1928 Roadster pays tribute to old cars and cartoons!
It isn’t your typical old classic car in the street-sassy sense, but when the Car-Toon Truck drives up and makes a stop, heads do turn and eyeballs pop wide open for a closer look. That’s because this 1928 Ford Model AR Roadster pickup truck has been transformed into a historical documentary on comics dating back to 1896 and into the present!
Robert Luczun from Clifton, New Jersey has spent over 3,000 hours of brush/airbrush art on the ’28 Roadster. It all started in 2004 when he bought the car and entirely rebuilt it. But Luczun took the project one step further. “Being an airbrush artist, I can paint anything – anything at all. I happen to love cartoons. I have them painted on my fence posts all around my house. I did it for my kids, they loved it. Now my grandkids love it. So I thought ‘Hey! Everybody love cartoons – I’m going to paint them on this car,’ and I did!” Luczun explains enthusiastically.
“I started out with the very first cartoon from 1896 (The Yellow Kid) and that’s painted on the backside of the rear view mirror. Then I kept going through present day. It’s gets harder and harder to fit them in as they come out, but I do,” he laughs.
The first time Luczun (a car lover as well as a cartoon lover and retired fine arts professor), took the car to Hershey, PA and the largest antique car show in the world, he admits he was worried about the reaction he’d get.
“This was a show filled with hard-core Model-A guys. I thought they might hang me!” he laughs. “But I kept everything else about the car authentic except the paint. They loved it!”
Luczun says his next big challenge was introducing the car to artists at Comic-Con in New York City. “Some of these guys were the original artists and they said they wished they thought of it!”
Some of these same artists wanted to be a part of Luczun’s cartoon truck so they gave him original art plates to put in the truck bed.
“As you can see, this car draws people in like a magnet,” he added as a young family swarmed around the car for a better look. “And I wanted the car to do more than attract attention, so I decided to use it to collect money for the Wounded Warrior Project.”
With his son in the Air Force and having been stationed in Afghanistan, Luczun knows of the hardships veterans face. So on the side of the truck, Luczun created a donation box for the cause. He says the Car-Toon Truck helps him collect up to $5000 a year for the Wounded Warrior project and other veteran causes. The popularity of the Car-Toon Truck has car shows paying Luczon for an appearance. “And that money they pay me, gets donated as well.”
While Robert Luczun’s passions are comics and old cars, his heart is into donating time, talent and money to good causes, like helping the troops.
This was his first visit to Michigan with the Car-Toon Truck in what we hope won’t be his last.