In 2013, we went on vacation to the Traverse City area. While breakfasting at a local diner, we saw this wild car being raffled off. Beth fell in love with it, and went out to look at different details several times. We bought $20 in raffle tickets. Then we forgot about it, because that is what people do with charity raffle drawings, right? Nobody wins them anyway.
Or so we thought.
In September, we came home one evening to a voicemail on our land line (yes we still have one) saying that we had won the car. We thought it was a hoax.
So we called, and a week later we went to get the car and tow it back. What a hoot!
We met the artist, Lee Mix. She signed the car for us and told us the story of the vehicle. Here is a summary:
She and her husband had a vehicle storage business in Florida. While there, she saw a beautiful Mercedes covered in tile parked in front of a store. It was so heavy that it was sitting on the ground, completely not drivable. Lee thought that it was beautiful, but ridiculous. Why turn a car into a piece of art but not be able to drive it?
And how could she make a drivable car covered in mosaic?
Turns out, materials matter. She used plastic, light weight tiles. I know, not very sexy. However, highly functional. Silicon grout completes the job.
The 1989 Chrysler Labaron was a vehicle stored in their climate controlled facility. They bought it, and in 2011 she created the Mosaic Car and drove it for a year or two. Then, she donated it to the Oliver Art Center. They ran the raffle. I have no idea how much they raised.
Driving this car is so much fun. It is a crowd pleaser. I have seen people jump out of their cars at stop lights to take pictures of it, they honk, they shout, they roll down their windows at stop lights to tell us how much they like it.
After driving a friend to her wedding in it (picture veils flying in the wind), we thought of offering rides for special occasions to folks. Take us up on it! I promise, it will be fun.