12/4/2010 UPDATE: Dashboard pix at the bottom.
4/24/2010 UPDATE: Pix of new additions at the bottom.
This all started when I saw the 1963 Karmann Ghia of my dreams for sale at roughly half the price you'd normally pay for a Ghia of that age, in that condition.
My husband balked, so I issued an ultimatum: "Either I buy that Ghia, or my Honda gets a Janis Joplin paint job."
Here is what happened next:
I am working on a more permanent setup for mounting the curtain rods, but you get the idea. The whole thing is a work in progress; once the weather stops sucking, I will add scenes from Route 66, including a mural of the late Bob Waldmire (the real-life inspiration for Fillmore from the movie "Cars," and a dear friend of ours) cruising along in his van, possibly with my late rat terrier, Scout, riding shotgun, and a Grateful Dead quote floating in the purple clouds above them. Might put a big peace sign on the hood and a celestial scene on the roof, too.
On sunny days when I have a little time on my hands, I'll be taking a set of paintmarkers to the interior, which already has new seatcovers (I'll add photos later -- they're just plain black-and-gray seatcovers with colorful patches ironed onto them) and polar fleece sunshade cozies. I'm waiting for my friend Kelly, who runs the tie-dye shop in town, to get back from her holiday break so we can turn an old bedspread into a seatcover for the back.
If anybody's interested, I'll update with photos as I add things.
The vase is a standard New Beetle vase ($4 from the local VW dealership), a plastic electrical conduit fitting with threads at the bottom, (about 50 cents from the hardware store) and a mounting bracket from the same department (23 cents, if I remember correctly), held on with two 7x3/4 wood screws. I'll probably dress up the hardware with paintmarkers when time allows.
I still want a Ghia, but for now, I'll just take the sage advice of Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young: "If you can't be with the one you love, love the one you're with."
UPDATE: Here's the dashboard. Anybody remember "Simon in the Land of Chalk Drawings"? It was a freestanding children's show in the UK; here in the US, it appeared as a segment on Captain Kangaroo and later on Pinwheel. My mom and I always loved it. I decided the dark-colored, rough-textured dashboard was an ideal canvas for some of Simon's simple illustrations, rendered here in paint marker:
While I was at it, I touched up the peace signs I'd put on the steering wheel a few weeks ago:
I love snow days....
4/25/2010 UPDATE: I finally had decent weather and a little free time, so I did some more work to the exterior today:
It's hard to tell from this picture, but I masked off the back bumper and window and painted the hatchback with chalkboard paint so people can leave messages for me. I'll try to post an action shot after the paint is cured and seasoned so people can actually write on it.
This is a picture of the late Bob Waldmire's iconic VW Microbus, which he turned into a mobile visitors' center/art studio/home and drove up and down Route 66 for the better end of 30 years. Bob was the ultimate hippie and the primary inspiration for this project. The quote above Bob's van is from "Ripple," by the Grateful Dead. It says: "There is a road, no simple highway, between the dawn and the dark of night...." For some reason, that song started playing on an endless loop in my head when we got word that Bob was terminally ill. It really hasn't stopped, actually. Here's a closer look at the painting of Bob's van.
And a couple of shots of the quote, which I painted on there several weeks ago but forgot to post:
12/4/2010: Still a work in progress, the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcar has amassed quite a collection of tchotchkes along the way: goodies discovered in geocaches, souvenirs from various trips, rhinestones, charms, and random found items. Automotive-strength superglue -- found at a truck stop and designed to withstand the temperature extremes common to car interiors -- keeps everything in place over bumpy roads.
Here's an overview of the collection:
I have no idea why, but this summer, I became obsessed with finding a Pizza Planet alien from Toy Story. Yes, my dashboard toys are having a little plastic sushi tea party, and yes, the alien is holding a pair of chopsticks.
A slightly longer view. The little sparkly thing on the left is a trinket box I found at a local toy store. It holds geocoins, Pathtags, and other small items I don't want to lose in the car.
This is the stuff I keep to the left of the steering wheel: Care Bear and pretty stone found in geocaches; gecko plushie purchased at a coffee shop in Tucumcari, N.M.; and roadrunner purchased at a curio shop in Tucumcari.
The roadrunner charm below the lizard has sentimental value: I got it the same day I met Ryne Sandberg this summer. <3
I think the rose rock to the right of the lizard looks vaguely obscene. If I hadn't glued it to the dashboard, I probably would have used it as the centerpiece in an assemblage fashioned to resemble a sheela-na-gig....
UPDATE NUMBER UMPTEEN: I finally got a hand free to finish up the passenger's side today. As the quotation was from Richard Bach's novel Illusions: The Adventures of a Reluctant Messiah
, I thought it appropriate to illustrate it with the blue feather from the cover of the book:
I wanted to paint some lines from Allen Ginsberg's "Howl" on top of the roof, but it didn't really work out well (I'm too short to see what I'm doing, even with the help of a chair), so I just covered the top with vague celestial cloud patterns like the ones on the sides and called it good.