Each year in Atlanta there is a convergence of three groups of extreme fandom on a single weekend. First, we have these folks:
Lets call them Homo Sapiens Circletracus. They are easily identified by the fact that their plumage has been changed to match their favorite driver's colors, they identify with a number more than an name, they are likely sporting business in front and a party in the back and mid to lower cost beer is the main form of sustenance. We have a large swarm of these folks at Atlanta Motor Speedway this weekend for the Advocare 500. They will largely stick to the bars and convenience stores of the south side of town.
Next we have Homo Sapiens Footbalus Nopayus.
These people are also identifiable by changes in plumage to match their favorite teams, but where the NASCAR fans have 46 or more drivers to choose from, these folks only have 2 options at any given event. That means they have to go all out to be noticed by the opposite sex, or better, the TV cameras. While their main form sustenance is beer as well, they do tend to seek out higher alcohol content beverages. Other behaviors include blind devotion to teams simply because they reside in their same state or city, undying love to the team's coach regardless of what kind of things he gets up to and a desire to give money to "student" athletes who "can't" take it due to the "rules". The Chik-Fil-A Kick Off at the Georgia Dome brings these people out in droves.
Finally, we have these people. Homo Sapiens Cosplayerous. This branch of the species can have wildly differing plumage with very little in the way of framework to keep them under control. They will drink just about anything. Some will eat just about anything. They will make every effort to do something unique, creative and fun to show how awesome they are and to get the acceptance of their peers at the annual DragonCon festival in downtown Atlanta. It is this group of highly spandexed people, and more specifically their cars, that we will focus on in this post.
Each year, my wife and I take our kids to the DragonCon parade so "they can see all the funny people in their costumes." Fact of the matter is that if we had the balls, and a bit more creativity, we would probably attend the convention ourselves. We are geeks and there is no denying it. One of the things I like to focus on are the interesting uses of cars in the parade. There are several notable cars in comics, TV and film that touch a nerve in the American psyche. A good number of the folks who take part in DragonCon let their fandom go past their costume and into what they drive or what their favorite character drove. Lets take a look at cars that showed up this year. Note: All photos are mine unless noted.
This amazing Mach 5 is a regular at the parade.
Of course, the 1960s Batmobile was in attendance along with every incarnation of the defender of Gotham City and his chums.
Two wheels good, Batman?
We all know the BMW E30 is one of the "chosen" cars of those who frequent this site. Apparently, supernatural beings like them as well. As can be seen here, The Flying Spaghetti Monster likes to ride in style in 1980s era BMW metal.
While there were no Tyrannosaur chasing it, this Jeep was definitely a looker.
The law from Mega-City One showed up. Of course, they are dispensing immediate justice in a Hummer.
He be rolling.
Who you gonna call? Well, you have three choices. I vote for the original.
But even if the cars are different, there can only be four original Ghostbusters. Ernie "Winston Zeddmore" Hudson was in attendance.
How about some high priced decals and badges on your Camaro? Also, is it a social faux pas for a Transformer to not get all its bits tucked away when it changes into vehicle form? Is that like leaving your fly down?
Pirates and your typical E-Series van? I can see it.
Not all vehicles are know far and wide and not all are based off a GM chassis. I have no idea what this is supposed to be.
Sometimes Captain America needs a little help from the US military-industrial complex.
Sometimes he needs a bit more.
Steampunk Alternate Reality American Eagle...on a Toyota.
Not everything in the parade got its start in the funny books. Some come from other realms.
Zombies drive Dodge. Kind of appropriate.
Leading the vampires down the route.
A Z. No idea where it is from.
Star Fleet issued moped.
This being Atlanta, home of the Walking Dead, we take our zombies seriously. Being mobile during the upcoming Zombie apocalypse will be key.
It's not all about brute force though. Sometimes you want speed, handling and a touch of Italian styling to get you through the masses of undead.
"But wait", you are asking, "Where is the Panther? This can't be a Jalopnik post without a Panther". Here you go. Get off my lawn.
While stylish, I don't think this buggy offers enough protection if you get swarmed by flesh eaters.
It came from outer-space...in an oldtimey way.
Now, we have the nexus of many of our childhoods. Star Wars. While the Star Wars vehicles were down this year, we did have Jabba's Barge complete with DJ.
And finally, of Colt 45 fame, as well as the administrator of Cloud City, Lando Calrissian, Mr. Billy D Williams.
The parade, on the whole, is a great time. Adults love it because we grew up with the characters, the kids love the costumes and it allows those who aren't attending the convention to get a glimpse the creativity these people put into their hobby. It's not every day that you can check out a lovingly created ECTO 1 or see a deity in a BMW.
Below is a selection of the characters and costumes in the parade. Not car related, but still fun.
Zombie Village People
I love me some Venture Bros.