Article in the Plano Star Courier

In January 2004, shortly after I moved back to the Dallas area, I took my art car to Ken's Automotive, an excellent auto repair shop in Plano. Ken Blackstock specializes in automotive electronics, and since Chrysler products of the '60s are notorious for having electrical system troubles, he'd gotten quite familar with my crotchety old '67 Imperial when I'd lived in Plano two years earlier. But it hadn't been an art car in those days. So I enjoyed Ken's raised eyebrows when he saw me in the driver's seat and realized that this was the same car that had looked like this the last time he'd seen it.

The car was (surprise) having electrical problems, so I left it there for him to work on. I parked it conspicuously in front of the shop, which faces a busy road, in the hope of attracting attention and maybe bringing Ken a little more business on a slow day. But Ken took matters into his own hands and called the Plano Star Courier to say there was a photo opportunity waiting for them. A few hours later, a reporter called me for a quick interview, and the car made the front page that Saturday. Thanks, Ken!

Here's the text of the article by Derek Price, who also took the photographs. He put a few words in my mouth (for example, the implication that modern science considers air, earth, etc. to be among the natural elements -- I haven't forgotten that much of my high school chemistry). But it's a positive article, and he did a great job of capturing the whole car in a pair of photos. It's too bad Ken's sign didn't happen to appear in the background though.



Click above to zoom in on article.

Plano resident spins a yarn car

If you see an antique car covered in yarn while driving around Plano, don't worry. You're not hallucinating.

The colorful 1967 Chrysler Crown Imperial is actually "The Elements," a rolling work of modern art created by Plano resident Tim Klein as a way to turn heads and have fun. "I always wanted to have a car that was not only unusual but unique in the world," Klein said.

He got his wish by covering his Chrysler sedan in more than four miles of blue, black, yellow, and white yarn arranged in intricate, brightly colored patterns.

The design is intended to represent the natural elements of science: air, earth, fire, water, and ether. Klein said he chose the car's unusual theme "because putting art on a car inherently exposes it to the elements, and I thought it would be interesting to do art that represents the very thing that can destroy it."

After a year of working on the design, Klein's eye-catching "art car" got national attention with a feature story in USA Today, a spot in the 2003 New York Auto Show, and an appearance on CNN.

It also appeared in a Canadian comedy festival. But driving an art car isn't all fun, Klein said, since keeping four miles of yarn clean can be a chore.

"To be honest, I never have (washed the car)," Klein admitted, "although I was careful to use machine washable yarn so it can be cleaned with detergent."

More information on "The Elements" can be found online at http://www.yarncar.com.

Photo caption: Tim Klein of Plano spent a year creating the intricate design on "The Elements," a 1967 Chrysler that has drawn national attention.


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