The Best of Burning Man: The Top Ten Series (#5)… Mutant Vehicles

The tusks on they mammoth are what make this art car one of my favorite mutant vehicles at Burning Man. People sit inside the rib cage. The driver climbs into the head.

The tusks on this mammoth are what make this art car one of my favorite mutant vehicles at Burning Man. People sit inside the rib cage. The driver climbs into the head.

 

I am going to be on the road for the next few weeks, so I decided to produce several blogs that might be of interest to my readers but would be easy for me to do: Voila—The Best Of Burning Man series! I’ve now been to Burning Man for ten years starting in 2004 (and will be going again in 2015, assuming I get two tickets and a vehicle pass). Each blog will feature a top ten category such as top ten sculptures, mutant vehicles, etc.

Important: 1) These are from my perspective. Other people will have different points of view. 2) I never see everything that is available to see at Burning Man. There is simply too much. So it’s quite possible that I have missed some really great things. My apologies. 3) I missed 2011. 4) These photos are not in order of choice. That is beyond me. (Grin)

Basically, this series will include a brief introduction and then my top ten choices. There may be captions on my photos, or not. Finally, while Peggy and I have taken the majority of these photos, I have also included photos from Tom Lovering, Beth Lovering, Don Green, and Ken Lake… all members of our ‘tribe,’ and friends.

Series 5: Mutant Vehicles

Burning Man requires that you park whatever you happen to be driving when you arrive at Black Rock City. You are expected to ride a bike or walk where you are going. The exceptions are mutant vehicles that are free to wander about. A mutant vehicle is a vehicle that has been modified to resemble something that in no way resembles the original car, truck, bus or golf cart it was. (There is a three-masted sailing ship that looks exactly like it did when it sailed the seven seas, however. And this year the playa is supposed to feature a recovered 747 jet.)

Some of the mutant vehicles are quite artistic. The best of these creations are jaw dropping unique. Most mutant vehicles take on a totally different persona at night when the Playa becomes magical with their comings and goings. I’ve included an example.

Here are a few of my favorites. If you have been following my blog for a while, they will be familiar.

El Pulpo Mechanico became an instant Burning Man classic when it first made its appearance on the Playa a few years ago. At night, its arms pump up and down shooting out fire.

El Pulpo Mechanico became an instant Burning Man classic when it first made its appearance on the Playa a few years ago. At night, its arms pump up and down shooting out fire.

Fire breathing dragons are also perennial favorites at Burning Man.

Fire breathing dragons are also perennial favorites at Burning Man.

Another, more ferocious looking dragon in Black Rock City.

Another, more ferocious looking dragon in Black Rock City.

Never Was Haul resembles a Victorian House that has been converted to a steam engine train.

Never Was Haul resembles a Victorian house that has been converted to a steam engine train.

Mutan vehicles, such as this vase, take on different personalities at night.

Mutant vehicles, such as this vase, take on different personalities at night.

The same mutant vehicle vase shown above, parked in Black Rock City during the day.

The same mutant vehicle vase shown above, parked in Black Rock City during the day.

Smaller mutant vehicles often brim over with character, such as this polar bear with its red rose.

Smaller mutant vehicles often brim over with character, such as this polar bear with its red rose.

The sailing ship I mentioned above.

The sailing ship I mentioned above.

A rhino even more massive than its counterpart in East Africa.

A rhino even more massive than its counterpart in East Africa.

And finally, a wart hog.  NEXT BLOG: The buildings of Burning Man.

And finally, a wart hog.
NEXT BLOG: The buildings of Burning Man.

20 comments on “The Best of Burning Man: The Top Ten Series (#5)… Mutant Vehicles

  1. I like Fire breathing dragons! The vase by day and night, the contrast is …. wow. Night at burning man must be spectacular. I think you shared a photo of El Pulpo Mechanico at night in one of your posts.

  2. As always, great photos Curt. I love these “best of” series. It’s a great way to get nice photos back out to readers that may have missed them. I can’t imagine all the time and effort that must go into these contraptions. It’s hard to pick a favorite, but the vase wins the day/night award. ~James

    • Thanks. You are right James, there are so many special vehicles that it is nearly impossible to choose which ones are best. One of the neat things about the vase vehicle is that it is constantly changing colors. –Curt

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s