Peace Love Car, Wanderlust 2016
Meet the Peace Love Car, a 1988 Ford Festiva found at Wanderlust Aspen-Snowmass with over 490,000 miles clocked to its name.
Fifteen years ago, facing impending compaction, the car was given to Sam Salwei of North Dakota. Over the course of more than 400,000 miles, the PLC has accumulated hundreds of stickers and garnered plenty of affectionate drawings. One of those drawings – the words “Peace” and “Love” – was the impetus for the car’s name.
Like a child, the car has absorbed the personality of its owners, Sam Salwei and Raquel Hernández. Yoga stickers line the rusted metal of the car. Bikes and slacklining equipment are attached to the trailer hitch. Wind sails and climbing gear are stored in rooftop cargo carriers. Hula hoops and fans are taped to the ceiling. A rooftop solar panel powers the mini fridge tucked behind the driver’s seat. The passenger seat, folded flat with a Tempurpedic pad on top, functions as a bed. A black pipe full of water, squeezed between the rooftop cargo carriers, provides warm water for shower use. And to top it off, Sam installed a Mercedes hood emblem on the deserving car with a wire in between the two lower spokes to form a peace sign.
Sam and Raquel, who have been dating for four years, live in the car traveling across the country. They have driven through all of the continental United States and most of Canada, meeting friends and sharing yoga. The canvas of the car is a testament to their life of experience.
In all, Sam has spent about $10,000 on repairs for the car. But the end of the road is nearing. Mechanics recently inspected the pervading rust on the car and deemed it irreparable, giving the proud parents a prognosis of about one more year of use. With that, Sam and Raquel have been burning rubber, taking the airbagless car across the country seven more times — for that’s the language all three of them speak.
While Sam and Raquel have been on their last hurrah with the PLC, they have also been planning a new car. This time, though, the car will be bigger with a retired ice cream van cabin and a truck chassis. Still nameless, it will develop personality like the PLC did, and, eventually, somewhere down the road, it will make a name for itself.
**Interested in learning more about the PLC and the lives of Sam and Raquel? Click here for more.