Call it a festival, an event, a “temporary metropolis dedicated to community, art, self-expression, and self-reliance”, but there’s no denying the fact that Burning Man has been an artistic staple in the American consciousness since its first iteration in 1986. And one of the most iconic facets of this phenomenon is the incredibly wild and creative Burning Man cars (art cars and mutant vehicles) that come out of each year’s gathering.
Unfortunately, due to public health concerns, Burning Man 2020 as we know and love it has been cancelled, with a series of virtual events taking its place. To pay homage to this weird, quirky, and downright incredible event, we’ll be taking a look at some of the most iconic and memorable burning man cars and mutant vehicles that have ever graced Black Rock City.
1. Airpusher art car (2015)
Take Noah’s Ark and mix it with a steam-punk airship, and you’ll get something that looks like this 2015 Airpusher. Looks pretty cozy if you ask me!
2. Lovecraftian mutant (2019)
Okay, so it’s clearly modeled after an octopus, but it also looks like a fire-breathing nightmare straight out of an H.P. Lovecraft story. Good luck getting around in this one!
3. The Spiked Dragon (year unknown)
This one’s just plain cool. From the smallest details on the body to the DJ sound system to the fact that someone can literally ride on the neck of this “dragon”, this has to be one of our favorite Burning Man creations yet.
4. The Glowing Carriage (2019)
Now this one is straight out of a Tim Burton film. While this mutant vehicle is only big enough to whisk a few people across the black rock desert, it makes up for it with its whimsical style. Its a Burning Man cars classic, for sure.
5. The Viking Dragon (2010)
Tiny but mighty, this art car is reminiscent of a metal viking ship. We’ve got to wonder though, just how hot does it get in there? Whatever the case, it’s a cool rendition of Burning Man cars.
6. Cheshire Cat (2007)
Would you look at the claws on that one! It’d definitely be a strange sight to see this art car cruising toward you in the desert.
7. The Aardvark (2000)
Probably the most hokey of Burning Man cars, this adorable aardvark-inspired vehicle is hilarity at its best. I know I’d love a ride in this one.
Burning Man cars aside, want more cool car history and news? Check out how the Volkswagen Beetle became an American icon, and other stories on the Headlights blog!