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FIAT Ducato Dangel 4x4 Surf Van | photoshop chop by Sebastian Motsch (2018)

FIAT Ducato Dangel 4×4 | Surf Van

“Eat. Sleep. Surf.”

Great idea, but before embarking on an adventure and just doing what the sticker says, you have to build a go-anywhere vehicle that will take you even to the most remote of beaches. Let’s suppose your funds are limited and you have to make do with whatever base vehicle you find in your area. If it happens to be a FIAT Ducato Mk1 or Peugeot J5 with Dangel 4×4, you’re a lucky chap. Provided the rust has not eliminated most of the metal, it is a fairly good base to start with. Build a lift-kit, add overfenders, source some nice wheels and appropriate BF Goodrich rubber, build a camper interior that suits your needs, load up the surfboard and drive to the beach. Should you have forgotten to stop at the supermarket, it’s just surfing and sleeping for you and you’ll have to ask fellow campers for something to eat. 😉

FIAT Ducato Dangel 4x4 Surf Van | photoshop chop by Sebastian Motsch (2018)

P.S.: The trim-line stickers are losely based on the original stickers of the Ducato 4×4.

Click here to see the original picture.

Lada Niva VAZ 21213 V8 Hot Rod | photoshop chop by Sebastian Motsch (2018)

Lada Niva VAZ 21213 V8 Hot Rod

When the Lada Niva (aka VAZ 21213) was launched in 1976, the iron curtain was not even half way through its existence. It would take another 13 years until the Berlin Wall came down in 1989, triggering the demise of the iron curtain. Now in 2018, 29 years later, this particular vehicle is still in production. Apart from using your new Niva (aka Taiga, aka 4×4) in the woods for hunting or similar activities it was intended to be great at, you could convert it to a hotrod. Yes, a hotrod. Find an old frame, throw all the good old performance parts at it along with a nice V8 engine and enjoy the balmy new car smell inhale cheap plastic fumes in your brand new, top-chopped cabin. I sincerely hope that someone builds this, or sends me pictures if such a beautiful thing contraption already exists. Just imagine rocking up in this hot rod at your local cars and coffee. Every other vehicle present would be invisible instantly.

Lada Niva VAZ 21213 V8 Hot Rod | photoshop chop by Sebastian Motsch (2018)

Click here to see the original picture.

 

BMW E21 323i with GM LS1 V8 | photoshop chop by Sebastian Motsch (2018)

BMW E21 323i with GM LS1 V8 engine swap

A rainy sunday with cold wind gustst at the end of a super dry summer. No reason to leave the house and plenty of time to photoshop something. After fiddling around with a couple of projects that never quite get finished, I found a picture of a BMW E21 323i and immediately started modifying it. The most obvious choice would have been a BMW V8 engine swap, but because I wanted a USDM style theme on the vehicle, it made more sense to pretend that it is converted to a GM LS1 V8. The NASCAR inspired steel wheels give the car a more or less period-correct look and the overfenders add a more modern touch. The stance is a compromise between aggressive fitment and driveability – not too low, to remain functional. I removed the trim on the sides and the rear bumper and replaced them with two black stripes. The Alpina front spoiler, the rear wing and the diffusor create an aerodynamic package that has yet to be tested in a wind tunnel. This BMW E21 could be a daily driver with ample power and excellent gas mileage. Now, who wouldn’t want to have one?

BMW E21 323i with GM LS1 V8 | 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.

Lincoln Continental Mark V Cartier Edition 4x4 Pickup | photoshop chop by Sebastian Motsch (2018)

Lincoln Continental Mark V Cartier Edition | 4×4 UTE Conversion

A friend of mine has a 1979 Lincoln Continental Mark V Bill Blass Edition. It is quite a barge and a lot of space is wasted for nothing but looks. But how do they say in Texas? Bigger is better. And the bigger the base, the easier a 4×4 conversion is. To add more utility to a vehicle that is rather useless for transportation purposes in stock form, I modified a Cartier Edition into an El Camino style pick-up. The friends down under call this a UTE. The shortened nose provides a better approach angle and should make it easy to navigate the trickier areas of your equestrian estate farm.

Lincoln Continental Mark V Cartier Edition 4x4 Pickup | photoshop chop by Sebastian Motsch (2018)

Add the matching bed cover for those rainy days and carry your Cartier handbags garden tools safe and dry.

Lincoln Continental Mark V Cartier Edition 4x4 Pickup Cab | photoshop chop by Sebastian Motsch (2018)

Click here to see the original picture.

Cadillac Seville Coupé | photoshop chop by Sebastian Motsch (2018)

Cadillac Seville Coupé

The second generation (1980-1985) of the Cadillac Seville is a beautiful rather ugly vehicle. The chopped trunk is a weird design feature and was never really considered cool at any point in time. I remember one custom Mk2 Seville from roughly twenty years ago that was chopped, lowered and equipped with then-cool billet wheels that I liked. However, they did keep the four doors and ever since then I wondered what a two-door conversion might look like. A couple of weeks ago I found a nice picture and went straight to work. The result is more interesting than beautiful, but as I didn’t expect much I can’t be disappointed. I love the color, though.

Cadillac Seville Coupé | 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)

Renault R18 Turbo Shooting Break | photoshop chop by Sebastian Motsch (2018)

Renault R18 Shooting Break

This is another one of those 15 minute challenges. I found a (very small and bad quality) picture of a Renault R18 Turbo wagon and thought this might look good converted into a shooting break. The actual shooting break conversion was done in six minutes, but it took forever to modify the rear wheel arch and to get the stance just right. The original ride height is more suited to a 4×4 trail than to a regular road and naturally I changed it. I kept the original wheel design, but increased the diameter an inch to 15″. This was fun, but it’s a shame the quality of the picture is horrible.

Renault R18 Turbo Shooting Break | photoshop chop by Sebastian Motsch (2018)

Prefer stock ride height and body? Check out the original picture.

PS: I might re-create this with a better picture at some point in the future.

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.

Toyota FJ Cruiser 4x4 Panel Van Conversion Speedhunters Livery | photoshop chop by Sebastian Motsch (2018)

Toyota FJ Cruiser GSJ15W | 2-Door Panel Van Conversion

To be quite honest, I’m not the biggest fan of the Toyota FJ Cruiser styling. However, I appreciate the value for money this vehicle gives any aspiring off-roader. These are very capable vehicles and there are lots of aftermarket parts available to improve it. When Larry Chen of Speedhunters fame bought his manual transmission FJ and started posting his stunning pictures, I literally looked at it in a different light. When modified, it doesn’t look bad at all and I was wondering what I could do to make my vision stand out from all the other modified FJs out there.  Even though the design doesn’t naturally lend itself to being modified into a 2-door version,  I thought I’d give it a try. To keep one of the main design features of the FJ, I carried the door/roof line over to the concept and kept the two-tone paint scheme. The shorter wheelbase I first tried looked rather silly due to odd proportions and therefore I decided to keep the original. The resulting proportions hint at the equivalent Land Rover Defender 110. A meatier set of BF Goodrich tires on budget-friendly steel wheels called for alterations of the front bumper, even though a lift kit with coil springs was utilized. While at it, the rear bumper was also modified to improve the departure angle and because two spare tires are better than one, I mounted them Dakar or Baja 1000 style in the area formerly occupied by the trunk.

Toyota FJ Cruiser 4x4 Panel Van Conversion Speedhunters Livery | photoshop chop by Sebastian Motsch (2018)

If you want to compare the panel van conversion to the original picture, click here.