Quill went to burning man in 2006, finally making it to the party - thank you Shawn & Michelle. He was struck hard with artcar fever, the mutant vehicles at burning man striking a deep and unexpected resonance. Suddenly that farm-life childhood and engineering degree made sense! And in the full insanity of it, made a resolution to bring a car the next year. And then, tried to have a good idea. Nothing spoke.
And then, one night, a vivid dream: steel horses on a flaming ship, with a band on the back. He told Marlene about it, she had the same dream, but she also heard people shouting 'Acavallo' in the background... And lo, there was a vision for the car, and a name. Quill went after, and got, a grant from Burning Man to build her, and proceeded to make a lot of friends. And then, in a Brooklyn shitstorm of a summer, we spent all the grant money, spent all his money, threw epic parties to get more money to spend. And, of course, we all labored away, burning thousands of hours in the shop there on Van Brunt Street, in Redhook, to make it happen.
That first trip to the playa was EPIC - and damn near an EPIC FAIL. But we persevered. The car rolled. The ponies carouseled. The bands rocked. The DJs flogged the system. And the volunteers labored endlessly in the hot sun, in the wind-driven dust, fighting like hell to get it built and unbuilt. And everyone went home bankrupt. Hello, recession!The artistic vision was sound, but Quill had no idea what he was doing, in many ways, and it was too big, too complicated, and thoroughly impractical.
We did make it to the playa, and home again, but it was too costly to set up again, so the parts got stored in a barn that collapsed. And there they sat for the next five years.
5 years later, post economic collapse, with Quill back in Tonasket, we got back to work. Cleaned up the collapsed barn, packed the pieces of the carousel into a container, and shipped out to Washington. Barley, Andy, Will, Gannet, Jerrod and Quill worked all summer to turn the scraps into a redesigned carousel. It now features an integrated trailering system, and was scaled down to real-world dimensions. We brought to the playa again, and then Quill, Will, Derby & Erica took it on down to San Francisco, San Diego, and back up through Las Vegas on a fall tour. The ship was better, but the setup was still brutal. Many systems were still too complicated. An epic year. But a year that saved the ship!
Repairs and incremental upgrades kept her coming back to Burning Man in 2013,14, and 15. By 2015, she was getting pretty ragged, and the horse drives were broken. So she waited a few years, patiently awaiting an influx of energy and money.
She was substantially rebuilt - with new horse drives, a new engine, new wiring, lights, and setup scheme - in Tonasket, and with every fix, she got ever closer to the original vision! With all of the magic, and less struggle during transport, setup, and teardown. Acavallo LLC got started, and now owns its own tow vehicle! Progress at last!
In 2020 - a new website (you're lookin at it), patreon account, and an organized tour.
We have some repairs to make, some features to upgrade, and the horse legs to finally finish. New horse legs ->>>> they only took 12 years to draw! We got the lead pony built out, now there are the other 4 to do. Repairs include : new trailer tires, brakes, and wiring, engine cooling fan, alternator and battery systems; sound system repairs (a continuous battle, keeping that system going), lighting repairs, and a new radiator for the truck. Upgrades: better systems for the flame effects mounting. We're nearly there, one more round of upgrades, and it will be good to go touring.