I want to make a mutant vehicle for BM

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I want to make a mutant vehicle for BM

Postby Penny Dreadful » Wed Sep 07, 2011 9:23 pm

I am so sorry if this is the wrong place to ask this question, but does anyone have any advice or information on how one gets started working on a mutant vehicle for Burning Man? I have an idea that would not only be fun, but also very helpful to BRC citizens. Only, I'm not rich and I don't know the first thing about automobiles. I know I'm fighting an uphill battle, but I really, really want to do this. If someone could point me in the right direction I would deeply appreciate it.

Thanks for all your help.
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Re: I want to make a mutant vehicle for BM

Postby FIGJAM » Wed Sep 07, 2011 9:32 pm

It's not an uphill battle, it's a coast down a steep hill, exiting and dangerous!!!

You have a plan.

Now start googleing anything you are not sure of and learn as you go.

I studied eplaya for months trying to figure out the BEST way to do Burning man.

In the end I built 90% of what I took and no one believed I was a virgin.

Have faith in your self, don't let minor set backs get you down, and stick with it till YOU are satisfied!!!

You'll be fine. 8)
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Re: I want to make a mutant vehicle for BM

Postby JStep » Wed Sep 07, 2011 9:35 pm

If you really, really want to do it, it will happen because you will figure it out.

Without more information on the specifics, it's hard to give advice. Some folks have really pretty sad excuses for an art car that seem more like a cheap excuse to drive around on the playa. Others have a fucking full sized yacht built onto a 3 axle bus replete with multi leve sound systems and retractable staircases for boarding. What do you envision? Flesh it out, draw some sketches, write up a description. If it is a sound concept and you have some achievable design ideas there will probably be people coming out of the woodwork to help with the project. You could do a kickstarter to help with the money aspect if your idea is something that people would want to help with.
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Re: I want to make a mutant vehicle for BM

Postby Penny Dreadful » Thu Sep 08, 2011 12:29 am

JStep wrote:If you really, really want to do it, it will happen because you will figure it out.

You could do a kickstarter to help with the money aspect if your idea is something that people would want to help with.


Wow, what a helpful site! Thanks to everyone with the tips and encouragement. :)
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Re: I want to make a mutant vehicle for BM

Postby Kinetik V » Thu Sep 08, 2011 12:36 am

Penny is not the only one giving this some serious thought. A bunch of us are looking through the eplaya and other resources for tips, tricks, and advice of any kind.

Golf carts, either gas or electric are running about $1K on Craigslist here in Vegas...but is that enough? Should we "go big or go home" and look for something else? Choices, choices.
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Re: I want to make a mutant vehicle for BM

Postby BBadger » Thu Sep 08, 2011 4:10 am

Kinetic V wrote:Penny is not the only one giving this some serious thought. A bunch of us are looking through the eplaya and other resources for tips, tricks, and advice of any kind.

Golf carts, either gas or electric are running about $1K on Craigslist here in Vegas...but is that enough? Should we "go big or go home" and look for something else? Choices, choices.


The huge ships and large MVs were definitely impressive. However, I found the most amusing of the MVs I saw were the small ones with very distinct, recognizable appearances, e.g. the MV that looked like a pair of toy teeth, a Chinese take-out box, etc. You don't have to go BIG, but do ensure your MV isn't just a "vehicle with lots of lights strung on it" that so many of those art cars were. The best criterion for your MV is: does it crack a smile on peoples' faces when they see it?
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Re: I want to make a mutant vehicle for BM

Postby Ugly Dougly » Thu Sep 08, 2011 10:05 am

Before you pick up a wrench, read or bleed:
http://www.burningman.com/on_the_playa/ ... index.html
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Re: I want to make a mutant vehicle for BM

Postby theCryptofishist » Thu Sep 08, 2011 10:16 am

You might get connected with your regional people and see if there's anyone with skills and ideas to collaborate with.

And really, if that crappy Charlie the Unicorn art car can get licensed, there's a pretty low bar in place.
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Re: I want to make a mutant vehicle for BM

Postby lucky420 » Thu Sep 08, 2011 12:03 pm

bwahahaha Crypto +100
Oh my god, it's HUGE!
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Re: I want to make a mutant vehicle for BM

Postby Penny Dreadful » Thu Sep 08, 2011 6:44 pm

Wow, some really great responses. I guess I should just come out and say what my idea is.

Okay, I was walking around the playa light at night with a really drunk friend. You know how you leave camp one night, and set out to adventure the playa, and your all excited, full of energy, and feel you could go on forever? Then it turns 5:00am, your friend is complaining he has to puke, and your legs are so sore you wondered who in the hell gave you the bright idea to walk so damn far from home. So, it dawned on me, as I'm sure it's dawned on most of you, that a playa taxi of some sort, would be just what the doctor ordered. My idea is to have something small, like an eight passenger tram trailer hooked up to a electrical tow, and circle the playa, picking up and dropping off people, ideally for 24 hours, depending on how many drivers I can get to work different shifts. I figure it's a safe and convenient way to help out citizens who are too tired, too sick, or too injured to walk all the way back to camp, or having to wait for an art car to show up. And that's if it will even let them on, and if it will even go to at least center camp.

Of course, it would be fun and decorative, and up to DMV standards!

I'm positive my idea is not original, and there is probably someone working on the same idea. If so, I would love to work with that person. You guys let me know what you think. Thanks for all the advice.
Last edited by Penny Dreadful on Thu Sep 08, 2011 10:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: I want to make a mutant vehicle for BM

Postby Penny Dreadful » Thu Sep 08, 2011 6:47 pm

Ugly Dougly wrote:Before you pick up a wrench, read or bleed:
http://www.burningman.com/on_the_playa/ ... index.html


Thanks for posting this. It makes a lot of sense, which is why I wanted to make the vehicle small, and primarily for the purpose of getting people back to camp if they're lost, or too 'out of it' to make it on foot or on bike.
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Re: I want to make a mutant vehicle for BM

Postby Major Krash » Thu Sep 08, 2011 7:30 pm

First, what are your logistical resources? What size trailer do you have, and how big/new is your tow vehicle?

Assuming you have at least a newer F250 that is well maintained, and a decent 16-20' trailer with ramps, you can haul anything from a golf cart to a mid-sized car chopped down to the frame, leaving the controls. A V6 is marginal for hauling any artcar (imho) other than a moped....

Of course, you can always leave the MV street-legal and drive it in, but that leaves you vulnerable to en-route breakdowns, with few options (vs. simply renting a new tow vehicle for your trailer+MV)

You mention a trailer - unless that is street legal to haul, that means a 2nd pickup + trailer to haul it....

A golf cart might pull 8 people on a trailer all week if the surface was as perfect as 2011...a mid-sized car chopped down (or better yet a small-frame pickup) would for sure...or a decent size lawnmower....

If you go the "taxi" route, make it whimsical (or it might not get approved). A Butterfly or Bed works just as well for a Taxi at 5am in Black Rock City....
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Re: I want to make a mutant vehicle for BM

Postby Penny Dreadful » Thu Sep 08, 2011 7:49 pm

Major Krash wrote:First, what are your logistical resources? What size trailer do you have, and how big/new is your tow vehicle?


Right now, I have nothing. I don't even know where to begin, which is why I'm here. I've seen on various tram trailer sites eight passenger trailers with an electric tow. I figured that would work for just going around BRC.

Of course, you can always leave the MV street-legal and drive it in, but that leaves you vulnerable to en-route breakdowns, with few options (vs. simply renting a new tow vehicle for your trailer+MV)...You mention a trailer - unless that is street legal to haul, that means a 2nd pickup + trailer to haul it....


Yes, I've thought about storage and stuff. I'm pretty sure I don't need a street legal vehicle, unless any of you here suggests otherwise.

A golf cart might pull 8 people on a trailer all week if the surface was as perfect as 2011...a mid-sized car chopped down (or better yet a small-frame pickup) would for sure...or a decent size lawnmower....


Excellent point. Didn't think of the rough surface. Have to rethink my strategy.

If you go the "taxi" route, make it whimsical (or it might not get approved). A Butterfly or Bed works just as well for a Taxi at 5am in Black Rock City....


Oh absolutely! I want it fun too, not just functional. I'm already getting ahead of myself in design ideas.
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Re: I want to make a mutant vehicle for BM

Postby JStep » Thu Sep 08, 2011 10:22 pm

I thought I had a great idea for an "art car"... A truck with a flat bed trailer. The truck is covered to look like a toilet and on the flatbed sits a bank of JOTS for people to use. The vehicle could cruise the playa and all the big sound camps on Esplanade providing a place to use the pot while they are out on the town and not wanting to look for the nearest place to relieve themselves. The added bit of fun is that there would be no warning beyond get on or get off before it moves on, so when you board to drop a deuce you might end up coming out of the JOTS in a whole new place.

The problem that I finally realized was that there might be some splashing of the nasty blue fluid (and assorted nastiness therein) and that would make this unfeasible. Oh well...
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Re: I want to make a mutant vehicle for BM

Postby Penny Dreadful » Thu Sep 08, 2011 10:32 pm

JStep wrote:I thought I had a great idea for an "art car"... A truck with a flat bed trailer. The truck is covered to look like a toilet and on the flatbed sits a bank of JOTS for people to use. The vehicle could cruise the playa and all the big sound camps on Esplanade providing a place to use the pot while they are out on the town and not wanting to look for the nearest place to relieve themselves. The added bit of fun is that there would be no warning beyond get on or get off before it moves on, so when you board to drop a deuce you might end up coming out of the JOTS in a whole new place.

The problem that I finally realized was that there might be some splashing of the nasty blue fluid (and assorted nastiness therein) and that would make this unfeasible. Oh well...



Oh man, that sounds brilliant. There has to be another way you can pull it off.
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Re: I want to make a mutant vehicle for BM

Postby bleurose51 » Thu Sep 08, 2011 11:22 pm

Hi,

I worked DMV this year and it was quite eye-opening. First of all, BEFORE you even start to worry about the mechanics of an art car, come up with a concept of what you want to do. Read all the info about mutant vehicles on the burning man website (I assume you have already done that - if NOT, you are WAY premature to be asking questions as many things are already answered in those posts). The MOST critical thing you do is to absolutely remember two very important things about creating a mutant vehicle: (1) it MUST be "mutated" to a significant degree and (2) it SHOULD (as much as possible) support community inclusion in some very significant way (either providing rides for others, or providing some kind of community involvement/performance/etc). The vehicle HAS to be for the benefit of the community and (unless you are going for a disabled vehicle permit which is quite different) vehicles that are principally for the benefit of the drivers to get around "town" are not going to be licensed.

You will find that once you write up your proposal (and you need to do this typically by June 30 of the year of the event, and preferably sooner) you will get communication from DMV folks who will be looking at all the submissions. You will only be invited to bring your mutant vehicle if it meets all the requirements and then when you get to the playa, your vehicle needs to be EXTREMELY CLOSE to what you proposed.

We had several cars that came in which were only partially complete. The artist/mutator ran out of time/money/interest and didn't execute the design proposal they had offered. In several cases, there was a good starting effort but in the end, the cars still mostly looked like a golf cart or motorcycle base or whatever was being used. These vehicles had to be declined because the artist hadn't executed the idea that had been approved by the DMV in advance.

From my observation, this is a HUGE undertaking, especially if you don't know much about things automotive (motors, gears, transmissions, brakes, welding frames, electrical systems, etc.) not to mention the artistic side of things, and you should look for a partner (or seven) who want to work with you. It is also VERY expensive, not just to build, but also to get out to the playa. Keep in mind that wherever you live (unless it is someplace like Nixon or Gerlach), you will have to haul it out most likely on a trailer (by their very nature, most mutant vehicles aren't going to be street legal because in order to mutate them sufficiently for approval, you will have to turn the original vehicle into something else - not that there aren't some mutant vehicles that aren't street legal - indeed there are but they are not very common and some of those may have been coming to the playa for many years).

I wish you all the luck in the world (I think everyone should try to execute their dreams/visions) but I also suggest that you be EXTREMELY realistic and make sure your motives are right. If you are REALLY interested in participating to awe the community, maybe you should try a stationary art project first... Even good art is difficult, and good art that moves around and carries people is even harder. Walk before you run, but if you really want to run, go for it but don't be upset with yourself it things don't work out as easily as you would like.

Best,

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Re: I want to make a mutant vehicle for BM

Postby Penny Dreadful » Thu Sep 08, 2011 11:51 pm

bleurose51 wrote:Hi,

I worked DMV this year and it was quite eye-opening. First of all, BEFORE you even start to worry about the mechanics of an art car, come up with a concept of what you want to do. Read all the info about mutant vehicles on the burning man website (I assume you have already done that - if NOT, you are WAY premature to be asking questions as many things are already answered in those posts). The MOST critical thing you do is to absolutely remember two very important things about creating a mutant vehicle: (1) it MUST be "mutated" to a significant degree and (2) it SHOULD (as much as possible) support community inclusion in some very significant way (either providing rides for others, or providing some kind of community involvement/performance/etc). The vehicle HAS to be for the benefit of the community and (unless you are going for a disabled vehicle permit which is quite different) vehicles that are principally for the benefit of the drivers to get around "town" are not going to be licensed.

You will find that once you write up your proposal (and you need to do this typically by June 30 of the year of the event, and preferably sooner) you will get communication from DMV folks who will be looking at all the submissions. You will only be invited to bring your mutant vehicle if it meets all the requirements and then when you get to the playa, your vehicle needs to be EXTREMELY CLOSE to what you proposed.

We had several cars that came in which were only partially complete. The artist/mutator ran out of time/money/interest and didn't execute the design proposal they had offered. In several cases, there was a good starting effort but in the end, the cars still mostly looked like a golf cart or motorcycle base or whatever was being used. These vehicles had to be declined because the artist hadn't executed the idea that had been approved by the DMV in advance.

From my observation, this is a HUGE undertaking, especially if you don't know much about things automotive (motors, gears, transmissions, brakes, welding frames, electrical systems, etc.) not to mention the artistic side of things, and you should look for a partner (or seven) who want to work with you. It is also VERY expensive, not just to build, but also to get out to the playa. Keep in mind that wherever you live (unless it is someplace like Nixon or Gerlach), you will have to haul it out most likely on a trailer (by their very nature, most mutant vehicles aren't going to be street legal because in order to mutate them sufficiently for approval, you will have to turn the original vehicle into something else - not that there aren't some mutant vehicles that aren't street legal - indeed there are but they are not very common and some of those may have been coming to the playa for many years).

I wish you all the luck in the world (I think everyone should try to execute their dreams/visions) but I also suggest that you be EXTREMELY realistic and make sure your motives are right. If you are REALLY interested in participating to awe the community, maybe you should try a stationary art project first... Even good art is difficult, and good art that moves around and carries people is even harder. Walk before you run, but if you really want to run, go for it but don't be upset with yourself it things don't work out as easily as you would like.

Best,

Bleurose


Thanks so much for your helpful advice. As for whether my motives are supportive of the community,I'm sure you read in my later post where I wrote this:

My idea is to have something small, like an eight passenger tram trailer hooked up to a electrical tow, and circle the playa, picking up and dropping off people, ideally for 24 hours, depending on how many drivers I can get to work different shifts. I figure it's a safe and convenient way to help out citizens who are too tired, too sick, or too injured to walk all the way back to camp, or having to wait for an art car to show up.


Sounds pretty serviceable to me.

Believe me, I realize this is a huge undertaking, and I'm not doing this for art's sake or just to awe. I did, indeed, read up on mutant vehicles on the BM website, and got much helpful information about rules and licensing, and requirements. I was looking for specific advice and references on where to start, who to contact, what to do/think about first. If I understand you correctly, your advice is to first draw up a plan and get it approved by DMV, THEN start working on the car. That's particularly helpful.
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Re: I want to make a mutant vehicle for BM

Postby theCryptofishist » Fri Sep 09, 2011 8:35 am

Penny Dreadful wrote: If I understand you correctly, your advice is to first draw up a plan and get it approved by DMV, THEN start working on the car. That's particularly helpful.

DMV will not be looking at applications for 7+ months, I think you'd want to be well on your way to making the mv before then.
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Re: I want to make a mutant vehicle for BM

Postby Miles » Fri Sep 09, 2011 8:45 am

JStep wrote: Some folks have really pretty sad excuses for an art car that seem more like a cheap excuse to drive around on the playa.


BBadger wrote: a "vehicle with lots of lights strung on it" that so many of those art cars were.


FYI a lot of the not well decorated vehicles out there are approved and used by mobility impaired burners. A lot of times that's the only way they can get around the playa.
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Re: I want to make a mutant vehicle for BM

Postby trilobyte » Fri Sep 09, 2011 9:04 am

What they said! :)

I'm giving this thread a nudge over to the Q&A board, since I think it's a better fit.

And then I'll add from my own experience (having worked on a number of vehicles/crews in past years). If possible, I'll offer a simultaneous chorus of "DOO EEET!!!" and "DON'T DOO EEET!!!" You'll learn an awful lot, and there will be some painful (and possibly a few expensive) lessons along the way, it is never as easy as it seems. But, it's some of the most rewarding and fulfilling stuff you'll ever do. Tiny/trivial stuff like figuring out the way to get some bit of lighting figured out, or getting just the right cool piece of fabric for the cushions/seat covers, and also the big stuff, and the amazing reward of creating something that benefits others in BRC.

Plan, plan, plan. Sounds like you've got a good one, and since you're starting now (instead of in late May) you're way ahead of the game. Make a good plan, do your research, ask questions (ePlaya's a fantastic resource for that, our virtual city is full of brilliant people), and you'll be able to get the job done without costs spiraling out of control.
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Re: I want to make a mutant vehicle for BM

Postby JStep » Fri Sep 09, 2011 9:05 am

Miles wrote:
JStep wrote: Some folks have really pretty sad excuses for an art car that seem more like a cheap excuse to drive around on the playa.


BBadger wrote: a "vehicle with lots of lights strung on it" that so many of those art cars were.


FYI a lot of the not well decorated vehicles out there are approved and used by mobility impaired burners. A lot of times that's the only way they can get around the playa.


I'm well aware. I'm thinking of the first art car I rode actually, which was not diabled accessible and consisted of little more than a van with a deck built on top and some speakers. There was one ropelight on a railing and it had an oil lens spotlight instead of running the headlights. I don't mean disrespect to the folks who let me ride it, but really, there was no art to the art car that I could see, it was more of a public conveyance, which I guess is great but not particularly artistic. I did have fun on it and maybe a public conveyance doesn't need to be artsy...
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Re: I want to make a mutant vehicle for BM

Postby Ugly Dougly » Fri Sep 09, 2011 9:54 am

Penny Dreadful wrote:
Ugly Dougly wrote:Before you pick up a wrench, read or bleed:
http://www.burningman.com/on_the_playa/ ... index.html


Thanks for posting this. It makes a lot of sense, which is why I wanted to make the vehicle small, and primarily for the purpose of getting people back to camp if they're lost, or too 'out of it' to make it on foot or on bike.


That's a very reasonable and friendly concept. I was "rescued" once by a nice guy in a golf-cart MV. :)
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Re: I want to make a mutant vehicle for BM

Postby BetaBox » Fri Sep 09, 2011 4:18 pm

I was talking to cap'n ron about another group who did something that was OK, but it was COMPLETELY different then their original submition. Consequently, a decent art car was denied. So, get a good idea and go with it.

Besides that, there are four things you really need:

1. Money
2. Money
3. Time
4. Money

Start with 3k, and *try* to stay under budget :roll:

You will either need access to tools/shop or purchase parts/tools for said vehicle. I would look at your first year more as a good learning experience about how harsh/limiting the playa can be on a vehicle, especially a janky old golf cart grumble, grumble, grumble........
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Re: I want to make a mutant vehicle for BM

Postby Token » Fri Sep 09, 2011 5:23 pm

Here are my suggestions in order of preference:

1. Try a bicycle!
2. Ditch the drunkard. Fuck him/her.
3. Take classes at the local Junior College. Welding, Automotive, etc.
4. Commit a heinous crime, get serious jail time, get a shit ton of prison tattoos, learn welding and automotive crap free of charge.

Then will you be ready for this adventure.

BTW, the whole Taxi idea is pretty lame. Go for a vehicle of DOOM AND DESTRUCTION!
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Re: I want to make a mutant vehicle for BM

Postby Penny Dreadful » Fri Sep 09, 2011 6:37 pm

BetaBox wrote:I was talking to cap'n ron about another group who did something that was OK, but it was COMPLETELY different then their original submition. Consequently, a decent art car was denied. So, get a good idea and go with it.

Besides that, there are four things you really need:

1. Money
2. Money
3. Time
4. Money

Start with 3k, and *try* to stay under budget :roll:

You will either need access to tools/shop or purchase parts/tools for said vehicle. I would look at your first year more as a good learning experience about how harsh/limiting the playa can be on a vehicle, especially a janky old golf cart grumble, grumble, grumble........


Definitely. This isn't something I anticipate completing by next year. If I knew what I was doing, maybe. But, like you said, the first year will be my learning experience.

Token wrote:Here are my suggestions in order of preference:
1. Try a bicycle!

Kinda defeats the point. Next

2. Ditch the drunkard. Fuck him/her.


Got plenty of 'fuck you, got mine' in the default world. Ain't my way. Sorry.

3. Take classes at the local Junior College. Welding, Automotive, etc.


Best advice so far; had already anticipated doing just that.

4. Commit a heinous crime, get serious jail time, get a shit ton of prison tattoos, learn welding and automotive crap free of charge.


With my luck, they'll stick me in the laundry room. :(


BTW, the whole Taxi idea is pretty lame. Go for a vehicle of DOOM AND DESTRUCTION!


Too much of that already. It's beginning to feel a little one-note, don't you think? I was thinking more along the lines of whimsical amusement park creepiness.
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Re: I want to make a mutant vehicle for BM

Postby theCryptofishist » Fri Sep 09, 2011 8:14 pm

Image
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Re: I want to make a mutant vehicle for BM

Postby Penny Dreadful » Fri Sep 09, 2011 11:28 pm

theCryptofishist wrote:Image


yes! yes! that's it exactly!

maybe not as rusty. lol.
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Re: I want to make a mutant vehicle for BM

Postby Bob » Sat Sep 10, 2011 3:26 am

I'd start by building a steam calliope. If that works, build a wagon around it.
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Re: I want to make a mutant vehicle for BM

Postby CapSmashy » Sat Sep 10, 2011 10:00 am

We saw a couple of barrel trains on the 3 o'clock keyhole but I do not know if they were ever out on the playa in operation. Anyone know anything about these or if they were approved because we had a similar idea for a mutant like this.
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Re: I want to make a mutant vehicle for BM

Postby Penny Dreadful » Sat Sep 10, 2011 11:43 am

Bob wrote:I'd start by building a steam calliope. If that works, build a wagon around it.


CapSmashy wrote:We saw a couple of barrel trains on the 3 o'clock keyhole but I do not know if they were ever out on the playa in operation. Anyone know anything about these or if they were approved because we had a similar idea for a mutant like this.


Both of these ideas are brilliant.
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