Plaidmobile by Tim McNally

From the Art Cars series — one man's obsession with America's mobile masterpieces

Photographs by Harrod Blank

NEW YORK — I wanted to see if I painted my car plaid — it needed a lick of paint anyway — if I could get it registered under that colour. It was really just a joke. It took three years of sending paperwork to the Department of Motor Vehicles, but eventually the change was made from “red” to “plaid” on my registration. 

I’m 55 and work as a property caretaker and volunteer at a local animal shelter. I started on the Plaidmobile in 1995 and drove it for ten years. It’s been all over the US and to Canada at festivals, parades and shows. 

Now I have a new art car called the Cosmic Shark. It’s the anti-plaid car with a free-flowing, non-rigid design. When people ask me what it’s about, I say it’s about having fun.