We’ve answered the question of whether or not trains are cars? (yes) and are Zambonis cars? (emphatically yes), but now we tackle are sail-powered art pieces, in fact, cars? Yes, we declare the Strandbeests cars, and they are awesome.
Well, not really. But close your eyes and imagine a world where the Strandbeest is the main form of transportation. Instead of snow days, people would stay home from work and kids from school during doldrums. It’s a world where kites are heavily restricted rather than drones and a plastic bag caught in the wind really is the most beautiful thing you’ll ever see. A world with no polluting exhaust, but also no beautiful noisy engines either.
These Strandbeest come directly from the mind of artist Theo Jansen, a Dutch artist who has been building these elegant monsters since 1990. They’re made mostly of tubing meant to insulate wiring, string, zip ties and a large sail to provide locomotion. Jansen hopes to one day build a herd of these amazing creations and let them loose on a beach to “live their own lives” as he says on his website. Our own David Tracy is working on a similar plan for when he opens David’s Home For Mostly Rust Jeeps, where herds of JLs and Willys will be free to run and climb rocks in their own paved-over field.
Strandbeestland sounds very peaceful, or boring, depending on your flavor of mobility enthusiasm. For those of us who enjoy the roar of an engine or the whine of a turbos, or just moving fast at all, it sounds like a very quiet and beautiful hell.