Culture > Diversion

This real-life Mystery Machine will make you smile

Buy this psychedelic van and name your dog Scooby-Doo

We want to drive this with the gang. PHOTO FROM IDEAL CLASSIC CARS

There are car enthusiasts, and then there are pop-culture car enthusiasts. Guys who love cars for their storied place in entertainment history. These people collect scale models of movie or TV wheels, including KITT from Knight Rider, Herbie from The Love Bug, and the Ectomobile from Ghostbusters. The most extreme of these fans—those who have the financial means anyway—take it to the next level and build real-life versions of these motion-picture vehicles.

Take this life-size Mystery Machine from Scooby-Doo, for example. We stumbled upon this psychedelic van on the website of Ideal Classic Cars, a Florida-based seller of timeless automobiles.

Can you picture the happiness you will generate when you fetch your friends? PHOTO FROM IDEAL CLASSIC CARS

According to Ideal Classic Cars, the base vehicle is a 1972 Ford E200 Econoline van, which required more than $15,000 (P780,000) just to paint the exterior. The engine is a 4.9-liter V8 mated to an automatic transmission.

Maybe traffic officers won't stop you. Maybe they will all just laugh. Maybe. PHOTOS FROM IDEAL CLASSIC CARS

If you think the paint job and the accessories look fantastic, that’s because the project was reportedly done by someone who makes props for Disney World rides. No wonder no small details were spared. Even the nooks of oft-hidden door jambs were meticulously airbrushed.

The details prove this van isn't just for turning heads. This is serious stuff. PHOTOS FROM IDEAL CLASSIC CARS

Inside, the seats are upholstered in proper Mystery Machine colors. There’s even a “ghost detector” overhead. We’re sure it doesn’t work, but who cares?

In the driver's seat, you can live out your childhood Shaggy Rogers fantasies. PHOTOS FROM IDEAL CLASSIC CARS

But perhaps the best features of this van are the comfy couch and the little table at the back. It’s practically a roving bedroom. Shaggy Rogers would be pleased.

High-school reunion on the road, guys? PHOTOS FROM IDEAL CLASSIC CARS

No specific price was quoted by the seller, but you can be sure the amount far exceeds the cost of the paint job. For all the positive vibes you’ll be passing along to onlookers, maybe the price tag (whatever it may be) is worth it.

Vernon B. Sarne

Vernon is the founder and editor-in-chief of VISOR. He has been an automotive journalist since July 1995. He became one by serendipity, walking into the office of a small publishing company and applying for a position he had no idea was for a local car magazine. God has watched over him throughout his humble journey. He writes the ‘Spoiler’ column.