The 2013 Art Car Parade starts this Saturday, May 11 at 1 p.m. In this week's cover story "Enjoying the Ride" with story and photos by Chris Curry, we decided to highlight some of this year's entrants. Throughout this week, we'll run posts with video to give you a closer look at these dedicated artists.
Mark "Scrapdaddy" Bradford has built something of a leviathan in his latest creation called "The Char Car."
Using 15-foot radius industrial spools as wheels and scrap metal parts he found at a nearby machine shop, Bradford has welded, bent, compressed and scrapped an oversized rickshaw as well as a working, free-swinging rickshaw runner together. If all goes according to plan, the 20-foot-tall metal man he constructed will appear to be running the rickshaw, but in reality the contraption is driven by two motorcycle engines, one to power the vehicle and the other used to steer.
"I wish I had more time, because now I have to learn to drive it," Bradford said laughing. With an impending deadline fast approaching he still has a lot of hours to put in before he can say "finished" to the piece he named after his young daughter.
The 47-year-old metal worker, originally from Baton Rouge and now living in the Heights, has been an Art Car participant since 1988.
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"Like when you were a kid, the more Legos that you would have, the bigger things you could make," said Bradford. "Living in Houston, the fourth largest industrial city, there's all kinds of scrap metal to work with."
Other Art Car video highlights: