mad mex

In India and Pakistan trucks get decorated until they are gaudy pieces of art on wheels:
A decorated truck in Pakistan
In Japan the same is done, but there, hardly surprising, the dekotora [decorated trucks] follow the neon æsthetics:
In Sudan trucks are completely deconstructed and then reconstructed—the results are visually not as spectacular as their Asian kin, but are masterpieces of a comparatively young engineering culture (Beck 2009):
In Mexico, and within a totally different context, the not so conspicuous Sudanese trucks seem to have cousins: ‘Rhino trucks, narco tanks, Mad Mex-inismos? No one can agree on what to call the armored monster vehicles that Mexican criminal groups have been welding together in recent months, but this much is clear—they are building more of them.’ Thus writes Damien Cave in The New York Times. Here are four specimen:
Armored truck in Mexico
Armored truck in Mexico
Armored truck in Mexico
Armored truck in Mexico

BECK, KURT. 2009. “The art of truck modding on the Nile (Sudan): An attempt to trace creativity [.pdf | 2.5 MB],” in The speed of change: Motor vehicles and people in Africa, 1890-2000 edited by Jan-Bart Gewald, Sabine Luning and Klaas van Walraven, pp. 151-173. Leiden, Boston: Brill.
narcotrucks initially via entry at boingboing
  • klandestino Tuesday, 24th January 2012 at 10:43

    wellwell…Kurt Beck ;) Very nice article! But: Never tell you’re girlfriend her back is as sexy for you as the back of the sifinja for the truck modders in sudan (p.167. “but drivers like to think of their TJs in terms of feminine attraction and companionship”. Beck uses a more diplomatic term ;) )…she could get it the wrong way…

  • klandestino Tuesday, 24th January 2012 at 10:45

    ah..and it remembers me of The A-Team ;)
    Thanks for this great post, zeph!

  • KerLeone Tuesday, 24th January 2012 at 11:21

    Yay! Nice trucks :-) Not to forget the american style of modding, which follow no aestethics at all but its more like: Lets try to attach as many similar things as possible.

  • klandestino Wednesday, 25th January 2012 at 10:42

    and back we are in the cyberpunk-discourse, including cars/vehicles as another interesting topic..
    Two Legends: Gene Winfield and Syd Mead, both designed vehicles for Blade Runner and a lot of other cyberpunkish movies…

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