"The Golden Mean" a giant Jules Verne hot rod snail art car we built in 2008 in my shop "Form & Reform" in West Oakland. This is my wife Kyrsten's Dream car and together we made it a reality.

Following is the basic process by which we built this amazing art car. This is meant as a process guide for building any kind of art car and not a guide for building this one. There are far too many details in this project and each step could be broken into many different stand alone instructables. I hope by posting this you gather your own team (most of mine had no experience) and make your own dream car together. The sum of the parts make wonderful things!

For more info see: Golden Mean

There is now a fan club for the Golden Mean on facebook
Keep track of the Snail's events and news there

Step 1: Choosing the Base Vehicle

I chose a 1966 VW bug. It's very easy to remove the body, the vehicle is very basic and has a frame to work off of. We picked it up for $400, and sold the body for $200! It came with: new shocks, tie rods, a drop front end, and a new floor pan.

After removing the body I temped in the gas tank and steering wheel and took it for a test drive. this entire process took about 4hrs!

After the test drive we made some notes on what needed to be fixed before we started building the Snail.

<p>I love it!</p>
A wonderful car. Saw it first time in a tv documentary about the burning man festival. <br>Just breath taking!!! Greetings from Switzerland
its an Instructable! I can build this with my Dad! ( he used to restore classic cars AND replaced the transmission TWICE in one #$*!@&amp; car that is now sitting in our pasture.) Truly amazing, my little brother loved snails. he still owns about 20. I'm sure my family would like to drive this car!
i just saw this on tv about 2 days ago
Fantastic, I loved his work, much success in your life.
Awesome! This is inspiring!<br>
You cant do that ! lol do you have a whistle on top for high wind warning?
A splendiferous effort of snail transportation, well done !
that is so cool!
This defiantly isn't street legal. LOL
All you need are plates, lights, and mirrors. Not that hard
oh i've seen you guys before, your artwork is amazing. I never saw the snail car, but i did see the ferry restoration! :D
So... Who here has actually used this Instructable to build one? lol. This is an incredible 'ible, 5/5 and faved.
why pull apart a vw beetle they're the best?
This is fantastic! I would love to see this in person!
truly the most beautiful and impressive creation I've seen on Instructables. <br><br>Bon voyages!
Fabulous, thanks for taking us along.<br><br>And the passenger/crew seating is totally boss...
Bay Area...I Saw This Car Earlier This Year at A Chain Mexican Restaurant.... Very fascinating, Bout time you made an instructable =]
great stuff!
gives me great ideas
there is a special monorail to paradise for those who make the fantastic seem possible.
Oh wow! I love it! It would be fun to put in a parade. I suppose the fire is controllable, so you wouldn't set fire to the shrubbery beside the road, or the trees bent over it.
Please an i have yours?
Why not <i>actually</i> rivet it?
likely the same reason that welding is used over rivets in most applications. Effort and I imagine welds are stronger than rivets.
Amazing art car and fantastic instructable. How did you get the shine on the shell after the patina? I noticed in the pics that it's dull, then suddenly it's shiny. No pictures of the Mean at night (without the flame throwers at full blast)? How long did it take the team to put this together from conception to awesomeness? (I don't want to ask what it cost) What is the purpose of the palaquin? It's hard to tell if it holds much weight. Is that where hitchhikers go? Again, thanks for the instructable. This will prove usefull when (if?) I build my own art car.
I would guess that the dullness comes from being covered with dust... The photos where it's not shiny appear to have been taken out on the alkali flat called Black Rock Desert in northern Nevada. It's very, very dusty out there.
I was referring to the photos in step 21 versus step 19. In step 19 you've finished the patina and it looks great but shiny. In step 21 it looks that dull finish that really makes it looks like an amazing snail. It doesn't have that playafied look of having been to burning man though. With your comments, can I safely assume that the different look is due to the lighting, with step 19 photos taken indoors probably with a flash or an open door behind you? Step 21 must be the way it actually looks then.
looks like they used rattle cans of clear coat (clear spray paint, commonly used by graffiti artists with low self esteem). It also &quot;seals&quot; the finish.
Oh I think it is just wonderful. Bravi!!!!!!
thats amazing the cost would be high
That exhaust system is definitely NOT 1966 stock. What engine do you have in that thing? If the exhaust system is anything to go by, it is not snail powered.
It's straight out of &quot;Chowder!!&quot; I'm so jealous...
Totally beautiful!!! Truly art, and many thanks for showing us this in depth look at the detail and effort that went into the making of this amazing vehicle.
whoa. just. whoa.
awesome. just awesome. it looks absolutely amazing. wasn't this on daily planet? good job!
Beautiful, It makes me belive in the Fantacy of humans again. If only more people wopuld do things like this... Teh world would be a prettier and more interesting place.
The Mean is simply gorgeous. &nbsp;I've seen it around town a few times, as well as out on the Playa. &nbsp;John, any chance of an I'ble on the Electrobites as well one of these days? &nbsp;
Nice Instructable! Is this street legal? <br />
Yes! I have it registered as a 1966 VW bug<br />
that is.... that is just plain fantastic<br />
So let me get this straight.... it's a 1966 VW buggie shaped like a snail that has eyes that function as a flame thrower/projector that's also street legal. <br />
this is kind of steampunk
oh burning man. good work on the build. but, remember the days of burning when we all used to have hot glued costumes and a very low (almost embarrassing) budget? And out creations used to be made for the dust, and stayed in the dust. Maybe i'm an old timer, but i miss those simple days.<br />
I freaking love this! Beautiful!<br />
Gorgeous machine! I saw it on the playa at BM 2009. Great work! :-)<br />

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