"Let There Be LIGHTS!"is an artcar created by Victor S. Engel, of Austin, Texas. Note: due to excessive vandalism, this artcar has been retired.
My car is a black 1992 Hyundai Elantra that was covered with 404 colored lights arranged in seven circuits. It all started when Christmas, 1992 arrived. To get into the festive spirit, I wanted to put up some Christmas lights. However, I rarely was at my apartment, so decorating the inside would have been a wasted effort. Outside was not an option because nobody would see the lights since there was a tall privacy fence and a tree blocking the view. The only remaining option seemed to be to put the lights on my car. And that's exactly what I did.
The first year, I bought a 100 bulb string of multi-colored lights and strung them up around the inside of the car, sticking them to the windows with suction cup holders. This proved to be limiting in several ways: it limited the view out of the car, it limited the area of the car to be illuminated, and it prevented windows from being rolled down. So, the following year, I put the lights on the outside of the vehicle, arranging them to conform to the geometric patterns of the vehicle itself. The display then became a permanent part of the car.
Initially, this was just a "crazy idea" I had. But then, I decided to make it a permanent display. A couple of years, I participated in the annual Roadside Attractions Parade in Houston and the Art Car Ball. I met up with the folks from the West Coast Caravan, a group of art cars travelling to Houston for the parade.
"Everywhere I go, smiles appear on everyone's faces as they see my car. It feels great to make so many people happy, even if just for a moment. There is so much public appreciation for the art, I feel I have to keep the lights on." You may send comments to Victor at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Many people in Austin have asked me if I live on 37th Street. No, I do not, but I love it. For those that don't know, 37th Street is widely known for its extravagant use of Christmas lights. Follow my link to the 37th Street page for more detailed information. Please also check out Maddog'n'Miracles (Photos of Christmas Lights in Central Texas). If you know of any other local Christmas links, please let me know using the above email address.
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This Page Copyright © 1996 Victor S. Engel
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