Swamp Buggy Racing

By  |  September 14, 2015
Troy Ortega, Terminator III, 2008. Troy’s custom buggy is modeled after an F-117 Stealth bomber. Troy Ortega, Terminator III, 2008. Troy’s custom buggy is modeled after an F-117 Stealth bomber.

Artist: Malcolm Lightner

Project: Mile O’ Mud

Description: Malcolm Lightner’s series Mile O’ Mud documents swamp buggy racing in Naples, Florida, a tradition for which custom-built swamp buggies race through the mud and muck of Florida swampland. A fourth-generation Floridian, Lightner has deep ties to Naples and to this style of racing; his great-uncle R.L. formalized the racing into a legitimate sport in 1949. His great-uncle Lorenzo recalls having to ride “real fast” across certain stretches of the racing track so “the panthers wouldn’t git ‘im.”


Malcolm Lightner is a fine arts photographer who resides in New York. He completed a BFA in Photography from the Savannah College of Art & Design and an MFA in Photography at Arizona State University. His work has appeared in numerous publications including Dear Dave Magazine, the Oxford American, Aint-Bad Magazine, and Life. Lightner teaches at the School of Visual Arts in New York City since 2002.

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Jeff Rich is a photographer based in Iowa City. His work focuses on water issues ranging from recreation and sustainability to exploitation and abuse. Jeff currently teaches photography at the University of Iowa. He curates the OA’s weekly photo series, Eyes on the South.