Saturday, April 15, 2006

The Old Van

My 95 Chevy Astro Conversion Van is the best vehicle I've ever owned. It now has over a quarter million miles and the engine still runs strong. Other than oil changes, brakes, and tires, I think I've spent less than $1000 on total maintenance over the years. Certain things don't always work now and I need to decide whether to spend some bucks to fix it or to pass the van on to someone else that is willing to do it.

My first inclination is to give the van to a mechanic friend of mine. He could do the repairs himself and then have a very functional van. My son Matthew is against that idea. He wants to turn the van into a full blown Bengals party van.

Matthew and I have season tickets to the Bengals where he has seen many awesome looking customized vans and old school buses. Many are painted with Bengal stripes, have the team logo painted on, and are customized for the ultimate tailgating experience. He has suggested that we paint our van orange with the black stripes, put a giant "B" on the hood, and paint the roof to look like a green football field complete with yard lines and goalposts. He wants to remove the back bumper and install four fold down stadium seats just like the ones from Paul Brown Stadium. He says we should mount external speakers on the van so that the Bengals fight song and Fear Da Tiger cd can be heard by everyone.

Last year we went to a road game against the Tennessee Titans. There were a lot of Bengals fans that made that trip. One customized Bengalmobile that I particularily liked is shown below.

Matthew with the van I like

Here's one that Matthew likes

We were invited by the folks that owned one party van to go with them to watch the Bengals play at Kansas City later in the season. I decided against it when they said that they would need to leave three or four days early in case they had to stop for auto service. They said "she runs a little hot sometimes".

I think many of the Bengalmobiles were like my old Chevy Astro...that is, old with lots of miles and the owners had to make a decision as to whether or not to keep the vehicles. The owners of these football party wagons obviously made the decisions to keep their vehicles and spend some money on expensive Bengals paint jobs and conversions. I'll probably keep my Astro and simply stick on a few Bengals magnets, window flags, and maybe a bumper sticker or two. Instead of installing external speakers, we will simply roll the windows down so that the fight song and Fear Da Tiger can be heard by everyone. (That is assuming the automatic windows are working on that particular day.)


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