No, you’re not looking at outtakes of Mad Max. These are the crazy DIY designs of Burning Man’s so-called “Mutant Vehicles”, a tradition almost as old as the festival itself. For the uninitiated, Burning Man is a music festival held out in the desert plains of Black Rock, Nevada about 100 miles northeast of Reno. Once a year, a temporary city of 80,000 people rises out of the dust to host a cornucopia of experimental art, self-expression, music, and fellowship. Started 33 years ago, Burning Man has now exploded into a social phenomenon that attracts Silicon Valley elites, celebrities, social media influencers, hippies, and everybody else in between.
This year, Burning Man 2019 saw no less than 1,000 unique mutant cars registered by their own DMV (Department of Mutant Vehicles), ranging in size from golf carts to converted big rigs. Most vehicles must be towed to the site due to not being street legal but this doesn’t stop the variety of crazy designs; sharks, a rolling tiki lounge, the Golden Gate Bridge, and much, much more.
In the communal spirit of Burning Man, all MV owners are expected to share the experience and give free rides to other festival goers. This is welcome news for people on foot in the dry Nevada heat. Who wouldn’t want to ride a flame throwing octopus built on the frame of a Ford F-250? As expected, these vehicles lend themselves to some amazing photo opportunities that you won’t see anywhere else.
Below are some of the the head-spinning rides from this year’s Burning Man via Motor Trend.