During the second day of our British Columbia vacation we stopped at the lake side community of Osoyoos which located in the Okanagan Valley only a few kilometers north of the US border. A tourist, fruit and wine town, Osoyoos is generally one of the warmest places in Canada on any given day. During our visit proved to be no exception and the sighting of this Mazda MPV was no heat induced mirage but an interesting take on an art car.
Taking a closer look at the side it was clear that this heavily customized MPV is owned by Fred Tober who appeared to be a country musician. A quick search turned up some detail on the man himself. He is a retired German born man who only took up singing only a few years ago but built his vans (yes, more than one) to help sell his music. The side view also gives away this MPV as the four wheel drive variant. The four wheel drive is not the modern all wheel drive style but rather a more truck like locked four wheel drive not suitable for dry roads.
Here an interview by the CBC in 2018:
with photos here:
He certainly sounds like quite the character. We did briefly see the 1978 Dodge van mentioned in the interview but it was gone by the time we turned around to get a closer look. So it still runs and drives! We will have to settle for this on the move shot with a bonus early Nissan Pathfinder making a cameo.
Zooming in a bit you can see how the van that is covered with silicon, plastic diamonds and other decorations.
Here is a sample of his music again from the CBC:
Getting back to the Mazda the interior is just as customized as the exterior. There is certainly a lot going on here with a customized aftermarket steering wheel, wrapped gear shift and a disco ball. Yes, a manual transmission MPV with four wheel drive which narrows it down to a likely be a 1991 model.
Unlike most art cars which seem to be a bunch of stuff glued on at random Fred’s has a real theme going with a consistent color scheme and music promotion concept. Hopefully this one, as well as Fred himself, keeps brightening people’s days for a long time to come.