 5-speed manual transmission, air conditioning, an AM/FM radio with CD player, and oh yeah…a jet turbine engine in the rear hatch! This car was originally purchased on eBay for around $20,000 and brought to Arizona. It made the rounds at local car shows from approximately 2010-2013, and hasn’t been seen since. The turbine engine did work and produced an ear-piercing roar. It was also capable of shooting an impressive fireball, as pictured above. I seem to recall reading that the engine was sourced from a Blackhawk helicopter, but I cannot remember where I read that. The owner also had a MTT Y2K turbine powered motorcycle at one point. Anyway, the car is wrapped to look like a US Army fighter jet, which is why it comes in at #5 on our list of most patriotic custom cars.
4). “Fallen Heroes” Spartan II
The Spartan II is a low-production custom car that combines neoclassic styling with a Nissan powertrain. You can read my full post on the Spartan II here. After seeing that initial car, I saw another one – this time a red one! The entire rear of the car was airbrushed with a mural depicting various patriotic and religious scenes. Over the backdrop of the American flag we can see a plane that resembles a C-5 Galaxy or a C-17 Globemaster but with incorrect placement of the rear horizontal stabilizers, a tank, a submarine, a HUMVEE, and a Chinook helicopter. There are multiple eagles, including one shedding a tear.
The bottom of the mural shows a grieving woman mourning over a flag-covered coffin while being comforted by a US Marine, then a dozen flag-covered coffins in the cargo bay of a US military aircraft, a jet aircraft striking the side of Tower 2 of the World Trade Center, and finally a crucified Jesus hanging on the cross at sunset. Beneath everything are the words “In Memory of our Fallen Heroes” in gold script.
I don’t even know where to begin with this one – it blends military service with a national tragedy with patriotism with a religious element as well. It’s very over-the-top and clearly the owner has some very strong sentiment for America.
3). “Support Our Troops” Corvette
The Chevrolet Corvette is perhaps the most quintessential, red-blooded American vehicle since the Model T. I spotted this very patriotic C6 Corvette convertible at a local air show. The car is white with a red interior and features a blue front air dam with white stars. On both sides, an exaggerated flag has been airbrushed starting from the fenders and extending the length of the doors.
2). The 9/11 Tribute Shelby Mustang
I spotted this very patriotic Shelby Mustang at a local car meet. The red car features American flag stripes running the length of the car. On the hood is an airbrushed Statue of Liberty flanked by quotes from American Patriots such as Nathan Hale. Moving to the rear of the car, the trunk lid features an elaborate airbrushed mural of the New York City skyline with two large towers that don’t look anything like World Trade Center Towers 1 and 2, but since one has a giant antenna, I’m assuming that’s what they are supposed to be. Finally, the rear bumper says “NEVER FORGET” in large block letters.
1). 2005 Chevrolet Silverado “HEROES Truck”
When is a Chevrolet Silverado worth $200,000? When it’s the HEROES Truck. This custom show truck tops our list of Most Patriotic Custom Vehicles, and it’s the clear leader of the pack. The truck took 5 years to build and more than 50,000 man hours of labor, including 1,200 hours of airbrush artwork by Mickey Harris from Cosby, TN. The murals pay tribute to our military, firefighters, police, nurses, politicians, astronauts, and any other U.S. citizen that has shown courage and self-sacrifice. The truck is a tribute to all of our past, present, and future American heroes.
Beyond the eye-popping artwork, the truck has also been upgraded with a 540cid GM V8 engine with a BDS supercharger, modified Turbo 400 transmission, and DynaTech axles. It rides on Weld Wheels and Super Swamper tires and features a tilt body which reveals the polished stainless chassis and adjustable four-link suspension. The truck sold for $209,000 at the Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale collector car auction in January 2013.
Well, that wraps up our list of the Top 6 Most Patriotic Custom Cars. Thanks for reading, and have a safe and happy 4th of July!