You might notice that she looks a lot different in various photos. There are two reasons for this. One is that I keep adding things or changing things, mostly to the roof, so there is always something new. The other reason is that there are TWO Alexis...sort of.
The first Alexi was built on a 1975 S&S Hearse that I bought for $600 and it was a real piece of crap that was falling apart. It was unreal how much trouble that first Alexi was, I would park her for a month, come out and find that more major problems had developed while she was busy not driving and figuring out ways to ruin my life. Here are a few pictures of Alexi 1 when she was actually running -
Alexi 1 when I first brought her home.
Shane with Alexi before the parade in Manitou. Shane was integral in helping me construct the wings, we did it with no blueprints of any kind, I made a jpeg of what I wanted and we went to work and invited Shane over, knowing that he was the one person I knew who could help me make it happen no matter what. I highly recommend you check out the complete gallery of the wing project construction on this link as there are some fascinating pictures of us being sleep deprived and delirious, covered in burnt metal, etc.
Everyone loves a parade...until we open fire and kill a small child.
Marj and Amber with Alexi
Jillian with Alexi in her final days. Notice the bumper is barely holding on. If you look close you can see a large C-clamp on the front, this isn't holding the bumper ON, it's holding it BACK as the bumper would rub the tire and cut into it if it wasn't there. Long story short I was leaving the store one day and someone failed to stop for a stop sign and I broadsided them. Alexi lived, but we ended up screwing that SUV up something fierce.
The thing of it was, this car disliked me a LOT. Saying this car disliked me was like saying Hitler didn't favor the Jewish, it comes nowhere near touching on the surface of the unfathomable well of hatred brimming under the surface. The car never ran right and no matter how much I cleaned the interior it was always dusty and dirty. Finally one day I was busting my ass trying to get her ready for an event and nothing was working and I just ended up kicking the headlights in and swearing a lot and coming up with long, involved chains of profanities that I am pretty sure have never been screamed in the history of mankind.
Basically what it boils down to is this...the hearse I built the original Alexi on was a huge piece of crap. It was a 1975 S&S Endloader that I bought for $600. In the 5 years that I had been working on her, she threw a timing chain, ate somewhere near 40 tires due to a need for a total front end rebuild, broke down countless times, refused to start without something approaching 250 pumps of the gas pedal, and developed an exhaust leak the likes of which I am thankful the Third Reich did not have access to and would cause you to damned near pass out after about 15 minutes of driving.
She was sitting in my driveway one night as Chicago Mike and I were attempting to to fix a newly developed overheating problem and the exhaust leak. My frustration with the project was approaching a breaking point when I told Mike that he should probably head home because I was going to finish it on my own and it might not be good if anyone was around to witness it. What happened next will only be truly understood in it's full scope by any other mechanics out there who have tried with everything they have to save a piece of shit car that just won't cooperate.
I climbed back under the car to try to install the exhaust gasket that wasn't going in properly because one damned bolt would not come loose to give me proper access. I slipped and cut my hand open. It wasn't the worst thing this car had ever done to me by far, but it was that proverbial last straw. It was the final irritation that I needed to decide that all the time, parts and effort I had put into this car had not made it better, in fact it had gotten steadily worse, so I climbed out from below the hearse and screamed, a string of profanities that, if it was not the number one longest and most profane list of expletives in the history of man it was at least motherfucking close to the top 25. I kicked in what remained of the grill and headlights and managed to push the bumper off of a poorly designed hinge (which can be seen in the photo gallery below if you look close)
The very next day I began dismantling Alexi. I took everything into my basement with the exception of the wings which are a near solid piece and had to be set aside in my back yard with all the other shit my neighbors no doubt wish they didn't have to look at when they are trying to enjoy their BBQ on the back patio.
The final day for Alexi 1. Notice the bumper kicked off the hinges.
Amber helping take the wings off. They actually don't weigh a lot, two people can lift them but they are huge and unwieldy.
After removing the door, all the glass and everything else.
The motor still ran, so I sold it to a girl from the Hearseclub.com crew and took her old motor and threw it in the back of the hearse for added weight since the junk yard pays $80 per ton. Well, since we were towing it from the front end, and the front now no longer had a motor AND the weight was ALL in the back end, the car was practically doing wheelies all the way down the road and making this horrid "WheeWhee,WHEE!WHEE!!!!WHEE!!!WHEEEEEE!!!" sound the whole way. I live in the fucking gheto, so imagine this scene-
One hearse that looks like it has been ass raped being pulled by another hearse, as illustrated here;
Add to that the fact that it is being driven by a guy with a big ass red mohawk like THIS;
And the whole time the car is going "WHEE!!!WHEEEEE!!!WHEE!!!" as every person in my neighborhood comes out to see what the fuck is going on. We made by far the cheapest circus parade those people have ever seen. I am sure that people still go "Dayum cuz, remember that one time there wuz that crazy cracker wit dat fucked up hair in the two hearses rollin' through our hood!? That shit was WHACK yo!" And you know, I'd have to hand it to them, that shit was indeed, whack.
Here is a video I took during the final ride to the junkyard where you can really hear the sound in all it's glory. It would be the last time this piece of shit car ever annoyed the ever loving crap out of me.
Amber, who was driving the 81 that was towing me in the other hearse.
On the scales.
Something awesome did happen to me on the way to the junk yard, I got to quote Joe Dirt. Any day I get to quote Joe Dirt is a good one. Some guy pulled up next to me and yelled "Seen better days, hasn't it?" and I yelled back in my best Joe voice "That shit'll buff out man!"
So now that the S&S was done with I located a 1971 Superior end loader (the style of car I originally wanted to do this with anyway) for $800 in South Dakota and we set out to get it.
Gratuitous Doctor Steel pose with some crappy EL wire Chicago Mike and I bought while we were perusing truck stop crap. Little secret guys, I have a weakness for truck stop merchandise, especially electronics or all the skull crap they sell. Whenever I drive across country it usually takes me about 4 hours longer than a normal person because I peruse everything they have to sell.
Mike, totally ready for Burning Man.
Who the hell finances a sign like this in a town with one damned person as the population?
Alexi 2 outside of a factory in South Dakota.
Cool interior, it would make a decent club!
Ever wondered what South Dakot or Wyoming are like? Take this picture and imagine it 2,200 times in a row and you will have a pretty clear understanding of EXACTLY what it is like.
The new Alexi on the day we picked her up. I drove her home that Sunday. We had a parade to do on Saturday and I had to get her up to speed QUICK. When I was driving her home from work Monday I told her what I was planning to do, that I was going to alter her into a completely new car and that it would change her appearance. I told her that if she didn't want me to do this to break down or start running shitty over the next few days andI would take is as a sign she didn't want to be altered and I wouldn't do it. Laugh all you want, if a car gets pissed at you it WILL break down, real car people know this and will realize I wasn't being stupid by giving the car a choice in the matter.
Well nothing happened, so I was good to go. I had basically 3.5 days to paint her semigloss black, tint all the windows, install switch panels, put on some of the exterior panelling, put on the hood and fender grates, window armor, and a few other items. It was a lot of work but I got it all done and in a few days she rolled up to the parade as this -
We also installed Aftermath, the new roof mounted flamethrower and laser guided rocket launcher-
Aftermath installed and ready to go for the Halloween parade at the coffin races.
Chicago Mike and I (yes, that's what I look like with my hair down, you can stop asking now) putting her together in my back yard before Destructacon, our annual 4th of July party where we blow anything we can find into it's component molecules.
A couple of tips if you are going to make an art car and you want to make it a daily driver!
1. If you are going to do the flat black look DO NOT USE BLACK PRIMER. This was a mistake I made on Alexi 1. The black primer does not seal properly, absorbs water and oil and fades to a shitty looking milky color after a few months. Instead, go to Walmart, get a few cans of Rustoleum Semi Gloss Satin paint. The can should be a white can with a picture of a wrought iron table on it. This stuff NEVER fades and looks great forever.
2. Don't build it on a piece of shit car if you want it to last. As illustrated by this page it is actually better to get an affordable but GOOD car to alter otherwise you're just wasting your time in the long run and working towards an early stress related grave for both you and the crappy car.
3. DON'T TEAR YOUR INTERIOR OUT! I had this great idea to take the clothe out and replace it with stainless steel panels which looked really good, but was sharp as shit and very cold or hot depending on the weather. You've got to drive the car around once you're done, make sure you will still be comfortable or it will be a really lousy experience every time you have to drive it somewhere.
More old pictures of Alexi 1
Alexi 1 before the wings
Pictures of Alexi's interior are online now, click here!
Yours truly outside of Alexi 1.
The flame at low power. The most common reaction I get (aside from the goat fuckers who always yell out "Ghostbusters!" when I drive by, and yes, they are goat fuckers, don't fool yourself) is "Isn't that dangerous? Having a gas that is all...expodey on your roof?" to which I have to give a little PSA on propane.
Propane is actually pretty damned safe, at least as safe as you get when you are in the market of 15 foot fireballs. Propane, hydrocarbon C3H8, requires a combustion point of at least 940 degrees. Gasoline on the other hand has a combustion point of 430 degrees, and a Cadillac tank holds some 30 gallons of this stuff. If my car ever did get to a temperature of 940 degrees, I somehow gather that my problems are going to be much bigger than a ruptured propane tank.
Downtown Denver in Agents Of SORP gear. If you are not familiar with SORP, click here.
For pictures from Alexi's ongoing construction, click here.
This is a closer look at the rear landau section. The landau bars are accentuated by lightning rod tubes that actually shoot little bolts of green lightening through them. For a closer look CLICK HERE FOR A VIDEO
Actually, as it turns out, that last sentiment, 'screw nature' apparently caused offense to some hippy, who stated, sarcastically, that I was 'Charming'. So I felt inclined to offer a rebuttal.
Screw you dirty hippies too.
You think that because you read a Scott Cunningham book, never shower, and only flush the toilet once a day, you are conserving the planets resources and more in touch with the Earth. No, sorry, you are in fact, just a smelly ass hippy, and you still suck. When the newest circle of hell, right next to Hoarders and Squanderers opens up, it is going to be filled with Tech Support reps for Microsoft, and people who think they actually accomplished something on this planet by using 1/10th less toilet paper and grocery bags. For more on why I hate hippies and you should too, follow this link.