Once-Famous Mustang Art Car Falls On Hard Times, Faces Crusher

Murilee Martin
by Murilee Martin
once famous mustang art car falls on hard times faces crusher

After judging at the Arse Freeze-a-Palooza 24 Hours of LeMons near Bakersfield, I headed north to visit my family in the San Francisco Bay Area before heading back to Denver. Naturally, I had to stop by at least one junkyard, and— small world!— I ran into a car that looked very familiar.

Yes, this is the very same ’69 Mustang that I photographed in my old neighborhood in Alameda and immortalized in a DOTS post on Jalopnik. Nearly two years later, things haven’t gone so well for this art car.

The car that was once a regular at California art-car events and a rolling political statement (which brings up a question: Why don’t we ever see right-wing art cars? Probably for the same reason there are no right-wing mimes) got towed away and dragged to a South Bay self-serve junkyard, where it sits in the “fixer uppers” lot. Since even the most ardent Mustang fanatic wouldn’t pay more than scrap value for this thing, its next stop will be the Ford section of the yard, followed by a trip to The Crusher a couple of months later. This is what happened with the legendary Groovalicious Purple Princess of Peace, which ended up in the very same San Jose yard.

Much of the stuff that was glued all over the car when I saw it on the street is gone now, no doubt knocked off during its long downward spiral, but you get the idea.

Though I approve of the concept of the art car, I’m not a fan of the “crazy hoarder with glue gun” approach. Still, I’d prefer that a car like this remain on the street, shaking up the squares.

Join the conversation
2 of 25 comments
  • VanillaDude VanillaDude on Dec 07, 2011

    The reason there are so few right wing art cars is because almost all conservatives respect property and would never do this to a car they paid for. It takes a hell of a lot of disrespect to do this to a car, then drive it around to see the reaction of strangers. Left wingers intend to insult onlookers, while right wingers insult onlookers unintentionally.

  • Ronnie Schreiber Ronnie Schreiber on Dec 07, 2011

    One reason why I dislike many art cars is that they're a left handed critique of cars themselves. I guess there's supposed to be some irony involved.

  • FreedMike This article fails to mention that Toyota is also investing heavily in solid state battery tech - which would solve a lot of inherent EV problems - and plans to deploy it soon. https://insideevs.com/news/598046/toyota-global-leader-solid-state-batery-patents/Of course, Toyota being Toyota, it will use the tech in hybrids first, which is smart - that will give them the chance to iron out the wrinkles, so to speak. But having said that, I’m with Toyota here - I’m not sold on an all EV future happening anytime soon. But clearly the market share for these vehicles has nowhere to go but up; how far up depends mainly on charging availability. And whether Toyota’s competitors are all in is debatable. Plenty of bet-hedging is going on among makers in the North American market.
  • Jeff S I am not against EVs but I completely understand Toyota's position. As for Greenpeace putting Toyota at the bottom of their environmental list is more drama. A good hybrid uses less gas, is cleaner than most other ICE, and is more affordable than most EVs. Prius has proven longevity and low maintenance cost. Having had a hybrid Maverick since April and averaging 40 to 50 mpg in city driving it has been smooth driving and very economical. Ford also has very good hybrids and some of the earlier Escapes are still going strong at 300k miles. The only thing I would have liked in my hybrid Maverick would be a plug in but it didn't come with it. If Toyota made a plug in hybrid compact pickup like the Maverick it would sell well. I would consider an EV in the future but price, battery technology, and infrastructure has to advance and improve. I don't buy a vehicle based on the recommendation of Greenpeace, as a status symbol, or peer pressure. I buy a vehicle on what best needs my needs and that I actually like.
  • Mobes Kind of a weird thing that probably only bothers me, but when you see someone driving a car with ball joints clearly about to fail. I really don't want to be around a car with massive negative camber that's not intentional.
  • Jeff S How reliable are Audi? Seems the Mazda, CRV, and Rav4 in the higher trim would not only be a better value but would be more reliable in the long term. Interior wise and the overall package the Mazda would be the best choice.
  • Pickles69 They have a point. All things (or engines/propulsion) to all people. Yet, when the analogy of being, “a department store,” of options is used, I shudder. Department stores are failing faster than any other retail. Just something to chew on.