Zolie Mae inspecting the nozzle of the F-1
Crew waiting to Launch BM 2015
Flight Crew 2015
In process build 2021
Project Empire

PROJECT: EMPIRE – a captivating blend of art car mastery, avant-garde costuming, and spellbinding performance art, brought to life by the ingenious visionaries behind The Golden Mean and The Serpent Twins.

Prepare to embark on an extraordinary voyage into uncharted realms of creativity, where Empire of Dirt draws inspiration from the illustrious era of science fiction concept art, the enigmatic narrative of a NASA mission that never came to be, and the boundless optimism and chic vibes of the 1960s Apollo Rocket Age. PROJECT: EMPIRE, an abbreviation for Early Manned Planetary-Interplanetary Roundtrip Expeditions, serves as the tangible embodiment of a mythological spacecraft, and we proudly introduce a groundbreaking genre known as AEROSPACEPUNK.

Meet our sonic virtuoso, Kyrsten Mate, also known as Jet Girl, as she weaves an auditory masterpiece like no other. Armed with a formidable arsenal of 13 Meyer sound speakers, she invites you to immerse yourself in an auditory odyssey like never before. Experience time and space in a whole new dimension, courtesy of vintage NASA recordings and her extensive personal sound library, featuring the thunderous roars of rockets.

Enter the realm of Commander No, Jon Sarriugarte, the mastermind who bent and sculpted this creation into a visage unlike anything from our earthly realm. Leveraging over 40 years of expertise and tools last utilized during the space race, Jon and the Empire team have launched yet another remarkable piece of mobile art that you’ll need to see and touch to believe. See Project:Empire.org

Project EMPIRE asks the question: what if NASA had gone farther than Apollo? What if all the crazy proposals had actually been made? What if humanity had become a space-faring race in the middle 1960's and discovered there's much more to outer space than we thought?
We explore the mythological return of a 'lost' NASA mission to Mars (and beyond) where far-traveling humans adapted to survive using their wits, style, and salvaged alien technology to explore a universe before coming home. Built on a large-scale, heavy-duty industrial truck chassis the street-legal art car will be of an impressive size and scope with the highly-detailed execution that people have come to expect from our all-volunteer team of artists, craftspeople, and collaborators. Extensive costumes and an epic backstory complete the picture of a fun traveling band of adventurers re-discovering Earth.
Past Shows
2023-10Maker Faire Mare Island
2023-10Autumn Lights Oakland
2023-08Burning Man
2020-02Jay Leno Monster Garage
2015-09Oakland Pride Parade
2015-08Burning Man
  • Performance
    75 mph | 112 km/h
    3000mi | 483km
    7 (with seat belts)
    25 (absolute maximum capacity)
  • Dimensions
    16,060 lbs | 7284 kg
    420in | 1067cm
    138in | 366cm
    216in | 549cm
  • Chassis
    Frame Construction:
    2002 Isuzu NQR
  • Drive
    Rear: Mechanical Drum
    Front: Mechanical Drum
    Parking: Hand Brake
    Rear: Spring HD
    Front: Spring HD
    Manual Assist
  • Fuel
    Car Engine:
    25gal Diesel
    Fire Effects:
  • Note
    Vehicle specifications subject to change without notice