Mutant Vehicles

mutant vehicles

What is a Mutant Vehicle/Art Car?

A Mutant Vehicle, or an Art Car, is a vehicle that has been radically, stunningly, and safely modified. The words "whimsical" and "surreal" come to mind when thinking of Art Cars or Mutant Vehicles. Alchemy's definitions of an Art Car and MVs are listed below:

Art Car is a stationary vehicle, mutated so as not to be recognized as a vehicle.

Mutant Vehicles (MV) is a moving vehicle mutated as defined below. A Mutant Vehicle is not a private mode of transportation but rather a vehicle that the community has the opportunity to visit and/or ride in during the event.

What is NOT a Mutant Vehicle?

A vehicle that has NOT been radically mutated is not a Mutant Vehicle. Examples of such are:

  • Street vehicles with minimal changes and temporary decorations. For example, a vehicle that has crepe paper and some flowers attached to it is not considered mutated.
  • Low riders, classic cars, monster trucks, dune buggies and hot rods. If you bring these types of vehicles, they must remain in a designated parking area like any other non-mutated vehicle.
  • A vehicle that has been stripped down to the frame and engine.
  • An Art Car that is covered in tarps, blankets, or pop ups.

DMV has the final say-so in these matters.

Criteria for Art Cars and/or Mutant Vehicles:

  1. Level of Mutation
    Mutate your vehicle to the point that it is not recognizable as a street vehicle. A radically mutated vehicle will not resemble or represent a car, truck, golf cart or any other readily identifiable street vehicle.
  2. Interactivity
    Provide an interactive experience for participants of Alchemy. Interactivity is defined as an opportunity for anyone to participate in some activity offered by your vehicle. The theme and/or size of the vehicle is what’s considered here. Do you entertain a crowd? Have plenty of room for riders (MV's only)? Provide a service to the community via your vehicle (Art Cars or MV's)?
  3. Safety
    Depending on the size and style of your vehicle, some or all of the following may apply:
    1. The vehicle must be able to maintain a steady speed of five (5) MPH (the speed limit at Alchemy) or less.
    2. Brakes must be in good working order.
    3. The vehicle should have sturdy side railings and stair railings. There should be no sharp protruding objects.
    4. A fire extinguisher is mandatory.
    5. A stocked first aid kit on board is mandatory.
    6. The vehicle should also have a safe access area and procedures for loading and unloading passengers.
  4. Lighting
    These basic requirements must be met:
    1. The rear, front AND sides must be lit.
    2. All vehicle extremities must be lit.
    3. Any trailer hitch or dangerous area of the vehicle must be lit.
    4. Anywhere someone would walk, step, or climb on your vehicle should be lit, especially stairs and ladders.
  5. Sound
    Sound is a big responsibility on MV's and Art Cars. Please review and adhere to the the Alchemy Sound Policy, and be respectful of others around you.


Specific Rules for Mutant Vehicles only:

  • Only vehicles licensed are allowed to drive at Alchemy.
  • Drive at a speed of 5 mph or less (less if in hazardous situations such as tight crowds).
  • Give the right of way to pedestrians, bicycles, and emergency services vehicles.
  • Follow the reasonable and applicable vehicle laws for road safety.
  • Stop immediately upon being hailed by any Alchemy Lead or Alchemy Ranger.
  • No driving while intoxicated.
  • No driving on pedestrian-designated streets (see your map for details).
  • No driving during inclement weather.
  • Obey sound policies
  • Any additional guidelines can be set forth by Alchemy organization.
  • No fireworks. All fireworks are prohibited at Alchemy.
  • All pyrotechnics will be inspected by Fire Safety, no pass means no driving period.



Deadline for DMV pre-registration is Sep. 27th @ 11:59

The Mutant Vehicle registration process is a two (2) step process:

  • Step 1:
    Pre-register Mutant Vehicles and Art Cars via the Alchemy Placement Registration Form. After you submit the form, a confirmation email will be sent stating that we have received your information. DMV will review all pre-registration forms and decide which Art Cars and/or MV's meet the criteria aforementioned. If approved, you will receive an invitation via email to bring your Art Car or MV to Alchemy 2016.
  • Step 2:
    Art Cars and MV's that have been formally invited to Alchemy 2016, are required to be inspected by DMV, Sound (if applicable), and Fire Safety (if applicable).

*Pre-registration is NOT final approval. DMV's decisions are based solely on the information provided by the applicant*

Required documents:

  • A valid US Driver's license is REQUIRED to be presented to DMV personnel on site. No license, no MV license.
  • Invitation email sent from DMV.

An inspection station will be set up at the Connexus, Placement, & DMV tent. (see event map for location). If the vehicle passes all inspections, congratulations, you may enter the City. If the vehicle fails inspection, you will be required to park the vehicle in the parking lot. At ANY time during the event, the above guidelines are violated or broken, your license will be revoked and the MV parked or removed from the event.


Important things to remember:

  1. PRE-register via the Alchemy Placement Registration Form, link provided above. DEADLINE: September 15, 2016. There are NO on-site registrations.
  2. Be DETAILED in your pre-registration description. The more details you provide, the better.
  3. Pictures or sketches of the vehicle are required on the pre-registration form. Photos must be 1 MB or less (JPEG, PNG or GIF). Incomplete registrations will not be considered.
  4. Read and reread the mutation guidelines. These mutation guidelines include Campers, Art Cars, MV's, GOLF CARTS, motorcycles, 4wheelers, etc.
  5. Adhere to the Alchemy driving policy listed above. If you violate Alchemy's driving policy, you’ll lose the privilege of driving your Mutant Vehicle. In addition, you and your vehicle may also be removed from the event. Furthermore, MV operators that cannot follow our simple rules run the risk of not being licensed in subsequent years.
  6. Do not drive on any pedestrian only designated roads or any road that is closed by APW.
  7. On-site inspection is REQUIRED for final approval. IF you are found operating a MV without DMV's approval, you and your vehicle may be removed from the event and future licensing opportunities may be at risk.
  8. Absolutely, positively NO FIREWORKS. Fireworks are NOT permitted at Alchemy.
  9. Be safe, be smart and use common sense and courtesies.
  10. If you have any questions, please email