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Panel Van Conversion

Lamborghini Espada 400 GTE Furgone | photoshop chop by Sebastian Motsch (2018)

Lamborghini Espada 400 GTE Furgone Veloce

The Lamborghini Espada is a vehicle with a very different design approach and reflects the adventurous Seventies very well. Nonetheless it is a beautiful or even sculptural vehicle with stunning details. Believe it or not… this Furgone Veloce version happened by accident. I just wanted to lower the Espada and remodeled the rear wheel arches to fit bigger diameter wheels. It looked horrible with the stock rear window. Consequently I had to design a new window and eventually came up with the idea to convert it to a panel van. Similar to the Citroën CX Tissier shuttling newspapers, it might have been utilized to get the Gazzetta dello Sport to the chiosco quicker.

Lamborghini Espada 400 GTE Furgone | photoshop chop by Sebastian Motsch (2018)

If the diligent newspaper shuttle driver needed more space, he might have ordered a furgone veloce with even more space for cargo. This would have necessitated extensive drivetrain and frame geometry modifications, of course.

Lamborghini Espada 400 GTE Furgone Prototipo | photoshop chop by Sebastian Motsch (2018)

Click here to see the original picture.

Daihatsu Materia Sport Panel Van Conversion | photoshop chop by Sebastian Motsch (2018)

Daihatsu Materia Sport | Panel Van Conversion

Lately I had a phone conversation with a friend and he asked me what I think about Daihatsu. Due to my experiences with Daihatsu vehicles, I’m quite fond of the engineering, reliability and longevity. I drove my first Daihatsu Cuore (aka Mira) while studying in Karlsruhe, had a long-term hire Sirion while living in South Africa and even took that one to 4×4 trails without any worries or problems. Mind you, it was not the all wheel drive version. I have never driven a Materia, but it definitely is on my bucket list. I like the styling of the body very much, but the dashboard with the centered instruments doesn’t do it for me. Researching the PCD and availability of tuning parts, I stumbled upon the Inden Design shop truck. Taking this concept a bit further is easy with photoshop. Remove the rear doors, convert it to a panel van and it’s done. Or isn’t it? To make the converted car look good, I modified the rake of the B-pillar and changed a few things here and there to get the proportions right. Once finished it received some spice: I lowered it, added vintage Gotti wheels and converted them to multi-piece with BBS barrels. Now, would you jump into this Materia to fetch some parts or deliver pizza?

Daihatsu Materia Sport Panel Van Conversion | photoshop chop by Sebastian Motsch (2018)

Click here to see the original picture.

Alfa Romeo 159 Furgone Assistenza Servizio | photoshop chop by Sebastian Motsch (2018)

Alfa Romeo 159 Furgone Sportivo

The Alfa Romeo 159 Furgone Sportivo pictured here is a follow-up to the Alfasud Furgone Sportivo I created last year. Basically the same idea, executed on a far more modern chassis (Type 939). I found a great picture of a metallic red 159 ti wagon and started, with the finished picture already in my mind. But then… I did the sensible thing got carried away and one idea led to another. From a simple all-red panel van conversion it escalated to a two-tone Alfa Romeo Assistenza & Servizio wagon, inspired by this Giulia Giardinera. To break up the hard contrast at the B-pillar and to lessen the impression of a simple hack-job, I added a small quarter window. This would also help the driver to better see pedestrians and cyclists when turning corners. I would really love to build this in 1:1 scale…

Alfa Romeo 159 Furgone Assistenza Servizio | photoshop chop by Sebastian Motsch (2018)

Oldsmobile Vista Cruiser Surfer Special | photoshop chop by Sebastian Motsch (2018)

Oldsmobile Vista Cruiser | Surfer Special 1967

A quick sketch on a napkin during lunch break last week inspired me to transform a full-size Oldsmobile Vista Cruiser into a station wagon surfers would have loved back in the late Sixties. Thanks to deleting the rear doors, the trunk space now reaches all the way forward to the B-pillar, which gives you plenty of room for the gear and a large sleeping area. The side glass has been replaced with metal, allowing for insulation and storage compartments on the inside walls. To ensure the period-correct look and feel I added fake wood to the sides, which is sourrounded by chrome trim. This also helps to stretch the lines of the vehicle. Imagine to lie in there with your favorite beach babe after a long day of surfing, pulling the curtains shut and gazing at the stars through the vista roof.

Oldsmobile Vista Cruiser Surfer Special | photoshop chop by Sebastian Motsch (2018)

Check out the original image for comparison.

SAAB 9-5 SuperWagon 2-Door | photoshop chop by Sebastian Motsch (2018)

SAAB 9-5 SuperWagon YS3E+ | Family Wagon and Delivery Van

GM thought it was a brilliant idea to add some Swedish flavor to their rather sad and uninteresting line of mid-size SUVs by introducing the SAAB 9-7X. The 9-7X was a classical GM badge-engineering job with a couple of different trim pieces here and there. It’s not hard at all to guess that the Swedish designers and engineers didn’t have a lot of influence in the development.

Let’s imagine GM would have given free reign to the Swedish colleagues, with the only mandatory requirement that they must build it on an existing platform. They might have come up with what I imagined in the pictures below: a SAAB 9-5 based SuperWagon. It would have featured more interior space, more windows for the kids to see out of during road-trips, better handling and fuel mileage than the horrendous 9-7X. The already spacious trunk space of the 9-5 Wagon would have been enlarged in height and width to fit all the necessary gear a family of four might need for a holiday.

SAAB 9-5 SuperWagon 4-Door | photoshop chop by Sebastian Motsch (2018)

Creating a 2-door delivery van for those needing less seat and more room for cargo would have been rather easy. To keep the distinct SAAB profile, the safety conscious Swedes would have added a window just aft of the B-pillar to improve visibility. Now only one question remains: do you think the SuperWagon variants would have sold better than the GMT360 platform based 9-7X?

SAAB 9-5 SuperWagon 2-Door | photoshop chop by Sebastian Motsch (2018)

Take a look at the original picture for reference.

Buick Roadmaster Estate Wagon Panel Van Conversion | photoshop chop by Sebastian Motsch (2018)

Buick Roadmaster Estate Wagon | Panel Van Conversion

After the recent modification of a Cadillac Fleetwood Brougham I went looking for more GM B-platform cars that could be modified. I found a picture of a Buick Roadmaster Estate Wagon and immediately started to modify it. What I came up with is essentially similar to a Chevrolet Nomad: a two-door wagon. Because it looked rather odd with windows, I decided to take the conversion even further by modifying it into a panel van, lowering the car and giving it a wider track. Thanks to the body-on-frame design this shouldn’t be too hard to create in reality.

Buick Roadmaster Estate Wagon Panel Van Conversion | photoshop chop by Sebastian Motsch (2018)

You don’t like it? Please feel free to enjoy the original picture.

Cadillac Fleetwood Brougham with Airstream trailer | photoshop chop by Sebastian Motsch (2017)

Cadillac Fleetwood Brougham with Airstream Caravan

Finding a photograph of a late 90’s Cadillac Fleewood Brougham towing an Airstream travel trailer got me thinking. What if the people owning a rig like this had a need for more trunk space, but still wanted to tow the trailer with a B-body based car? They would have had the choice of downgrading to a Buick Roadmaster oder Chevrolet Caprice – or converting their Cadillac into a wagon. This shouldn’t be too hard to do, right? However, instead of just using the rear glass from either one of the standard GM wagons, I went for a panel van look. As the Fleetwood Brougham already has a vinyl roof, it is a no-brainer to use this material for the wagon conversion. Not having windows also allows to add useful storage cabinets on both sides of the trunk. And because I have a reputation of never leaving the suspension height and stance as it came from the factory, the Cadillac was lowered and fitted with larger diameter wheels, shod with lower profile tires. To round it off and achieve a consistent design, the Airstream was also lowered and given a similar wheel treatment.

Cadillac Fleetwood Brougham with Airstream trailer | photoshop chop by Sebastian Motsch (2017)

Opel Signum Steinmetz Panel Van with gold Rays TE37 | photoshop chop by Sebastian Motsch (2017)

Opel Signum Steinmetz Panel Van with Rays TE37

When the Opel Signum first came out I thought it was a horrible design with odd proportions. Not much has changed over the years – I still think the proportions are not great on the Insignia. But nonetheless, my motto is that you can turn every boring car into something more interesting. Et voilà – let me present the two-door Opel Insignia Panel Van with a Steinmetz bodykit and a Thule box on the roof rack. Gold colored Rays TE37 wheels look good on most cars and prove the point that often the wheels make the car look good in the first place. It was fun creating this with Adobe Photoshop. Now, who dares to do this in real life?

Opel Insignia Steinmetz Panel Van with gold Rays TE37 | photoshop chop by Sebastian Motsch (2017)

Plymouth Reliant Robin Panel Van Trike | photoshop chop by Sebastian Motsch (2017)

Plymouth Reliant Robin Panel Van Trike

“Every great inspiration is but an experiment – though every experiment we know, is not a great inspiration.” Charles Ives

Inspiration comes from many sources. When it comes to cars, a friend of mine often unwittingly provides inspiration for photoshop chops. He had been looking at a car with the possible intent of buying it and sent a set of pictures to our Facebook group. None of us recognized the vehicle even after he told us what it was, but everybody came up with the same joke in return: Plymouth Reliant? Oh wait… wasn’t there a funny tricycle called Reliant Robin that kept rolling over in one of the TopGear episodes a few years ago? We had a good laugh and forgot about the malaise era car immediately afterwards. See it, turn around and the next second the memory is blank again. Not really what you would call an enthusiast car, right? Yes… but hey, I can’t help it: the pictures of the pale yellow car and the Reliant Robin jokes sparked an idea…

Plymouth Reliant Robin Panel Van Trike | photoshop chop by Sebastian Motsch (2017)

Here is the inspirational TopGear video mentioned above:

Aston Martin Lagonda Panel Van Conversion | photoshop chop by Sebastian Motsch (2017)

Aston Martin Lagonda Panel Van Conversion

Five years ago I created a photoshop chop image of an Aston Martin Lagonda Limousine Dragster. Ever since then I wondered what an accompagnying shop truck could look like. Today, while watching the 24h race of the Nürburgring, I finally did it. From the front to the B-pillar it is 100% original, but everything further back has been modified. In order to prevent the vehicle to look tail-heavy, I decided to add a window just aft of the B-pillar. This makes the vehicle look more elegant and concentrates more optical weight in the center of the car. And to make an already long car look even longer, I lowered it.  Larger diameter wheels with less sidewall give it a more modern look and the pinstripe is the icing on the cake. Now – who wouldn’t love to haul parts for the shop with this rig?

Aston Martin Lagonda Panel Van Conversion | photoshop chop by Sebastian Motsch (2017)

Mercedes-Benz C107 450 SLC Panel Van Mampe racecar | photoshop chop by Sebastian Motsch (2017)

Mercedes-Benz C107 450 SLC panel van | MAMPE racecar

Out of pure curiousity I wanted to know what a Mercedes-Benz C107 450 SLC would look like as a shooting break. However, midway throught the project I decided to create a panel van of the MAMPE Lufthansa Cocktail liveried racecar instead of the civilian shooting break. 😉

Mercedes-Benz C107 450 SLC Panel Van Mampe racecar | photoshop chop by Sebastian Motsch (2017)

Alfa Romeo Alfasud Furgone Sportivo | photoshop chop by Sebastian Motsch (2017)

Alfa Romeo Alfasud Furgone Sportivo

Many years ago I saved a picture of an Alfa Romeo Alfasud Giardinetta on my computer. I fiddled around with it now and then but never liked the outcome. But when I created the BMW 2002 Turbo panel wagon a couple of weeks ago I remembered the Giardinetta. After opening the picture and covering the windows it was only a matter of a few hours until the Furgone conversion was finished. I hope you enjoy and like my take on the Alfasud with lowered suspension, multi-piece wheels, low profile tires and blacked out chrome parts.

Alfa Romeo Alfasud Furgone Sportivo | photoshop chop by Sebastian Motsch (2017)

BMW 2002 Turbo Panel Wagon Concept | Photoshop Chop by Sebastian Motsch (2016)

BMW 2002 Turbo Panel Wagon with BBS E50

In case you’re not a friend of the Saharabeige BMW 2002 Turbo Panel Wagon, here is a different version for you: medium grey with M-colored turbo stripes. Instead of placing them on the usual location on the front fender, I opted to put it on the door. This creates a nice mirror-like effect with the A-pillar, which is almost shaped like an arrowhead pointing in the direction of travel. Next up will be an El Camino style pick-up. Stay tuned!

BMW 2002 Turbo Panel Wagon Concept | Photoshop Chop by Sebastian Motsch (2016)

Check out the BMW 2002 4-door touring this conversion is based on.

BMW 2002 Turbo Panel Wagon Concept | Photoshop Chop by Sebastian Motsch (2016)

BMW 2002 Turbo Panel Wagon

Creating the BMW 2002 Touring was so much fun that I decided to run with the idea and turn it into a panel wagon. I kept the shortened front doors to maximize cargo space in the spacious rear compartment. Having done that I noticed that the half of the vehicle looked rather bland. 2002 Turbo fender flares and BBS E50 center-lock wheels help tremendously to remedy this situation. Gotta haul those BMW Motorsport parts in style!

PS: Wait for the next iteration if you don’t like the period-correct Saharabeige (oo6) of this version. 😉

BMW 2002 Turbo Panel Wagon Concept | Photoshop Chop by Sebastian Motsch (2016)

Opel Kadett E GSI Combo | photoshop chop by Sebastian Motsch (2013)

Opel Kadett E GSI Combo

A friend of mine recently came up with the idea of converting an Opel Kadett E Combo into a GSI. This is a proven, straight-forward project and has been done many times. Being asked if I could envision this with Adobe Photoshop, I remembered that I had already done this many years ago – and sure enough, the file was still on my hard-drive…

Opel Kadett E GSI Combo | photoshop chop by Sebastian Motsch (2013)

Zündapp Janus 7500 4x4 | photoshop chop by Sebastian Motsch (2015)

Zündapp Janus 7500 4×4

Watching the second Pixar Cars movie inspired me to photoshop a Zündapp Janus. A couple of hours later, this little monster was born: a modified Janus body with partially blocked windows, sitting atop a Willys Jeep frame. Simple, clever and easy. OK, I admit that it might be a tad more challenging to create this in reality. However, I did find a Renault 4 bodied Jeep a couple of years ago in France.

Zündapp Janus 7500 4x4 | photoshop chop by Sebastian Motsch (2015)

Renault R4 Rainbow Van | photoshop chop by Sebastian Motsch (2013)

Renault R4 Rainbow Van

The Renault R4 has always been a vehicle that accepts many modifications to the body without looking too weird. I kept it simple by just removing the rear doors and windows, lowering the ride height and adding larger diameter wheels. Just a quick chop over the weekend for fun. Peace 🙂

Renault R4 Rainbow Van | photoshop chop by Sebastian Motsch (2013)

1957 Chevrolet Nomad Delivery Custom | photoshop chop by Sebastian Motsch (2012)

1957 Chevrolet Nomad Delivery Custom

The 1957 Chevrolet has always been a favorite amongst fans of the 50’s fins and chrome era. Especially the rare Nomad wagon is heavily sought after these days. Not many people would dare to weld the windows shut on such an iconic vehicle. But hey… we’re not talking about reality. Real world rules don’t apply to the world of photo manipulation, where deleting a couple of layers from your photoshop file restores the car to its original shape and value. Just imagine what it would be like to actually do it and drive it to a car show. Now… would you do it?

1957 Chevrolet Nomad Delivery Custom | photoshop chop by Sebastian Motsch (2012)

Mercedes-Benz R-Class Delivery Van | photoshop chop by Sebastian Motsch (2010)

Mercedes-Benz R-Class Delivery Van

You could use a Mercedes-Benz Sprinter for those express deliveries like everybody else does – but you could get there in half the time utilizing the Mercedes-Benz R-Class Delivery Van. It’s not just a sprinter – it’s a long distance runner! Oh… and a mighty fine vehicle for towing trailers as well.

Mercedes-Benz R-Class Delivery Van | photoshop chop by Sebastian Motsch (2010)

Citroen 2CV Hotrod V8 | photoshop chop by Sebastian Motsch (2011)

Citroën 2CV V8 Hot Rod Woodie

Ever since attending the Citroën 2CV meeting in Lit-et-Mixe (France) in May 2009 and seeing all the fantastic conversions, I created a unique 2CV myself. Voilá… after only two years playing with it in Photoshop: I’m proud to present my V8 powered 2CV – classic Hot Rod style. In order to break up the dull grey paintjob, I added wood panels and a bit of rust. Would I drive this thing in real life? You bet!

Citroen 2CV Hotrod V8 | photoshop chop by Sebastian Motsch (2011)