In 1974, artist Ivan Benic had a dream to build the ‘wildest van in the world’ – which he calls the Cosmic Cruiser. Within four years, Ivan, from Ontario, Canada, had transformed the van into a 34 ft long masterpiece.
The 68-year-old told Barcroft Cars: “In 1976 we took a straight Chevy van and basically we chopped it six inches, but then we took a 69 Vista Cruiser station wagon with the roof, which had a really nice glass in it and we put it up in the roof, which kind of made it tall again.
Weighing a colossal 10,400 lbs and towering over 6 ft, the Cosmic Cruiser still retains an impressive 400 horsepower. As well as masterminding the construction of the vehicle, Ivan has also painted the entire exterior of the van by hand.
A beach scene, with a bikini-clad woman and racing cars have been airbrushed on to the huge van. And Ivan’s detailed artwork and design never fails to go unnoticed by the general public.
He said: “You know I’m driving 500 miles into the US and pulling off for gas. Cars follow me off the highway just to talk to me. Ivan has lost count of the thousands of dollars he has spent building the Cruiser over the years. But for him, it doesn’t matter. It’s the sentimental value that counts.