A Cool Volvo? Thanks Galpin for your Custom C30

If you were at the L.A. Autoshow - you were probably dissappointed. A lot of the same old without many debuts. Generally, a lot of plastic, already-available cars for close to $30K. It left us wanting a restored Chevy Malibu and one of those eight dollar Margaritas they were peddling in the convention center.

But, if you'd stopped by the Galpin booth next to the Garage Envy Ford GT display, you saw something you have never seen before. A customised / hot-rodded Volvo. And not just any safety-obsessed Ikea couch on wheels - but the C30.
Shocking the world with a radical use of flat paint (like the Lexus, flat black, FiveAxis concept but not). This thing was purple, had a Galpiny white racing stripe and massive, color-matched purple wheels with white walls. So, what it looked like was a lead sled from the 50s but on a cutting edge Volvo hatchback. The car appears in Galpin's 2008 calendar but it's still in the Basic Transportation official car - so we're not sure which month. A hatchback that looks fast but not 'import scene fast'? Awesome! What do you think about the fast and furious C30? Comment at will!

Global Warming Created Art Car During SF earthquake in 1989 at 5:04 pm???

Photo by Harrod Blank

I have been thinking about this artcar for for some time now so I had to write about it, and maybe its because I have a feeling there will be another major earth quake in the San Francisco Bay Area, in the next couple of months. On October 17, 1989 a major earthquake hit San Francisco at 5:04 PM that devastated this area really bad. But the destruction gave birth to an unusual artcar called 5:04 PM. Michael Mikel was wondering around SF after the earth quake when he came upon an Oldsmobile with its top crushed in by a pile of bricks from a wall. He offered to buy the car but the owner just gave to him considering the car a total loss. With some minor repairs and a new number plate "5:04 PM" he had got himself an art, created by one of mother earths nasty tantrums. I guess that's the positive side all that "CO2" is Global Warming Art Cars. Michael you lucky stiff I spent 2.5 years working on my art car, yours took a few minutes. Thank you "Mother Earth" for you creativity and your tantrums once again.

Fiat 500 coming to U.S. - But is U.S. ready? Autoblog Comments say 'Nope'.

The Fiat 500 promises unbelievable gas mileage (an amazing 39.7mpg !!!), neat style and, according to Fiat, over 500,000 combinations of engines (3 not counting the Abarth tuned version), , colours, wheels and accessories can be had!

But reading the Autoblog comments to the 'Fiat 500 in U.S.' announcement shows that American folk aren't excited about almost-4o MPGs and an interior that looks like this (right).

And, just to show off their mighty car knowledge - lots of Autoblog commentators bring up the historically crappy quality Fiat's become known for. But, the truth, is if you've been into a Panda or Punto lately - not the freaken 80s - you know that a Fiat is made about as well as any other not-expensive car. A little engine noise but panel gaps smaller and straighter than any American (as-in, assembled in Mexico) car. You'll get a warranty - if you didn't, why would anyone buy an Evo, WRX or Viper?

This is, by the way, from people who drive cheap-plasticky-interior Chevies (this picture is a 2008 Silverado Interior) and recall-loving Fords (link to all Ford Recall notices). These are fine cars too - cause all new cars are not very high-quality so why not get 40mpgs and park in urban centers.

So, open your heart to the Fiat 500 -by 2010 - you're looking at 5 bucks a gallon but a quarter of Americans (according to our gas price poll) say
"I don't care how much gas costs, not even a little - I love my truck!"

Marilyn Dreampeace, we will miss you!!!

A few days ago I go an email that Marilyn Dreampeace creator of come play with me art car past away from a very rare form of cancer. She was featured in Harrod Blank's Wild Wheels book on art cars. She was an inspiration to me to create my own art car called the Mercedes Pens. I had the opportunity to meet her at my very first Artcar Fest 2005 and again in 2006. She always had a postive outlook and alwasy fun to hand out with. For more photos of Marilyn and friends go her flickr pool

1973 BMW 2002Tii called "Come Play with Me"

Toyota Prius called the "Hibird"

Toyota Prius called "wet dreams"

Photo credits Paul McRae

Shit, Really? 22MPG Chevy Tahoe is L.A. Green Car of the Year

There were electric vehicles (EVs), there were hydrogen cars, even a hybrid Nissan Altima. But who takes home the green gold? An eight-cylinder truck that gets 22 MPG on the highway! Don't get us wrong. We like the Chevrolet Tahoe a lot! But green car it ain't. If you're going over 33mph - you're using all 5.3 liters of V8 the big-ass Chevy's got to offer. GM clearly bought themselves a meaningless award that kinda mocks the whole gas price nightmare L.A. is actually in.

BMW hints new Isetta - Massive Balls or Vaporware Bullplop?

Auto Express, UK's awesome car weekly is teasing us with a possible new Isetta from BMW. Like the New Beetle, New Mini and new Fiat 500 - it's another everyman car that history loves. Of course, like the other fake retro econocars - the above drawing seems to have door handles on the side. Already not very Isetta. But the rear-engine design will be retained (in this fantasy, might never happen scenario.)

Auto Express is telling us to wait until 2010 to hear more. They also raise the interesting point of the Isetta not really fitting into Bimmers 'Ultimate Driving Machine' thing. As gas prices keep skyrocketing like bastards in the U.S. - can new, tiny cars like the Smart, Fiat 500 and this thing be the future?

Penny a Day - Sponsor a Poor Kid or Fuel up Your Truck?

Gas in Southern California is going up about a penny everyday. And there's rumors of $200 barrels next year! So, yet again, Basic Transportation whips out its gas price poll.

What's it going to take to get you into a Toyota Yaris, Scion tC, Honda Civic or Prius?

History In Motion Art Car

Motion in History is one of the art cars created by Forrest Butcher found on his web site The Fun Garage. He wanted to build/fabricate a TransAm-style racecar-type bodied vehicle and in the spring of 2005 he started. His car is built on an originall 1975 Volkswagen Bus, and all that is used is the frame. Built with a 1" square tubing and flat sheet metal, the vehicle was hand tooled and designed in the style of a 1960s Trans Am racing car. Nice work and thank you for the submission.

Turkey Day Art Car

In commemorating Thanksgiving day, I decided to go out and find an Artcar that was decorated as a turkey or in some way turkey "themed". The closest I came was the Chicken Car and an artcar found in Istanbul, Turkey. Run kid, run for your life!!!!

Art Car from Turkey by Pictures from Turkey

Chicken Car by Scott Beale

I also found another funny picture from Turkey, apparently gas prices have hit an all time high there as well.

By everyone, enjoy your turkey or close substitute and make sure you you leave enought room for the veggies...NOT!!!
Aslo check out The Cork Truck by Janet Groenert, recently added to the artcar list

The Future of Champ Car and the IRL

May just depend on a very few!

What if Penske, Gnassi and Newman Hass Lannigan all decided to fold their OW tents.

Why didn't I name Andretti in this lot?.................you know why.

Think about it, it's not as unlikely as you might imagine.

2008 Schedule Confirmed

April 20 Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach, Long Beach, California
April 27 Champ Car Grand Prix of Houston at JAGFlo Speedway, Houston, Texas
May 18 Champ Car Grand Prix at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, Monterey, California
June 1 Champ Car Belgium at Circuit Zolder, Zolder, Belgium
June 8 Champ Car Spain at Circuito Permanente de Jerez, Jerez, Spain
June 22 Champ Car Grand Prix of Cleveland, Cleveland, Ohio
June 29 Champ Car Mont-Tremblant, Mont-Tremblant, Quebec, Canada
July 6 Steelback Grand Prix of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
July 20 Rexall Grand Prix of Edmonton, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
July 27 Champ Car Portland, Portland, Oregon
August 10 Road America Grand Prix, Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin
September 14 Champ Car Holland at the TT Circuit Assen, Assen, Holland
October 26 Gold Coast Indy 300, Surfers Paradise, Australia
November 9 Gran Premio Tecate Presentado por Banamex, Mexico City, Mexico

Champ Car 2008 Schedule ?

Rumor or fact?

Perhaps we will know for sure this week!

Source ESPN

INDIANAPOLIS - The Champ Car World Series is expected to release a 2008 season schedule Monday 11/5 that includes the formula's first ever event in Spain. However, absent from the 14-race slate is the Las Vegas Grand Prix, which debuted to mixed reviews in 2007. Las Vegas and the stillborn Phoenix Grand Prix (the intended 2007 season finale) were promoted by a group that included Arizona Diamondbacks co-owner Dale Jensen. The 2008 Champ Car schedule is broadly similar to this year's 14-race line-up with a couple of key exceptions.

The Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach kicks off the season April 20, followed by the Grand Prix of Houston, the first of three twin bills with the American Le Mans Series.

Only one race is scheduled in May (at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca on the 18th), leaving the slim chance some Champ Car teams could enter the IRL Indianapolis 500. The series will then leave the country for June races at Zolder, Belgium and Jerez, a 2.752-mile road course in southern Spain that hosted the Formula 1 Spanish Grand Prix from 1986 to 1990.

The rest of the summer is business as usual for Champ Car, aside from a date change for the race at Portland International Raceway to late July. A trio of Canadian dates remain intact, and the series returns to Europe in September for a reprise of the popular race at Assen, Netherlands. A fourth European race could be twinned with Assen with FIA approval.

Long gaps in the schedule remain in the latter part of the season, with only four races currently scheduled between August 10 and November 9, when the championship will again come to a close in Mexico City.

Champ Car's Atlantic Championship development series is set for growth, with an expected return to the historic Trois-Rivieres street circuit in Quebec and a new venue for the championship finale -- Utah's Miller Motorsport Park. Out: Las Vegas, Phoenix, Zhuhai In: Laguna Seca, Jerez (Spain) Still in question: 4th European race. (British Grand Prix at Brands Hatch Or Donnington.)Champcar Atlantics new races at Troi Rivieres and Miller Motorsports Park.

The Grass Car

For the longest time I have been fascinated by grass covered cars. Its a whole other world when people cover vehicles in astroturf or even better real grass. The later takes a bit more skill as you will see in the video of a guy who started doing that in the late eighties. I did a search on Google and Flikr and found a few more vehicles covered in this stuff, the effect is simply amazing. Talk about an eco friendly green car.

Brooklyn, New York artist Gene Pool is featured in this short video from the movie Wild Wheels by Harrod Blank

Gene Also did a Grass Bus

And here are some other Grass Cars I found on Flikr

Photo by temp13rec.

Photo by Cyrius

Photo by basheem

Photo by Daniel Mauermann

Photo by anab Jain

Photo by northreflections

Photo by europeanartphoto

Photo by Mulad

Photo bymeherenow

And a few others

The Plaidmobile by Tim McNally

The Plaidmobile by Tim McNally
The Plaidmobile by Tim McNally
Photo by Harrod Blank

The Plaidmobile is a 1985 Buick SkyHawk with a plaid custom paint job. Tim resides in NY and spent a 2-3 years trying to change the official color of the color throught the DMV from"red" to "plaid". This car has been driven all over the country and is also featured in Harrod Blanks book on Art Cars.
Check out Tim's other car on Flikr as well:)

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