Over the years I have found a number of interesting heavy-duty vehicles at Junkyard, including wild art cars with glue and / or murals and end-of-life machines that fall into the hands of many fabricators. Tools lying around and random parts. Today’s junkyard gem seems to be the next type but at the same time certainly shows signs of serious artistry. Meet Rustina, a 1995 Dodge neon who has had a lot of events on the streets of Colorado over the last few years.
Neon American Driving became known to the public as the 1995 model with Dodge and Plymouth badges (and the same price for both marks). It had an annoyingly beautiful marketing campaign that Chrysler rejected in brutal fashion in the more horrific “Axis of Evil” era of the next decade. When Neon said “Hi”, Caliber and Nitro were thirsty Blood!
I don’t know if the manufacturer of this car modification (RA) is trying to de-cotify the “high” version of the first year Neon or is working on a cheap car in hand, but they have chosen a favorite name: Rustina! I was reminded of the legend Slickio drift The Suzuki Swift that I registered last year, and it is possible that both cars received their upgrades at the hands of the same person or crew. Naturally, I saved both sets of custom badges from The Crusher’s cold steel jaws, and now they’re decorating my garage walls with other art.
Thanks to the unique name of the car, I found a YouTube channel with lots of Rustina history. The new Rustina videos look like 2019, so I doubt that either the mechanical thing could go away or the Rustina ended up as a parts car for better / faster neons. However, he seems to have retired
The first detail I noticed in this car was the suicide door conversion. It is much harder to close properly than to convert a lambo door using off-the-shelf elements. It looks like it was made with hand materials one afternoon and it shows strong (if rushed) crafting skills.
The hinges on the door hinges are not so nice, but they are nice and tough. The hinge hardware came from something A lot Heavier than a cheap econbox.
Hap-and-padlock rig means the car can be locked even when parked. I did the same thing in my 1965 Chevy Impala art cart.
When you replace a head gasket, remember the occasion by leaving the old gasket in the car (or use the gasket as a spray-paint stencil). It’s a 24-hour lemon tradition that seems to have spread across the wider world. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised to learn of Rustina’s owner Is A lemon racer, though he doesn’t seem familiar at first glance.
The roof made from license plates has race-car-style driver-cooling scoops.
Register can be closed on Great Cold Day. Notice that the Batman blanket is used as a headliner.
Lots of stuffed animals, rubber ducks, and religious statues.
Although the Neon was a pure Detroit design, the passenger front door has a slammed-civic-style Japanese war flag.
Rustina seems to be a rare neon hybrid version.
The semi-tractor-style exhaust stack is the Ram Tough 7.
This cold-air-induction system is fully operational for the engine. Exquisite hood ornaments come from a Chrysler minivan.
The interior is enhanced with custom fabrics and tapes.
There are calder-style mobile sculptures made with empty cannabis-dense boxes. Welcome to Colorado!
I’m glad I was able to document Rastina before moving to The Crusher, because she had a lot of skill and creativity.
Needless to say, I photographed this car with one of my old film cameras, in this case a 1940s Ansco Shur-Shot.
It’s “Have a nice day!” Brings a whole new meaning to the phrase!