Help Us Turn
this Car

Ahh, summer is here, and a young man's fancy turns to thoughts of a new artcar. This fine '74 Buick LeSabre convertible has been a faithful vehicle for 8 years, but she's in serious need of a paint job (that's an old picture). I had been wondering exactly what to do about it, and for a while was considering completely covering her in $1 bills (the idea came to me when a Jag with mondo gold trim passed me on the highway, and I thought "yeesh, why don't they just cover their cars in money"). But after a little math involving the number of dollar bills it would take to cover a car the size of Rebecca here, I reconsidered. Then I thought I could do the same thing with much lower cash outlay by using Monopoly money or Hell Bank Notes, but they're not really intended to last long and I was afraid they would fade in sunlight.

Then it dawned on me, that even though I live smack dab in Silicon Valley, I have never seen an artcar with a technological motif. Now, this fits with Silicon Valley - the popular culture just doesn't reflect what goes on here. I think the Hard Disk Saloon was the exception, but I believe even it has closed down. So TechnoCar it is!


Imagine a car covered with circuit boards, cable bundles, keyboards, LCD displays, LEDs, stepper motors and solar cells. Some old 386 computers stowed in the trunk running the displays; keypads and touchpads work as input to modify the moving graphics displays and LED patterns. Ultrasound and infrared transducers detect motion near the car to trigger visual and sound events. Small LCD cameras on various parts of the car capture scenes to display on other parts of the car. A Ricochet modem links it to the internet, uploading images and downloading input from the web page; the solar cells charge batteries in the trunk to keep the show interactive and entertaining even when parked and after dark. And who knows what else!


I need techno-trash. I know that companies throw out tons of old technology daily, so if you are in the Silicon Valley/San Francisco Bay area, and can get your hands on old circuit boards, cable assemblies, actuators, steppers, display panels, etc. etc. then please "pitch in"! I will pick it up, or if you'd like, you can join us on one of our car decorating weekends (free drinks and BBQ) and personally add your own touch. Any techno-artists that would like to have their work driving around silicon valley on a regular basis? Well why not?


Email technocar at this domain and let's get TechnoCar on the road!

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