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10 Awesome Cars Of Wasteland Weekend

10 Awesome Cars Of Wasteland Weekend
L.J. Williamson

See also:

*Wasteland Weekend: It's My Apocalypse, And I'll Party If I Want To

*9 Alternatives For Burning Man Lottery Losers

At most car shows, guys hover over their beloved vehicles, circling and swabbing them lovingly with a ShamWow. But at Wasteland Weekend, dust is an asset -- in fact, the dirtier, the better. Dirt imparts more post-apocalyptic authenticity, because after all, there are no car washes in the end times -- you're lucky just to get gasoline.

Wasteland Weekend, the four-day event in California City themed to the future-set movie Mad Max and its sequel The Road Warrior, isn't exclusively a car show, but since cars are so central to the films, a sideshow car show has quite naturally arisen within it. The key difference, of course, is that while most car shows revolve around making cars pristine, pinstriped, and polished, it's better here to bring the grit and terror and menace. In a fun way, of course.

LA Weekly met the devotied and gritty gearheads that set Wasteland Weekend in motion over the last few days.

10.

10 Awesome Cars Of Wasteland Weekend
L.J. Williamson

What's your name?

Michael Hughes.

Where are you from?

Bethel Island, California. It takes me seven hours to drive here.

Is this car your daily driver?

No, no, it's mainly a show car.

Tell us about your car.

It started in 1982 when me and a buddy went to see The Road Warrior. We didn't particularly like the movie, but we were interested in the car. We went back to see it a second time, and a third time, trying to figure out this car. I knew deep down in my soul it was a Ford, but I didn't find out for sure until I talked to a friend from New Zealand, who said it was an XP Falcon. I told my friend the third time I saw the movie, "I'm going to get that car."

After about a year of searching on the Internet, I found the car in Australia. It took about 11 months from when I flew up there and met with them to get it shipped here from Australia. And that included 35 days at sea in a container. Then it was three years of rebuilding the body and getting the rust out. And then about a year after that of complete restoration to get it to where it is right now.

Is this your main hobby?

It's beyond my hobby. That's my wife.

Do you have an actual wife?

No. But the last wife I had, when I showed her a picture of that car, she just stared at it, and said, "That's your car. That car is you."

You saw Road Warrior three times, but you still didn't like the movie?

Well, it kind of grows on you.

9.

10 Awesome Cars Of Wasteland Weekend
L.J. Williamson

What's your name?

Brian Snelson.

Where are you from?

San Diego.

Is this car your daily driver?

Yes.

Tell us about your car.

This is an M-70, Russian-built by Ural, [a] reproduction of the German 1941 R-51 World War II war bike. Bought it two months ago. It's a 2012. The funny part is I drove a van, which consumed about $300 a month in fuel. Now the $300 goes to payments on the sidecar. Not only am I saving gas, I get a sidecar.

8.

10 Awesome Cars Of Wasteland Weekend
l

What's your name?

Tetanus.

Where are you from?

Santa Ana.

Is this car your daily driver?

Yes. It has the capability of becoming fully street legal. I fabricated those hinges, the cage folds back.

Tell us about your car.

It's a 1989 Chevy S-10. It's my friend Dave's fault. This was all because of Wasteland Weekend. We wanted to Wasteland it out a little bit, so I said we could weld stuff to it.

I've been to Burning Man for the past five years, but I skipped this year because last time, someone beat me on the head with a metal cup and the cops didn't do anything to the guy. Then I got drunk and the cops pepper sprayed me and kicked me out of the event. So I decided that Wasteland Weekend was more my flavor.

7.

10 Awesome Cars Of Wasteland Weekend
L.J. Williamson

What's your name?

Ron Griffith.

Where are you from?

This is my backyard. I live in California City.

Is this car your daily driver?

No, it's not very fuel efficient.

Tell us about your car.

I've got a hot rod shop called Phoenix Auto. A customer of mine came in and said "You do wonderful work on these cars, you should actually go out to Wasteland." Of course, me being a big Mad Max fan, it was all over but the crying.

10 Awesome Cars Of Wasteland Weekend
L.J. Williamson

I basically put myself into the scenario: if the big one really did hit, what would I do? I'd do what I could to find a car and make it something I could use and I could live in until things got better. I've got 110V hookups here, cell phone chargers, jump starters -- it's self contained. The slingshot on the roof actually works.

So most of the cars you do at your hot rod shop are a lot shinier than this one.

Oh yes, very much so. We do show cars, stuff like that. My whole life, all I've ever done is work on cars.

Do you drive the car around town?

I can't right now because of registration, but the car is street legal. I'm just having a little trouble right now because they say it's a distraction. If you saw this in the rear view mirror, what would come through your mind? This thing is a scary looking car.

6.

10 Awesome Cars Of Wasteland Weekend
L.J. Williamson

What's your name?

Brian Davis.

Where are you from?

I live in the Valley, near the brewery.

Tell us about your car.

Last year I had a dune buggy with machine guns on it, but I didn't have any more room in my garage so I had to sell it. Everyone here was disappointed here that I wasn't going to bring it, so I needed something that could fit in the back of my car: go kart. It looks similar to the one I had last year -- a mini version of it.

It was thrown together last week because I didn't know for sure whether I was going to be able to sneak out of work or not.

It's a lawnmower engine, supposedly it will do 30 or 40 miles per hour. But I wouldn't do that around here -- too many rocks to smash into, and there's no seat belts.

Up next: Altering a classic Mustang

 

5.

10 Awesome Cars Of Wasteland Weekend
L.J. Williamson

What's your name?

James Dufour.

Where are you from?

Sacramento.

Is this car your daily driver?

Yes. I get a lot of thumbs-up. I'm a house painter, and this is my work vehicle.

Tell us about your car.

This is an '05 Scion XB. After I paid it off, I kicked the windows out, boarded it all up with 18 gauge steel, and turned it into the Wasteland vehicle. It keeps me out of trouble.

I do a lot of car shows in the Scion community. This is the only one like it in the world, that's been panel vanned. The paint is actually from Martha Stewart, rolled on.

I haven't washed it in four months, but any dirt is good dirt out here.

4.

10 Awesome Cars Of Wasteland Weekend
L.J. Williamson

What's your name?

Cupcake.

Where are you from?

Hollywood.

Is this car your daily driver?

This is its maiden voyage, but I'm going to drive it to work, drive it to the grocery store -- just drive it.

Tell us about your car.

This was a '67 Mustang that I put on a Bronco chassis. I plan on taking this to my local Bob's Big Boy where all the snooty guys are, and listening to all the comments, all of the remarks. It's going to piss a lot of people off, because it's a classic Mustang, and in their eyes, I ruined it. They can't see the beauty in that.

Do you ever wash it?

I haven't washed it yet.

Do you plan to?

I plan on washing it as I do work on it, but it's happy dirty.

3.

10 Awesome Cars Of Wasteland Weekend
L.J. Williamson

What's your name?

Kyle Nuskin.

Where are you from?

Yucaipa, California.

What kind of engine is this?

It's 2 stroke, basically just built off an old quad. Built it specifically for Wasteland. Just a fun time to party with friends.

2.

10 Awesome Cars Of Wasteland Weekend
L.J. Williamson

What's your name?

Paul Miller.

Where are you from?

Downtown Los Angeles.

Is this car your daily driver?

Not daily, but we'll hit some car shows with it for sure.

Tell us about your car.

The idea is that some people found some tactical nukes and put them in a car. This car was built in four days, for this event. Got the car about a week ago, four days ago got it running and put everything together. Base car is a custom hot rod chassis with a fiberglass Mercury body and 478 fake rivets. Engine is a 351 Ford Windsor.

I have a film that I wrote and I need to make a car that is Satan's car, and it just so happens it's in this direction, so I decided what the hell, I'll do a Wasteland car before I change it over to Satan's car.

What happens to it after that?

Then I think I'll just enjoy driving around in it.

1.

10 Awesome Cars Of Wasteland Weekend
L.J. Williamson

What's your name?

Tony Maccaronio. Everybody in Jersey calls me Max, but everybody here knows me as Tony Macaroni.

Where are you from?

Brick, New Jersey.

Is this car your daily driver?

My daily driver's a Chevy Avalanche. These stay parked during the week and I bring them to car shows, special events, once in a while I'lll take it out for a ride on the wekened.

Tell us about your cars.

I have the yellow Camaro Interceptor, I also have the Night Rider, the '71 Chevelle, the car that Max chased in the beginning of the movie, and I also have the black Interceptor out of an '87 Lincoln Mark VII. These are my cars, this is what I'm into.

10 Awesome Cars Of Wasteland Weekend
L.J. Williamson

I bet you spend a lot of money to transport the cars out here.

Transporting the black car cost about $2400, and transporting the other two cars, between buying a trailers, the fuel, the hotels and everything else, the whole trip cost me about $7000.

I'm actually in the prcess of building my fourth mad max car, max's personal vehicle in the first movie, it was an orange panel van. I'm building that out of an 81 El Camino. it's going to be just like it.

So you're more into the screen accurate ones as opposed to the "inspired by" vehicles.

Yes. Well, they're not the exact ones, because all the cars are from Australia. But I'm using the Americanized versions of them I make them as close as I can with an American car. But I love the inspired ones -- because it means the movies inspired people to get into it. There are people that have screen accurate cars, like Mike Hughes, which is awesome to have, but for me I like my American cars.

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