Junkyard Gem: 1995 Ford F-150 graffiti truck

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I’ve documented quite a few doomed art cars, mostly in the San Francisco Bay Area, as I’ve prowled junkyards for interesting bits of automotive history. First I captured the Groovalicious Purple Princess of Peace Ford Taurus wagon, and since that time I’ve photographed a well-known ’69 Mustang, a Toyota LiteAce with hundreds of hours of glue-gun work, two different Corolla wagon art cars, a mozaicized Volvo 740 Turbo wagon, and a Van Gogh-homage Volvo 240 sedan, among others. Today’s Junkyard Gem falls into that category: an ordinary 1995 Ford F-150 work truck turned into a mobile graffiti wall.

Since the glass and lights didn’t get spray-bombed, we can assume that the artists themselves used this truck to get around; if it had been a hapless abandoned street truck, everything would have been covered in paint. Inside, I found unpaid Bay Area parking tickets and NO PARKING notices, so I think that this truck finally got towed away due to back fines.

I know next to nothing about graffiti culture, other than what I saw in Wild Style decades ago, but many of the names sprayed on this truck can be found with some online searching. The tailgate artwork appears to have been applied by Pezo, of San Francisco.

Buer, Jade BTM, Arte 1810, Bunk News, and the band Get Greens also show up in the many tags and stickers found all over this truck.

It started life as a work truck, as we can see from this “call before you dig” sticker on the dash.

I think this strawberry-scented Car-Freshner Little Tree lived in this Ford for decades, since it’s an older style. I see plenty of these trees in junkyard vehicles.

The passenger-side vent window has a field-expedient opaque repair.

The typical fate of a tow-away pickup covered with cop-magnet murals at the car auctions tends to be a grim one, and so this truck never had much chance of avoiding the crusher.

Part of our past. Part of our future. And part of the fabric of Texas (and San Francisco).

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Saurabh Shukla

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