While many customize their cars to better reflect their individual style, there's a whole global community dedicated to customizing cars for the sake of art.
So-called "cartists" take base vehicles and turn them into something truly spectacular—moving works of art that capture the imagination and push the boundaries of how vehicles can look.
There are festivals and events dedicated to art cars all over the world, like the annual Houston Art Car Parade in the US and India's Cartist Automobile Art Festival. One of the big calendar events for car artistry is the Burning Man festival which, while not exclusively devoted to car art, encourages attendees to create what they call "mutant vehicles."
The most interesting aspect of this mechanical art form is that so much of the art is produced by amateurs and artists who don't have a background in mechanics. Check out some of the most incredible works of art created by these amateur mechanics and get a strong dose of inspiration.
1. Cat of a Different Color: Furry Fun From Recycled Materials
Created by Project CDC, the Cat of a Different Color features a fiberglass base covered in faux fur. They plan to eventually make the car a fully animatronic cat, capable of a range of articulation.
For now, the eyes, ears, mouth, tail and paws can move thanks to a system of servos and actuators. The car also features 720 LED lights, allowing it to light up the night in spectacular colors.
2. The Phantom
Built by Truant Studios' William T. Burge, The Phantom began with only a VW motor, an axle, suspension and steering. Burge built the entire body from scratch, welding small pieces of steel together to create the car's iconic look.
It features three imposing gargoyle heads and its design is based on that of a 1936 Bugatti Atlantic.
3. The Carthedral: A Cathedral on Wheels
Built from a hearse and topped with a VW Bug, Rebecca Caldwell's Carthedral is an ambitious gothic car art piece.
The piece is entirely street legal, and features spires, buttresses and other gothic flourishes you'd expect to find in a several-centuries-old church.