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Theme Camps & Mutant Vehicles, Buszilla & VW Bus Camp at Burning Man

August 13, 2009

 The Lobster by Gary with help from Rico Suave photo by Burning Man theme camps are homes to art cars, art projects, music, various events, and shenanigans–or home base for the same. In 2001, my friend Nila set up her teepee next to this lobster–what a great time that was riding around the playa with this attention getting art car! Gary and Rico are great guys, too. I couldn’t find any of my pictures of it, but thankfully I found this one here.

To see more wild and wacky art cars aka Mutant Vehicles by the same photographer, check out this gallery:

As a VW bus enthusiast, I have known about VW Bus Camp at Burning Man and been over to see the westies and other cool buses, and to check out how they’ve been fixed up for travel to Burning Man and other places.

This year, VW enthusiasts will want to be sure to visit VW Bus Camp at Hominid at 3 o’clock AND catch a ride in Buszilla, a mutant bus. According to their blog, Buszilla is

A self powered hybrid articulating Volkswagen transporter. Built from two buszilla (2) buses, it is approximately 40ft long with accessory trailer and lizard costume. Drive train consists of both electric and gasoline motors. The gasoline engine is used on the highway, and the electric motor “PlayaDrive” is used on the Playa a more green form of transportation. BusZilla II has a total of 6 wheels, with 3 axels, 2 of which are powered at any one time.

The interior consists of faux fur lined walls; large, spacious seating areas; LED lighting (using rope-lights and/or el-wire). There is seating for 16-18 people. Seating is made out of faux fur and foam for cushion.

The exterior paint transitions from white in the front, to green with lizard scales in the rear. The form of a lizard “back” is formed high enough over the rear bus so that you can stand up. The exoskeleton has green mesh stretched over the pvc, so that you can see out. The exoskeleton is also lit up during the night with LED’s and el-wire. The tail houses the generator and batteries for sound and engine propulsion.

The main construction feature of BusZilla II is that it articulates (bends) between the 2nd and 3rd axle, much like a large metropolitan mass transit bus. This creates an interesting interior feeling when viewing over the length of the mutant bus, watching it bend and twist as it travels.

To tie BusZilla II in with the 2009 Burning Man theme “Evolution”, it is intended to play its part “evolution” as if the Volkswagen bus was an animal in the wild. BusZilla II is intended to be used by pretty much whoever wants to ride in it.

Learn more about the Mutant Bus; here’s more about VW Bus Camp at Burning Man. Yes, they allow water-boxers like our 90, Baby Beluga.

BTW, if your “mutant vehicle” isn’t at least this good, don’t expect to get a permit from the Department of Mutant Vehicles.

Here’s a list of all the Burning Man Theme Camps and where you can find them in Black Rock City:
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