Junkyard Find: 1987 Volvo 740 Turbo Art Car

Murilee Martin
by Murilee Martin
junkyard find 1987 volvo 740 turbo art car

Since I’ve built (and daily-driven) what I consider to be an art car, I’m not against the concept of an art car. The problem is that you get 100 random-beater-with-army-men-hot-glued-all-over art cars for every brilliant Sashimi Tabernacle Choir. Because affixing random crap all over a cheap car is an accepted route to a certain segment of San Francisco Bay Area artistic circles, I’ve found a fair number of these things in Northern California wrecking yards. Here’s the first turbocharged art car I’ve seen in my travels.

This is the same Oakland yard in which we saw the 1985 Toyota Master Ace art car last year, and today’s Volvo is the latest in a series of forlorn-looking art cars that broke something expensive and/or racked up too many parking tickets in revenue-crazed cities such as Berkeley or San Francisco. There was the semi-famous Groovalicious Purple Princess of Peace Ford Taurus wagon and the skull-bedecked ’69 Mustang before that car, and I’m sure that a fair number wash up at junkyards on the route between San Francisco and a popular art-car destination in Black Rock Desert.

Strangely, no effort was made to incorporate the TURBO INTERCOOLER emblems into the decor.

Lots of beads, lots of feel-good messages (why don’t any art cars have big Nietzsche Family Circus graphics?), the usual stuff.

This car will be getting crushed soon, but— even as I write this— somebody is gluing 10,000 mirror fragments on a Mercury Topaz, continuing the infinite spiral of art-car life.

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  • Ryoku75 Ryoku75 on Jun 10, 2013

    Theres a local 700 like this one out at a local junkyard, it hasn't been arted up but it still has the turbo in it, are old turbos worth saving or best they be left where they are? These 7\900's never got the following that the 200 series does.

  • Jim brewer Jim brewer on Jun 10, 2013

    I knew a guy in the early 70's who had a hand-me-down art car before they were art cars. It was a VW beetle that had been repainted and had the words "The best of all possible things in the best of all possible worlds" painted on it (Candide). Turns out the owner was a very straight executive guy who had bought the car for his teenage children. He took the car to the shop to be painted as it was being handed down to a younger child. One of the man's associates called the body shop and using his best official tone of voice convinced them he was the owner and that's what he wanted. The executive guy decided to keep it that way.

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