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Personal Vehicle

Are these the world's worst paint jobs?

Tuesday, 26 May 2015 GMT
Author: Staveley Head

People express themselves in a lot of different ways. For some it’s enough to do this just by picking a certain type of shirt, or haircut, or car… but for many that’s not enough. They want to go the whole hog and make their vehicles entirely unique and very them. John Lennon did it, so why not Joe Bloggs too? Well, mostly because it can look absolutely terrible. Let’s show you what we mean…

Groovy baby


Make: Volkswagen
Model: Modified Type 2

There is a lot going on here, isn’t there? Mind you, VW campervan owners are know for their, er, relaxed attitude to life so we shouldn’t be too surprised at far out art like this. Sometimes though, one finds a little more enthusiasm than ability. This beauty hits all the stereotypes superbly with leaping fairies, flowers, mushrooms, smiling fish, stars and the moon. If you ever see a van like this with smoke billowing out the windows, fire is probably not the cause. We still like it in a funny way, though.

Pedal to the metal


Make: Chevrolet
Model: Van 1980-82

Affectionately referred to as a ‘Chevy’, these vans were used by thousands in a similar way to the VW camper van. Road trips, going to gigs, and all the other things teenagers get up to, a lot of memories have been made in the back of these. And probably a lot of us, too.

But as you can see, it’s not only hippies who want to spend hours painting their vans, but metalheads as well, apparently. Adorned with some limp Iron Maiden art, this could either be a searing indictment of evil governmental corporations and our relentless servitude to capitalism – ie, a revolutionary spelling of ‘Spineless’ – or it belongs to a pizza delivery company called Spinellis who want to scare their customers more than serve them. Either way we love it. Especially the oddly small rear window.

We hope you like vannin’ too


Make: Ford
Model: Transit

Undoubtedly one of the most iconic and enduring vans on the planet, the Ford Transit has been used by builders, armed gangs and schools as an economical and comfortable way to get around. Part of their appeal is that they drive like a car (not a cumbersome, lumbering, wallowing lump like most vans) and as there are so many body styles available, you can easily make yours… yours. This one is rather intriguing as it’s the original mustard at the front, but if you squint very carefully you can just make out where it inexplicably changes into bright sunlight, green clouds and a five foot image of Bob Marley laughing at the vehicle behind him. On the other side there’s a massive recipe for salmon and broccoli quiche. We think.

They tried


Make: Volkswagen
Model: Type 2 (T3)

Oh look, another Volkswagen. Aside from the paint job, this one’s seen happier days… at least, that’s what we hope. It’s always a shame to see a classic like this fading away in someone’s drive but, with artisitc vision like this, maybe that’s no bad thing..
The painting itself is pretty poor, and we’re not even sure exactly what it’s meant to be. Was it originally grey and he started painting over it? Or was it actually covered in a mural of waves and metallic rainbows and he started painting over that? We suspect this one is owned by another hippie who fulfilled the lazy stereotype and gave up, that or they bucked the stereotype altogether and got a job with a nice company car. We will never know. Nor will we ever care.

What do we have ‘ere?


Make: Chevrolet
Model: 1966 Sports van

At first quick glance we thought this was going to be another terrible paintjob we could rip to pieces. The artwork looks kind of sloppy and half-hearted, but when you take a closer look it’s a lot better than it seems. Basically, it’s nice to see the night instead of another freakin’ rainbow or sword-wielding unicorn. Although the canoe looks in better condition than the van and is probably there as another means of transport when the main one breaks down…

But we think this van is almost stylish and the rough paint job gives it a bit of charm. Who says a painter’s famous work can’t go on the side of a van? And we love the ‘Van Go’ pun too. Good work, chaps.

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