As a virgin to the event, I did not fully know what to expect. If you are new to Burning Man and thinking of building a Mutant Vehicle for next year's event, here are some insights I could only gain after I got the beast to the playa:
The best part was turning over the keys to other pilots and setting the thing free so I could be free as well.
Artistically, the people who "got it" really "got it".
Interaction brought the most joy. Especially participatory things like the big hourglass that people could play with.
Some people thought it was a taxi cab service, no matter how I tried to explain the Space Time Serendipity Drive.
I was so wrapped up in the details like el-wire and pilot training, that I forgot to check the important stuff... like oil! The Time Tractor seized on burn day due to my neglect.
The stuff all looked cool as we built it in the garage. I think the night time concept was better than the cluttered look of it in the day time.
The art was less cohesive than other art cars. I admire less detailed vehicles with great welding skill that outdoes my nuts and bolts method of construction.
The open frame construction allowed me to drive next to the water truck and get all the passengers soaked. Better too for less wind resistance on a taller structure. 2nd Story next year? Forget it!
A voltmeter would have helped with knowing the battery charge levels.
Police spotlights with congo blue filters were cool but sucked too much power and ended up too dim. Keeping jumper cables aboard was smart.
El wire is the pasta of the gods!
Any time I started to get show-offy, I made stupid mistakes.
The radio station on board playing a three minute loop was a cool idea. Keeping it on full time and moving it to my camp would have been better.
Newbies like me who over-study may have been more prepared to meet the Department of Mutant Vehicles (DMV) requirements than veteran burners who think they already know it all.
Anything that wobbles will break. That includes wire.
Swimming noodles are cheap for a reason
Outdoor "Goop" brand is still the best adhesive
Driving on wet roads cakes the wheels with playa.
The waterfall table top suspended by springs so it bounced around was a happy accident, yet people loved it. The fact that it could rest in the middle when people sat on it allowed us to load more people on in the Time Vault.