On May 5, 2008, the Museum of the Gulf Coast will host a special visit from a noted art car. The Phone Car is on the road for its first national tour from May through October 2008. It will be stopping at several major cities across the United States to appear in various “Art Car” festivals and parades. The Phone Car will stop in Port Arthur in between appearances in the art car parade in Baton Rouge and the Houston art car festival. The Phone Car will be on view to the public in front of the Museum’s entrance from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Monday, May 5 and from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. on Tuesday, May 6.

An art car is a vehicle that has its appearance modified as an act of personal artistic expression. It is a quickly emerging form of folk and visionary art in America. Art cars are street-legal, drivable works of art that explore every variation imaginable. There are over 700 art cars in the United States with major festivals each year including Houston, San Francisco, Minneapolis and Seattle .

Created by Howard Davis, Owner of Datel Communications in Avon, Massachusetts, in 1983, the Phone Car is modeled after a touch-tone desk model seen in many offices and homes in the 1960-70’s. The original car was a 1975 Volkswagen Beetle. The body was removed so only the VW’s chassis was used to build the car. The body of The Phone Car was custom fabricated and took about one year to complete. The finished car was painted candy apple red to draw attention and because it was one of the standard colors offered when this phone was in common use. In addition, the car has a horn that rings like a telephone.

“The Museum has hosted art cars before,” says museum director Shannon Harris, “and our permanent exhibits feature three cars including a replica of Janis Joplin’s painted Porsche.” More information can be found on the Phone Car’s website www.thephonecar.com. For more information about the Museum of the Gulf Coast please visit www.museumofthegulfcoast.org or call 409.982.7000. The Museum is located at 700 Procter Street in downtown Port Arthur and is open daily from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 1:00 to 5:00 p.m. on Sunday.