No gas, no emissions, no engine: The world’s first cardboard car revs up DTLA

Written by
Would you buy a car from this man?
Would you buy a (cardboard) car from this man? (The original image is no longer available, please contact KCRW if you need access to the original image.)

Kilduff Motors claims the K100XL, now on display at its new showroom at 9th and Broadway downtown, is the world’s first cardboard car. But when was the last time you believed a car salesman?

What we do know about this new entry to the motor world is this: it’s cute, if a bit boxy, and it’s hand-crafted right in DTLA, so you’d be buying local. And these cars are super-safe because they don’t move. You can’t even open a door to sit in one. On the other hand, you’ll never get in an accident.

John Kilduff is sure you’ll find these cars just about everything you could want in a consumer product today: Zero emissions, no registration fees, gluten-free, made from the finest biodegradable cardboard. And just think: You’ll never have to buy a drop of gas again.

Sure, Tesla can say that, but their vehicles don’t boast a low sticker price of just $18,889. (For no extra charge, Kilduff will personally box-cut the top off your new car to make it a convertible.)

“We’re here to make your dreams come true,” Kilduff said. And to lampoon what it’s like to sell art in the 21st century. In fact, Kilduff Motors is actually located in an art gallery. And curator Steven Higgins says that in our modern world, selling art is a bit like selling a car. A work of fine art for less than $20k? Not bad.

“It’s funny,” Higgins said, “I can’t tell you how many people walk in here and smile—how can you beat a car that can make people smile? There’s  power in that. A different type of power than horsepower.”

Below, John Kilduff gives me a gallery tour.

*This post has been corrected.