Troy Paiva: Cars From The Dead

After downloading Stephen King’s Mile 81 novella onto my iPhone last night (I like to wait until the wife is asleep and read under the duvet)I couldn’t help but notice the eye-catching cover art. Intrigued, I tapped the artist’s name into my phone’s Notes feature and, oblivious of the amazing world that awaited me, I went to sleep.

The name I recalled from my phone the following day was Troy Paiva, and one search into Google images filled my screen, eyes, mind and soul with a barrage of stark and contrasting colours that accurately (and rather eerily) represented everything I feel about the automobile and the personalities they possess. As you may know, nothing excites Gargling Gas more than cars with attitude, machines possessing a sense there is something more than electrics and mechanics going on behind their headlights.

With a vision expressed through lighting and a penchant for exploring the abandoned and unknown at night, Troy Paiva manages to inject colour, life and drama into the ostensibly listless and dead.

Troy Paiva has been stalking the night for images since 1989. Whether it’s abandoned buildings or junkyards, or simply exploring places he considers the ruins of a “Lost America”, Paiva finds inspiration through his sense of isolation and loneliness.

Thinking of himself as more an “Urban Explorer” than an artist and photographer, Paiva has also penned books about his night-time experiments with loneliness and light. “I love the surreal feeling of wandering through an abandoned subdivision, alone, in the middle of nowhere, in the middle of the night. Your senses become heightened and you feel the weight of time.”

Personally I am extremely excited because, not only do I adore and need all of these photographs hanging in my home, but Paiva “gets” it, he understands how static objects (especially machines) set within bleak backgrounds can evoke feelings and tease the senses if viewed a certain way.

Take the guy above, for example – whilst some (my wife and mother-in-law included) may see it as a horror B-movie prop, Gargling Gas and the majority of our readers (I hope) see her as an orphan that first needs taming, naming and then given a home, a place where she’ll be cared for, restored, loved and cherished.

But then that could just be me…

If you want to see more of these stunning shots, check out Paiva’s galleries

And remember folks, Gargling Gas exists because cars have feelings too…

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And This Is Why We Love Cars…


I’ve already touched upon the subject of non-car people and how they just don’t get why we love and even share a relationship with cars, but after watching this clip on a superb e28 M5, I thought it a great example backing up our side of the argument. There shouldn’t be an argument, but when your parents and wife are non-car people, it wears thin putting up your side of the story.

Mum: “Bloody hell! How much do you pay in tax and insurance?”

Dad: “Performance cars are too expensive to run.”

Wife: “That looks hideous”.

These are the sort of comments I face when buying another car. I mean, do I question my dad’s penchant for fly fishing and antiques? What about my wife and her two horses? They need feeding and maintaining just like a car. Just because they use a car purely as a means of transportation doesn’t mean I don’t get a thrill every time I put my foot down.

Anyway, here’s a damn good reason us car lovers worship the motor car.

Celebrities Have No Automotive Taste

Paris Hilton's Poor Bentley

Paris Hilton’s Poor Bentley

Everyone knows the saying, “Money can’t buy you taste”, and this is all too evident when you look at what the celebrities want from and do to their cars.

It shouldn’t, but it bothers me. After all, I spend all day trawling the internet for interesting snippets about cars – I have a passion and love affair with the automobile and understand what goes into creating one.

For example: Lamborghini, the auto equivalent of Prada, the manufacturer known for its beautiful styling and incredible feats of technology and performance are one of the leading brands chosen by the celebrity. The Italian designers put the heart and soul into every angle and line, just as di Vinci pondered over Mona’s smile, only for it land into the hands of a rapper.

Chris Brown's Vomit Lambo

Chris Brown’s Vomit Lambo

What exactly was Chris Brown thinking here? It looks like he hired a pie-eating champion to swallow a gallon of castor oil and a mix of red, grey and black paint, “Give it twenty minutes, G, then blast that Lambo.”

Justin Bieber's Murdered Out Rover

Justin Bieber’s Murdered Out Rover

Since the black ‘murdered out’ look has suffered overkill by every celeb out there, from Beckham to Beiber, Disick to Dyrdek, it now seems the chrome finish is in. If it wasn’t enough to be naturally gifted with beautiful genes, to spend your life in the media’s eye, adored by all, these narcissistic egos now feel their cars should resemble giant mirrors. The Americans have a penchant for chrome wheels, but to cover a whole car in a skin that reflects away all of its design qualities is plain dumb.

Kim Kardashian In An R8-shaped Mirror

Kim Kardashian In An R8-shaped Mirror

I may come across as a little snobby now, but I’m just saying how I see it. Under no circumstances should a rapper, straight outta tha hood, or even a sports star clad in training attire step into a Rolls Royce – I’m not saying they haven’t earned the right, but it looks plain ridiculous. Baggy jeans, brand new white trainers (pumps), chains, tattoos, the grandeur and elegance of a Rolls Royce Phantom…

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I have saved the best for last. This trend is known as “donk” and can be seen below. Now I’m all for big rims but this is taking it to the point of completely ruining a car aesthetically and mechanically. If you blur your eyes slightly, it looks like a clown filling up his clown car at a clown petrol station.

Donk To The Head

Donk To The Head