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Freak Of The Week: Mind-Bending Mini Van

The other day, I had a meeting in Long Beach with a few fellow Driving Line contributors.  After our caffeine-fueled, car-loving congregation, we all split up and starting walking to our respective rides. One dude said his goodbyes and started walking nonchalantly towards this:

psychedelic van

What the huh?

Many in this group know that I am a purveyor of all things four-wheeled & freaky, so I was astonished that this van had taken over 3 hours to enter my life.  Forget everything else we talked about that day, this was the sh*t! So I, of course, ran through traffic to get a closer look and immediately accosted its owner to get the low down.

Turns out, I am not the first person to take a photo of this masterpiece.  It belongs to Tim Sutton, a great automotive photographer who does stuff like this:


(photo credit: Tim Sutton Photography)

FYI–I am posting this shot at the risk of the rest of my photos looking like ass, but I’m brave like that.

Tim and his wife designed the van themselves and spent a fair amount of time laboring over the details, both outside and in:


But the coolest part about this vehicle isn’t its elaborate pin-striping, brilliant lift or hand tooled glittery nobs, it’s that it’s their family car.  You know, the vehicle they use for road trips and family fun.  Imagine! Remember when you and your partner talked about having kids and how you were gonna stay cool in the process? You weren’t going to sell out, get fat, stop having hot sex or worse…drive something safe and awful? And maybe you did.  But so very many don’t.  Well, guess which one Team Sutton chose:


(photo credit: Tim Sutton Photography)

I love it. The best part about this van is that it is a big f-you to all things safe and conservative that our generation, as parents, has adopted out of fear.  Baby gates, child-proof cabinets, the dreaded toddler leash– I know that terrible accidents happen to children and we all want our babies to be safe.  But does it have to be at the expense of our own identity and sense of adventure? Mama thinks not. This van doesn’t have airbags, is less than fuel-efficient and likely dipped significantly into baby Sutton’s college fund. But guess what it does have? A place for this family to enjoy the open road and time together without having to dismiss what brought them together in the first place.  I’d like to think that Mama Sutton would agree:


(photo credit: Tim Sutton Photography)

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