Little Cab One Page!
My dogs Fire and Ice have been traveling more with me recently, and worried about the extreme conditions, heat being the worst, I decided to buy a new van with air conditioning so they could be more comfortable. Back I went to the guys who sold me the last little Ute, and arranged a trade in.
I decided to get my new van Endrusted, because Geraldton is a coastal town and things rust easy here. My purple Ute had been Endrusted and had very little rust, so in I took this one as well. While they were doing the Endrusting, I poked nosily about their workshop. There I discovered a beautifully air brushed helmet. It had a picture of a big cat's (Jaguar's?) face on it and looked magic. /I want that./ I thought. So I went and asked the guy,Mike Jarvis, if he could do something for my van. He could!
We sat down and started going through airbrush books, I looked at many classic car designs. But they weren't quite what I wanted so I decided to do my own. Then I went home and scratched out a sketch, e-mailed it in, and awaited his ideas. They weren't long in coming!
I had decided what I wanted was a giant mural to advertise my web site. I asked myself what did my site have that made it different from the other home pages? Well, a winged frog as Muse and guardian, for one. And a page on firefighting. And a page on blowing bubbles. So we put them all together, and wow, it looks great!
The hardest bit was deciding on the flames, the classic flame used in airbrush looks like a series of can openers to me, I wanted something more realistic. We finally found it! And Mike went and brought a bubble blowing kit to study the way bubbles look, the airbrush books didn't have the right look for them either, but he improvised and they look great.
Originally I wanted to use my button frog (see the end of the page) as the hood ornament, but the artist (and Mike is an artist, don't you think) persuaded me to go with a different look. He likes to do frogs, and had some nice pictures he had already done to win me over with. It took a little persistence on my part to keep the wings and antenna on them but!
I asked for flames streaking off the headlights and grill, then bubbles being blown by two attendant frogs up the back. And two little ladybugs sitting on the petrol cap and the matching plate on the other side. He and his apprentices caught actual ladybugs to use as models for the little pictures. Cool!
The artist used a contact for the side panel bubbles and the web site address, that way if the address changes I can replace it no worries, just peel and re-apply the new site! (Are you listening, West Net? HehHehHeh...)
The van gets a lot of comments, mostly people want to know what I sell! I have been asked if I run anything from a pet shop, toy shop or costume shop to a fish and chip shop and all sorts of things in between!
My new number plates read Fire Frog - they took awhile to arrive, but look great and add another cool dimension to the van. There is a crash barrier behind the seats, so the dogs don't come sit in my lap, and it is air-conditioned so they ride in comfort. I'm making a ramp for them to climb easily into the back and have a water bowl and bottle of water, leads and toys in a suitcase in permanent residence for any long trips, hopefully this is the ultimate in doggy travel!
As you can see, some of these pictures didn't scan so well and had the colour played with a bit so you could see the details, the better ones were done with a digital camera (thanks for the loan, mum!). Talking of pictures, when I went back to have the first check up on the van, the dealership were so impressed (or possibly - stunned) that they took a photo and put it on their sales board!
A picture of the van also appeared in Australian Airbrush Art Vol 3 Issue 2, May 2001. Mike Jarvis has had several other examples of his works appear in there as well!
There used to be a lot of painted vans, remember those great pictures of Indians, eagles and horses? Someone in town has a big white van with a picture of a mini painted on the side, that's a bit of an eye opener! And the Endrust van has a tiger wading through black waves on the side. Plus there is a bread van painted to look like a loaf of bread (it actually doesn't look as tacky as it sounds, having been done most subtly.)
Just as a point of interest, this little pad one van attracts bird poo. I can park it in the middle of a car park, not a tree in sight, and still have a little avian message left on the bonnet when I get back. Non of the other cars had this problem! Aaaargh!
Back to My Vehicles index page...
With many thanks to "Endrust" Vehicle Protection Systems.
158 NWC Highway Geraldton.
PO Box 5011 Wonthella WA 6530
Phone (08) 99642372
"Put your Car in our Care."