Real-Life Concept Cars
Like many people of his generation, Baron Margo
was dazzled by the futuristic concept cars Detroit
trotted out year after year. And, like many people, he
was disappointed that those streamlined vehicles
remained unobtainable concepts to the average
motorist. But unlike many people, Margo did something about it. He, as he describes it, “stepped up.”
He started to build his own cars. Cars that
appear to come from a parallel world, one where
you debate whether to vacation on the beaches of
Venus or go skiing at Olympus Mons on Mars.
I first saw one of Margo’s rocket cars parked at
a local diner, a gleaming silver torpedo wedged
between unremarkable Corollas and SUVs. Closer
inspection showed the work of an incredible craftsman: the sleek aluminum surface was covered with
metallic detail, bristling with rivets, lights, and a
massive faux jet exhaust with a rotating outer rim.
The three-wheeler uses recognizable parts — a
modified front suspension from a VW Beetle, a motorcycle engine — in clever reworkings of proven designs,
a practical approach that makes Margo’s vehicles not
18 Make: Volume 12
just beautiful to look at, but also legally roadworthy.
But these quite noticeable cars are just the surface.
Margo’s home is a treasure trove of robots, rockets,
and intricate machines, made primarily from found
scrap, aerospace salvage, and construction remnants
from the Glendale Galleria. Standing in one place,
you can see a brass-and-steel train, an old Crosley
auto, a gigantic robotic dragonfly, a family of
upright robots and their android dog, and so much
more. It’s dizzying, inspirational, and humbling.
Margo is a reserved man, and while he’s sold some
works to the rich and famous and to the movies
(rayguns for the Men In Black series), Margo does
what he does simply because he loves it.
Margo is a wildly creative man, a dreamer who
manages to actually make things real, thanks to
a strong sense of the pragmatic, as seen in the
two pieces of advice he gave me: “Take the easiest
path” and “Don’t burn yourself.” Sage advice for
every maker. —Jason Torchinsky
>> Baron Margo’s Cars and More: baronmargo.com
Photograph by Sally Myers