The Legend Of The Infamous Rat-Van

  1. Industrial Revolution
  2. PunkRockMachoCool
  3. The Hero Complex
1. Industrial Revolution
Imagine a futuristic world where we don’t all wear grey pajamas and drink broccoli smoothies. Where punk culture is the dominating trend and where you’re actually going to have to fight to survive. Imagine a world made out of raw iron and steel, and smoke, with cold-shaken people hiding from mechanical monsters and staying warm near barrel-fires.
Nothing out of the ordinary, actually, although it might seem like a Hollywood-esque scenario, a world with a darker future is something to ponder about, especially while cruising through empty streets, looking for a place to build a camp for the night.
Man, machine, the on-and-off duo that went head to head throughout history, ready to take on each other, whenever the opportunity presented itself. We need them as much as they need us, and that’s a fact. The only other options would be to either go back to the dark ages and live among rusty metal skeletons or learn how to get along, for a not-so-certain brighter future.
2. PunkRockMachoCool
Building a unique project and falling in love with it is the ultimate creation-consumes-its-maker type of story. And that’s precisely what we saw while talking to Andrei and his one-of-a-kind van, while hiding out from these dubious pandemic times, in an abandoned factory on the edge of the city.
First seen and started in Timisoara, the VW T4 Multivan was brought back to Bucharest, where the project was continued, with passion, care, and attention to every rat-culture detail. No effort has been spared, and the end result is surely an eye-turner at every event or on the streets.
While the mechanics of the van have been kept stock, the suspension has been changed with a hydraulic one, the rear springs are used only for long drives and are being taken off for car shows, and, although it doesn’t seem so, the van is totally free of rust. The marks you’ll see in the photos are just a paint job, for that post-apocalyptic effect.
Full-on options have been kept, preserved, and enhanced, as this rat-van could easily host and be a home for a family, with ease. You’ve got a functional fridge, stationary webasto and heat-isolated body, a functional shower, stationary AC, thermal window tint, a loud (and I do mean LOUD) sound-system, video projector, grill with seats and table and dishes, and various wheelsets, depending on the destination. Talk about a house on wheels, and here you have it.
3. Hero Complex
Van tuning has a small, yet very passionate community throughout Europe, and I can only imagine a group of rat-like vans, driving through deserted highways, in search of new places to build upon. Mad Max would have nothing on these people, believe me. The amount of passion that was put into this car is on a whole different level than a lot of projects I wrote about.
Come what may, with cars like this, I strongly think we can overcome anything. Useful, powerful, unique in every way, it will surely turn out to be the best companion anyone could ever need and my best guess is that it will live along with its owner for decades to come.
The rat-van is much more than a trend, a sub-culture, or a project. It is a statement in itself, something so unique, and yet so useful, that it could easily fit in any type of future the world might have. And what Andrei has built here, then, is much more than a tuned camper. It is a manly, loud, mean machine, to endure the roughest days and, with the proper care, to keep you safe and comfy until the end of time.
Written by: Mihai Dumitrescu - Instagram
Photographed by: Anna Dumitrescu - Instagram