Project: Demon Car

So very long time ago I used to graffiti and mural and I wanted to do something special and get back to these forms of art. I knew I wanted to cover a car, I had to my desire to do some all terrain painting was in order.

So what about the car? I had picked up this mini cooper imported from Japan for incredibly cheap. It’s a 1992 (full of 1970’s parts) Rover Mini Cooper. Its right hand drive and almost every bit of it is broken or wearing away.

This was the day I got it and it and it mostly made it home and only broke down twice.

This was the day I got it and it and it mostly made it home and only broke down twice.

It looks like it’s in good shape right? Well I’ll start by saying its not bad and I had initially hoped it would have enough good parts for my 1977 classic mini Ive been slowly restoring. But it had such a personality and such an attitude that I didn’t have the heart to part it out. Most of the main parts run and as Ive been slowly fixing it I’m down to only a handful of things that are still problematic mainly the carb and the exhaust.

You could say this car I guess kind of runs and is getting better all the time the more parts I find and fix. But I still couldn’t figure out what to do with it and almost sold if 2 different times. But I had an idea one day to mural it, I had been dying to get back to more of that work and this seemed right. As soon as this idea I knew it was going to undergo some sort of transformation no matter what so I did with any sane person would do and spray-painted that car and started immediately applying every sort of wall mural graffiti technique I possibly could to cover the surface of this thing.

In its state of repairs and fixes as well as paint tests to see what would work and stick.

In its state of repairs and fixes as well as paint tests to see what would work and stick.

I had been working on understanding Japanese woodblock print stories and other Japanese fables and so since this car was from Japan I wanted to celebrate that with a story and a style that tells the story of a cat who dies and becomes a spirit demon and possesses a car to protect her previous owner. ( I am writing and illustrating the story so expect it soon!)

To the right is the initial concept drawing —>

After starting with and idea and a direction I went to the sketchbook to get started on initial character doodle set that I used to discover the characters of this story.

Here is that sketch and although I didn’t use every character on the car I have plans for them as part of the story book I’m putting together to go with this car and to tell the full story of the demon cat.


Now that I had a doodle, a direction, and a story I need to get the car to a blank canvas. So I spent days getting the car sanded as much as was reasonable and not perfect because I wanted a bit of that broken and fixed look. I used a lot of paint and covered and repaired an epic amount of rust.

So I went from rusted and worn out green to matte black. I went from broken parts to more working ones and I went from an interior that had torn and worn out panels to clean and empty. I also resealed the roof and repainted it with an embedded holographic glitter and stenciled flowers.

Freshly painted I could move to the next phase of sketching out elements of the story and the what a little car looks like if it was taken over by a demon cat. So using chalk I outlined the story and got the spacing and the direction where I wanted it.


Basically insanity was starting to set in, you might know what Im talking about if you have drawn and re drawn the same thing over again. so now it was time to get out the paint markers and fine line spray tips and go section by section cleaning the chalk off and getting the lines in a very particular silver color (basically the goto silver liner color). I was initially going to paint in all of the sections but I loved the line work so much that I though it fit the theme more in that the lines to me felt ghostly and a reflection of a story that lives in color in the retelling of it rather then just looking at it.

Paint I like to use for mural and large pieces:

Spray Paint:
- Montana
- Montana Black
- Sugar
- Flame
- Rustoleum (for the base and repair coverage as it tends to stick to metal a little better then the acrylic paints)

Paint Pens:
- Multiple all by the same brands mentioned above as well as some of the sharpie paint pens.

** Overall cost of all of the paint and supplies was about $200


While that was all going on and while paint was drying I rebuilt and created a custom roof rack from parts from the trash that once resized welded up with custom running bars and given a custom holographic paint that I mixed up. The rack is a perfect fit and pressure fits to the roof and secured by two $3 C-clamps that are welded directly to the roof rack. At this point this is some of the solid part of the car and is actually acting like a performance enhancement stiffening up the body of the car.

With the paint lines dry and the front grill painted with the face that I can’t stop smiling at when I see the car was given multiple coats of a clear matte finish.

More updates coming soon….

  • Interior

  • Lighting

  • Carb repair

  • Rebuilding the trunk

  • cleaning up the engine bay

  • and on and on ………..