Efficient cars are all the rage these days, but Joe Kyte has made a business of crafting some of the coolest green cars around – literally. Kyte is better known by his nickname Topiary Joe, and in addition to being a talented artist, he is also a real gearhead.
Kyte has been creating topiaries for the last 20 years. It began when he was marketing greenhouse products to Walt Disney World and saw their plant sculptures. He realized that he could do that and since then, has done around 3,400 pieces.
His most intriguing creations are the rolling sculptures that move and turn. Prices for those start at about $18,000 and can be as high as $30,000. While, the wheels are machine-bent, Kyte said all the other parts are done with a table vice and a Lincoln Electric arc welder. Topiary Joe is taking the Porsche (pictured above) to Palm Beach later this year to sell or says he may donate it to Porsche North America. If you really want it, the sculpture is currently on Craigslist for sale for $24,000.
Topiary Joe has also had a life-long love of cars. "I was driving my first MG Midget before I was 14," he told Autoblog. He grew up in Oak Ridge, TN, where the Manhattan Project was partially developed. He says the town was full of recent college grads driving Mercedes, and he caught the bug. His automotive mentor was a nuclear physicist who taught him to repair and restore the Mercs.
Kyte has completed commissions for Sandals Resort, Dreamworks, Absolut, and many more. Among his favorite creations is the Ferrari that he created at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix that is now exhibited at the airport each year before the race. Check out his website for a wider look at his work.