Home » This Minivan In Massachusetts Keeps Getting Weirder And Weirder And We’re Here For It

This Minivan In Massachusetts Keeps Getting Weirder And Weirder And We’re Here For It

Weird Van Ts
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“I’ve never emailed a website before,” Autopian user SkyChief07 begins their email with. “I love the site, love the mission, love you all as writers and journalists. You’re doing a thing, and things are hard, but you’re succeeding in building a corner of the internet where car weirdos feel truly at home,” they continue before getting to the highly pressing crux of the matter: This absurd minivan.

“I work at a college in Massachussetts,” they continue, “and I’ve been driving past this van on campus for the past couple of years, and it just keeps getting better and better as the owner adds more and more stuff to it.” Behold the van:

Vidframe Min Top
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SkyChief07 continues by describing why this is an Autopian van:

I had to stop the other day and take some pictures, and it occurred to me that this is a very Autopian van for the following reasons:

1. An unhinged amount of auxiliary lighting. I have a fantasy of Jason sitting at the bar at The Scarlet Lighter, doing a dramatic spit take when he sees all these accessory lights, spraying a fine mist of Filament Julep (a taillight-subculture bar has to have themed cocktails, right?) all over his phone. There are even LEDs mounted inside the rear bumper.
2. Is that a snorkel on a 2WD van riding on all-seasons? Where is this van going? What is it snorkeling?
3. It’s a 2nd-gen Kia Sedona in the top trim available at the time (EX). When’s the last time you’ve seen an ’01-’05 Sedona in such great shape (if at all)?
4. All the little details: the jerry can with a combination lock, the legs dangling from the tailgate, the Ring stickers, WIDE LOAD banner under the rear wiper (what if you accidentally hit the stalk and turn it on?), the fuzzy dice, the 2023 sticker, the name Bessie.
This van is awesome. It makes me smile every time I drive past it, and I thought it would ring true to the Autopian vibe. I hope the owner is an Autopian reader.
Happy Wednesday, all. Thanks for the great content.
Holy crap, SkyChief07, this is an incredible email! It’s a cheap, Gambler-ish type vehicle, so you know Mercedes will love it; it’s a forgotten Kia from the mid-2000s, so I bet Thomas (who loves mundate, oft-forgotten vehicles) will at least appreciate it; it’s sorta off-road-y, so you know I love it; it’s a van, so you know Matt will dig it; and as for Torch? Well, you already know why he’ll love it (see Scarlet Lighter above). What an incredible machine, and an incredible reader-submission!
The Wide Load thing has me a bit perplexed, as does that light bar behind the rear hatch glass, and those legs sticking out of the bottom of that hatch are odd, and also I just looked at a picture of the Kia Sedona’s engine and the airbox is actually on the other side of the car so that snorkel has me confused, too. Yeah, this is bizarre, and we love that around here.

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TOSSABL
TOSSABL
4 months ago

Anything worth doing is better if you go over the top??
Surprisingly, with all my years driving crapcans, I’ve never done anything like this: my modifications were all under the skin.
Maybe it’s my Midwest upbringing/Quaker heritage: ‘Don’t attract attention’ ?

I mean, I admire the dedication —but I don’t want the gendarmes to even glance at me as I glide by 😉

David Escargot
David Escargot
4 months ago

Legend has is it, if you turn on all forward facing lights on the highway you lose 10mph… to remedy this, turn on all rearward facing lights

Anoos
Anoos
4 months ago
Reply to  David Escargot

They’re like the tank cannon in GTA Vice City.

Mr Sarcastic
Mr Sarcastic
4 months ago

This is a JCWHITNEY advertising vehicle. It has not been improved it is just crap glued to crap.
BTW does anyone know how to remove broken wind visor pieces from a car?

Last edited 4 months ago by Mr Sarcastic
Phantom Pedal Syndrome
Phantom Pedal Syndrome
4 months ago
Reply to  Mr Sarcastic

“Pure Citrus” air freshener spray, a plastic paint scraper and time.

Last edited 4 months ago by Phantom Pedal Syndrome
Harvey Park
Harvey Park
4 months ago
Reply to  Mr Sarcastic

Depends on the car but I know how to do it on older MBs. Pelican Parts has a wealth of “tech articles” that are step by step instructions for how to do random things. Maybe they can help. Or YouTube!

Anoos
Anoos
4 months ago
Reply to  Mr Sarcastic

Try dental floss through the adhesive. Could also use a thin piece of wire if the floss keeps snapping. Warming the adhesive can make it a little easier.

Sometimes you can hit the adhesive area with a heat gun and just pull the pieces off. Be careful not to damage anything delicate with the heat gun.

Torque
Torque
4 months ago
Reply to  Anoos

Or heat gun + dental floss + goo ne gone. If the dental floss keeps breaking, recommend using fishing line with a high (ish) lbs. rating, less likely to scratch up your paint

Look, a Volvo!
Look, a Volvo!
4 months ago

When you put all the upgrades on the starter car:

Brad Lefton
Brad Lefton
4 months ago

Owned by an experiment subject within the Dept. of Psychology?

Iwannadrive637
Iwannadrive637
4 months ago

All it needs is a plastic skid plate.

MAX FRESH OFF
MAX FRESH OFF
4 months ago
Reply to  Iwannadrive637

Wrapped in aluminium foil!

CRG
CRG
4 months ago

I *think* this person “escorts” prefab and “mobile” homes on the highway. When I lived in the sticks up North, these rolling domiciles were a common sight moving up 89 and 91, with a passenger car fore and aft heralding another poorly constructed house heading to its forever home.

Always clearly someone’s regular car, outfitted with signs and lights, because why pay someone and equip them, when you can make someone an independent contractor that uses their own vehicle? The American way!

JerryLH3
JerryLH3
4 months ago
Reply to  CRG

Usually pilot cars have a sign on the side advertising they are a pilot car. They also are usually equipped with CB radio, so there would likely be a giant whip antenna. I think we have to consider this person is just having a lot of fun on their own.

Crank Shaft
Crank Shaft
4 months ago

Meh.

Thomas Metcalf
Thomas Metcalf
4 months ago

If this were still the 90’s, the wide load sticker would be a perfect setup for a ‘your mom’ joke.

Freelivin1327
Freelivin1327
4 months ago
Reply to  Thomas Metcalf

Anytime is a good enough time for that: Yo mama is so fat, when she sits around the house, she sits “AROUND” the house

Canopysaurus
Canopysaurus
4 months ago

Snorkel or periscope? You decide.

D-dub
D-dub
4 months ago

I’ve got an ’05 Sedona, kept around for dumprunner duty after its days as kiddie shuttle were done. Once you ditch the seats (which are removable) these things have a gargantuan cargo capacity.

https://imgur.com/a/20K1uXR

Last edited 4 months ago by D-dub
Torque
Torque
4 months ago
Reply to  D-dub

I have an 04′ Sienna, same, we call it our ‘light’ truck. It has made Many trips to the recycling center fully loaded. Ditto Menards/HomeDepot/Lowes for sheet material & dimensional lumber, plus cement bags. Last weekend had 500 lbs of water softener salt in the back + then took it to Costco for family groceries bf heading bk home with two other people in car too with plenty of room to spare

Adrian Clarke
Adrian Clarke
4 months ago

And it’s visually a hodgepodge of twenty different vehicle types so I’ll love it.
Wait a minute……

Angrycat Meowmeow
Angrycat Meowmeow
4 months ago

Can we please talk about this next? It’s frequently spotted and every time I see a photo of it on Audi FB or Audi reddit there’s more, so not only does he daily this thing, but he’s always doing more as well. I kind of love it because it’s like a rolling shitpost. The guy is obviously doing it to troll people which I kind of love. Rumor is he’s an Audi technician and does it for the LOL’s.

https://www.reddit.com/r/Shitty_Car_Mods/comments/10hi4wm/audi_s4_found_on_facebook/

Last edited 4 months ago by Angrycat Meowmeow
Goof
Goof
4 months ago

I see the 3 on the hood.

Good to know Dale Earnhardt is innit to winnit, even beyond the grave.

EmotionalSupportBMW
EmotionalSupportBMW
4 months ago

This is just regular traffic in New Hampshire. Weird people over there. My guess, something is probably in the water.

Detroit-Lightning
Detroit-Lightning
4 months ago

The snorkel had me rolling. It’s one of the silliest accessories when it’s actually functional – so this was just perfect execution.

Rollin Hand
Rollin Hand
4 months ago

“WIDE LOAD banner under the rear wiper (what if you accidentally hit the stalk and turn it on?)”

Then it’s a wiped load.

Goof
Goof
4 months ago

Took me a few minutes to figure out the school.

Given the surrounding area, yeah, this van is what I’d expect.

Eggsalad
Eggsalad
4 months ago

I have seen this phenomenon before. High school or college kid receives a hand-me-down dorkmobile from mom and/or dad. Since there’s absolutely no way to make it even remotely cool, they shoot for full-on ridiculousness and hilarity.

Taargus Taargus
Taargus Taargus
4 months ago
Reply to  Eggsalad

See: My rusted to hell ’89 Geo Prism I had back in highschool, in which my friends and I tacked on:

gold hood scoopgold wheel coverssilver contact paper for bottom halves of doors to cover the rust (lasted way longer than you’d expect)orange racing stripegigantic orange Geo logo decal for rear windshieldWhen your lot in life is a 750$ Prism that’s only a year younger than you are, you have fun where you can. This van is likely living the same life as that Geo once did.

Last edited 4 months ago by Taargus Taargus
Taargus Taargus
Taargus Taargus
4 months ago

Oof, those bullets did NOT show up like I was hoping. Sorry about the difficult to read comment.

Phantom Pedal Syndrome
Phantom Pedal Syndrome
4 months ago

Prism owners?…

ES
ES
4 months ago

off topic, but you used “geo” in a sentence, so:

morning commute today, saw a tiny speck in my rear view mirror. couldn’t believe it, and she wasn’t gaining, so i moved right and slowed down. eventually she caught up: dark teal 3-door metro with no visible rust. surprisingly, after at least three miles of freeway, she was up to 75. two little dimples above the lock on the hatch, but otherwise seemed pristine. it was 2nd gen by the headlights, and the car was still at least 5 or 10 years older than the driver.

this was a treat, as i don’t remember seeing one of these in the last 15 years or so. rivians, lucids, a 4c the other day, and even occasional sightings of a Citroen CX by my office, but any geo metro hatch, let alone a clean one?

Taargus Taargus
Taargus Taargus
4 months ago
Reply to  ES

I occasionally still see Metro hatches around here, which is a miracle in the Northeast. But every single one of them is holding on for dear life. A clean one… on an interstate? I haven’t seen that in probably 15 years.

Torque
Torque
4 months ago
Reply to  ES

A friend had a convertable blue automatic metro in HS. Actually was a lot of fun driving it on twisty “55” mph 2 lane highways, of which there were a lot where I grew up.
Of course I have always been of the school of thought of hoon whatever you have outside of perhaps a full on rv, though I bet you could still have fun hooning a Vixen!

Phantom Pedal Syndrome
Phantom Pedal Syndrome
4 months ago
Reply to  Eggsalad

Then somehow that old Pontiac 6000 is still chugging along by the time I, the seventh sibling, gets it in high school.

Oh the things my older sisters managed to do to it with spray paint, stencils, glitter and hot glue before it was handed off to me with multiple coolant leaks.

Basically, I drove to high school in a half assed low budget parade float.

Fuck it. I was excited just to have a car. The only thing I changed on it were the radiator hoses, tires, seat position, mirrors and radio presets.

Last edited 4 months ago by Phantom Pedal Syndrome
Phantom Pedal Syndrome
Phantom Pedal Syndrome
4 months ago

and the oil occasionally

TOSSABL
TOSSABL
4 months ago

“…spray paint, stencils, glitter, and hot glue…”
C’mon, Phantom; you can’t tease us like that and not post a picture!

Phantom Pedal Syndrome
Phantom Pedal Syndrome
4 months ago
Reply to  TOSSABL

I don’t believe any pictures exist.
It was a different time. Film was expensive.

TOSSABL
TOSSABL
4 months ago

I do understand.
But you’re now going to have to live with my mental image of you in a powder blue rented tux & your be-tulled Prom date awkwardly posed in front of your parade-float conveyance before the big event.

Phantom Pedal Syndrome
Phantom Pedal Syndrome
4 months ago
Reply to  TOSSABL

Prom date? In that hooptie?
Nah.

However… if you wanted to score some beers or other illicit substances at the after party it was pretty apparent which vehicle you needed to approach, cautiously.

Phantom Pedal Syndrome
Phantom Pedal Syndrome
4 months ago

“That one, over there.”

“The Chevy Celebrity?”

“No the… Buick Century?”

“You mean the Oldsmobile Cutlass?”

“Are you sure it’s not a Cadillac Cimarron?”

Phantom Pedal Syndrome
Phantom Pedal Syndrome
4 months ago

“The Pontiac 6000 LE!”

Phantom Pedal Syndrome
Phantom Pedal Syndrome
4 months ago

The faded brown one embossed with rattle can silver, copper and gold moons and stars!

The one with all the seashells glued to the front passenger side quarter panel.

The one that looks like repressed 16 year olds tried to decorate it, to live dangerously.

TOSSABL
TOSSABL
4 months ago

Oh, damn. I didn’t realize it really was that bad. That had to suck. But, like you said, it was transport.
Hey, I remembered a good car book. Well, truck, but I’m pretty sure you’ll dig it.
Truck; On Rebuilding a worn-out Pickup and Other Post Technological Adventures. By John Jerome.

Phantom Pedal Syndrome
Phantom Pedal Syndrome
4 months ago
Reply to  TOSSABL

It didn’t suck at all. I was gifted transportation, and the ability to recognize who my real friends were.

Phantom Pedal Syndrome
Phantom Pedal Syndrome
4 months ago
Reply to  TOSSABL

“Know thy gadgets”

Icouldntfindaclevername
Icouldntfindaclevername
4 months ago

All those light on a stock alternator LOL, but probably has 3 car batteries in the back?

Brian Ash
Brian Ash
4 months ago

Are the many many lights actually wired and possibly functional, I highly doubt the electrical system would handle all of them.

Ranwhenparked
Ranwhenparked
4 months ago
Reply to  Brian Ash

At least not all turned on at once anway

D-dub
D-dub
4 months ago
Reply to  Brian Ash

Functional? I don’t think they’re even stable. Would those lights riding the side mirrors stay attached at speeds above 20mph?

Last edited 4 months ago by D-dub
A. Barth
A. Barth
4 months ago

I’m getting a Hi-Low vibe 😀

Edit: can one of the staff send a couple of stickers to SkyChief07? Perhaps he could be persuaded to leave them with a note to the car’s owner. If that person is not an Autopian, now’s a good time to start. 🙂

Last edited 4 months ago by A. Barth
SkyChief07
SkyChief07
4 months ago
Reply to  A. Barth

I love this idea and I’m 100% game for it.

A. Barth
A. Barth
4 months ago
Reply to  SkyChief07

Outstanding! 😀

Taargus Taargus
Taargus Taargus
4 months ago
Reply to  A. Barth

They’d probably think it was from a cult. And they’d be right!

Matt S
Matt S
4 months ago
Reply to  A. Barth

Yeah, it feels a little unfair to post pics of this guy’s car and not at least let him know.

Drew
Drew
4 months ago

the airbox is actually on the other side of the car so that snorkel has me confused, too.

Simple explanation: purely decorative.
More fun explanation: there is a winding mass of ducting and/or hoses delivering that air across to the other side, and some of it even juts through the firewall and into the dash.

Last edited 4 months ago by Drew
Ranwhenparked
Ranwhenparked
4 months ago
Reply to  Drew

Humph, in my day, people welded whistle tips in their exhaust pipes when they wanted some decoration, I’ll never understand these kids today and their silly fads

Mike Dris
Mike Dris
4 months ago
Reply to  Ranwhenparked

Bubb Rubb and Lil Sis: “Tha whistles go WOOO

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zUXow3d3-b0

J Money
J Money
4 months ago

I know we value car weirdos around here but this thing reminds me of John Doe’s notebooks in Se7en. Just a visual representation of an insane person.

Mike Harrell
Mike Harrell
4 months ago

I’m reminded of a Haflinger I once saw at a microcar show:

https://live.staticflickr.com/7220/7028121753_aa41ea425e_o.jpg

Automotiveflux
Automotiveflux
4 months ago
Reply to  Mike Harrell

I like this

Pat Rich
Pat Rich
4 months ago

I’m continually fascinated at the things people value more than money.

Cheap Bastard
Cheap Bastard
4 months ago
Reply to  Pat Rich

To be fair money is worth less and less every day.

Goof
Goof
4 months ago
Reply to  Pat Rich

I remember my first real job. There was a gal in shipping, around 40, single mom with 3 kids, with a deadbeat dad that didn’t pay child support. She drove an old Mazda GLC. Probably paid about a grand for it. Smart. Does the job for cheap.

Though then she comes upstairs one day to where us IT folk are, inviting us down to come check out the “bling” she put on her car. This was just before the first Fast and Furious movie was out, but “tuner culture” was becoming a thing.

All new wheels. Think 16s, might’ve been 17s. The three of us from upstairs immediately knew the wheels and tires very easily cost more than the entire car.

One of her sons worked part time in shipping after school. Decent kid. Yet one thing I remembered is complaining about the usual “meat” for dinner would be a hot dog.

———-

Still doesn’t beat some local guy though. Bought a used Cavalier Z24 and legitimately put an entire new C5 Corvette of money into it, to have a weird looking thing that would get demolished by the first US market Subaru WRX. He spent new C5 Z06 money all in.

Data
Data
4 months ago
Reply to  Goof

Maybe he didn’t have any jorts and New Balance shoes. You can’t own a Corvette without the proper attire.

Goof
Goof
4 months ago
Reply to  Data

Nah, this was a guy in his early 20s that bought into, “tuner culture”. He had badly airbrushed flames, a crazy paint job with a lot of flake in it. A lot of “custom” interior work and everything under the hood (which was still a late 90s N.A. Ecotec) was chromed. Think 18” chrome wheels. He used to do races at an abandoned industrial park in my neck of the woods, and a drag strip about 15 miles away, but supposedly he stopped very early on because it got demolished by even stock Civic Sis.

A friend of mine kind of knew him. When he did eventually sell it many years later (would’ve been like 12-13 years old) I heard he only got $2000 for it.

it’s what taught me that if you’re heavily modifying your car, you need to ask yourself if you bought the wrong car. Save and get what you want.

My Goat Ate My Homework
My Goat Ate My Homework
4 months ago
Reply to  Goof

FYI – Third gen Z24 cavalier’s of the late 90s were faster to 60 and in the 1/4 mile then a stock Civic SI of the same year. Quarter mile was faster by around 1/2 second. Mostly due to much (much) higher torque. By the way, the 2.4 liter that came in the z24 in the 90s was not an Ecotec it was a DOHC that was developed long before the L85 ecotec made it into the cavaliers in 2003.

Goof
Goof
4 months ago

A Z24 had 16-inch stock wheels though. We’re talking going to 18s, with possibly more section width. That’s not going to help in a straight line. Moreover, big chrome wheels. Possibly on the cheap side. Yet more weight than just going from 16s to 18s would be.

A lot of interior mods. I’m not talking stripping it down to bare metal, I’m talking adding fuzzy red “velour” everything to every surface. A whole lot of stereo equipment, amps, woofers, etc. Yet more weight.

My Goat Ate My Homework
My Goat Ate My Homework
4 months ago
Reply to  Goof

Xzibit made a lot of money doing that.

velour ads about 15 HP, about the same as those stick-on portholes.

Phuzz
Phuzz
4 months ago
Reply to  Goof

If someone wants to modify their own car, I say go for it, but generally any money you spend modifying it will reduce the value by the same amount.

Andy Individual
Andy Individual
4 months ago
Reply to  Goof

Even though the cost of housing has gone up, it’s still pretty common to see houses that cost less than the luxury car/truck parked in front of them. I guess it’s an America thing. Probably makes sense when you spend more time in traffic than at home.

Last edited 4 months ago by Andy Individual
Goof
Goof
4 months ago

House to car ratio is also very dependent on where the house is.

Yes, if you live in southern Ohio just over the Ohio River, homes are very cheap. Even two very normal cars can be worth more than a run-down home.

Though that’s definitely not everywhere.

Clark B
Clark B
4 months ago
Reply to  Goof

On the flip side, the neighborhood where my parents live and where I grew up in doesn’t have a single house in it that’s less than 3,500 square feet, my parents is somewhere around 6,500 and it’s not the only one that size. But almost no one there drives a luxury car. If they do, it’s usually a base model Benz or BMW, but more often than not cars are 5-10 years old and from non-luxury manufacturers. This is in Kentucky so houses like that aren’t as expensive as they’d be other places, but you can definitely tell people are really stretching things to live there. Growing up it wasn’t uncommon to go to someone’s house and find whole rooms or even floors unfurnished.

Goof
Goof
4 months ago
Reply to  Clark B

Right, but keep in mind we’re both functionally talking about Central Appalachia. I’ve driven through most of the continental US, and Central Appalachia is about as economically depressed (lack of good paying opportunities) as you get outside of the wastelands turned into reservations in the Dakotas and Arizona/New Mexico. Again, you can buy a new RAV4 for more than the price of a (really rough) house in some parts of Central Appalachia.

Drive NE from Central Appalachia and when you hit Pittsburgh (still Appalachia), average home prices are $235-250K. Drive another 5 hours to Richmond, VA and average home prices are more around $350K. Go further to DC and you’re north of $600K. Drive instead to Boston (6-7 hours) and you’re at north of $800K.

Works the same going the other direction (SE instead of NE) as well, just not as extreme. Atlanta is $420K. Raleigh around $430K.

There are huge extremes in what you’ll see in barely more than a half day road trip. Even when you get to the nice parts, even just 50 miles away the same opportunities may not exist and the top end of the labor market sees a 40-60% pay cut for common, “good paying” jobs, even though the cost of food and housing doesn’t go up that much.

And those steps up buy a lot of car. It’s a shame people buy a lot of car, instead of keeping it sane and not getting eaten alive by depreciation.

Last edited 4 months ago by Goof
Anoos
Anoos
4 months ago
Reply to  Goof

My MA property taxes could cover the monthly payments on a new German sedan. I drive a 14 year old Subaru.

Slow Joe Crow
Slow Joe Crow
4 months ago
Reply to  Goof

That’s inconceivable to me since most of Oregon is very expensive. Even a modest tract house is luxury motorhome or exotic car money and what’s parked out front is often older and cheap.

Karl Jacobs
Karl Jacobs
4 months ago

At least out here in LA, in the barrios and hoods, your car is where it’s at. You can’t control where you live or your family, but you put every dime into your car, that’s where your pride resides.

Phuzz
Phuzz
4 months ago

cries in British
A one bed flat (apartment) around here, costs more than supercar money. (At least for cars ‘cheap’ enough that they list the price)
Which is why I drive an 18 year old VW, and still can’t afford a house.

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