Our Art Cars - The Cosmic Fleet


Ricky the Fish

The Cadwac is SOLD! A good friend of ours bought it and it will be undergoing renovation for a completely new look. Preparations are underway. I will be involved in the renovation, doing whatever new metalwork that it needs. I will post pics of the progress here at some point or at least put a link to pics.



My (Royce's) first art car was a 1955 Chevy pick-up which I bought for $75 way back in 1972. In 1974 I painted it up a bit and put a manikin hand on the hood as an ornament. I called it "Manfred the Wonder Truck" Back then I didn't even know there was a term for what I was doing. I don't think the term "art car" was in use then. I drove the truck for almost ten years.

In 1997 Juanita's 1981 Toyota Corolla was rusted through in some spots. Instead of fixing it, we decided to add fins to it. Thus began the creation of Ricky the Fish.

In 2000 I bought a 1988 Nissan flatbed pickup for a work truck. I had just begun welding and wanted to re-do the stake sides on the truck. This was the beginning of the Tribal Truck. It is the official work truck for Cosmic Steel.

In January of 2005, our good friend, Ty Johnson, bought a 1987 Chevrolet Caprice specifically to be turned into an art car.

Joining the Cosmic Fleet in February 2005 is a gigantic 1970 Cadillac Fleetwood. Ty bought it and Royce is decorating it. It's called the CadWac.

The Cadwac went to Burning Man in 2005. We tried to take it again in 2006 but the engine blew near Tonopah, Nevade. We had to leave it there for a couple of weeks. We towed it back to Prescott.

In late 2006, the Tribal Truck was rear-ended and totaled. It still ran, though, and with a little bit of bending and pounding it was still drivable. I gave it to an artist in Tucson with the condition that he modify it into an even more bizarre vehicle.

In early 2007 Nita sold Ricky the Fish to a couple who just wanted it to sit in their yard and annoy the neighbors. It was on its last legs anyway and it was time for it to go.

A few months later Nita acquired the Aquarolla, a 1983 Toyota that she made into an art car the year before. It was created, under her direction, by kids and friends and raffled off to benefit the Tsunami-on-the-Square performing arts festival. The person who won it had knee problems and couldn't drive a stick, so she gave it to Nita.

In November of 2007 Ty moved to Texas. He left the Caprice at my shop for a few months and I hauled it out to him in Texas in March of 2008. Now it is entertaining the citizens of San Marcos and Austin, Texas.

A new engine was put into the CadWac in April of 2008. After sitting for nearly two years, it runs again! The new engine is even bigger than the old one.

The latest project was the Suessian Pedal Tractor. This is a three-person pedal vehicle that looks like something that Dr. Seuss would have drawn. It was completed in August 2008.

An upcoming project will be created out of a 1990 Chevy long-bed pickup truck. It was purchased in June of 2008.

You can follow the progress and adventures of our art cars on these pages and more wackiness on my blog, "Adventures in the Zone"

Maybe we will see you on the road sometime

Royce, Nita, and Ty


The Tribal Truck


Caprice


CadWac


Aquarolla


Seussian Pedal Tractor

Prescott, AZ
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