CAPPUCCINO TO GO
This Mercedes Vito is a business workhorse for its owner but that doesn’t mean it can’t house a glorious sound system. Oh, and of course there’s the microwave and cappuccino machine!
vito; Italian for “life” or “life giver”. And one of the most life-giving pleasures is surely great coffee and music! That’s what Lade Bogdanorski, owner of this most unusual Mercedes-Benz Vito, has captured in his work and life style van.
Art deco coffee?
Lade is a master builder and restorer of period homes. He obviously has an eye for interior design and is an aesthete. So, how to make the work van, a vehicle he spends a large part of his daily life in, into something more visually pleasing? And while at it, why not please other senses as well – like the auditory and the sense of taste. To that end Lade and our friends at Phatt Audio Concepts embarked on an endeavour to fit out the Vito, with not only some master builder’s touches but also a professional coffee machine, a microwave and, of course, an awesome audio system. Let’s start with the audio side of things.
The signal flow starts at the Alpine IVE-D800E head unit which has been installed at the top section of the dash. Below it, an iPad 3 has been placed in lieu of the factory radio and beautifully integrated “within an inch of its life” as Lade states. It actually looks factory-made such is the quality and seamlessness of the integration.
An Alpine processor, the venerable PXA-H800 and its controller mate RUX-C800, manipulates the signal before it flows through to the amplification which is taken care of by two Phoenix Gold
SD1300.5 amplifiers, one each for left and right. The subwoofer control is given to a Phoenix Gold Elite 1.
A very wise choice was made in terms of speakers by way of two pairs of Hertz MLK3PA splits with four Boston Acoustics G1 8-inch woofers (two in each door). The G1s are there to fill-out the upper bass; the real bottom end is taken care of by two Phoenix Gold Elite 12D4 12-inch subwoofers. Everything is tied in with Stinger Pro cabling (run via the factory wiring channels to keep the floor flat), mood lighting is provided by white LEDs used throughout and the van was thoroughly treated with a combination of Stinger Roadkill and Focal BAM for sound deadening.
It’s In the detaIls
The Hertz MLK3s are set-up two per side along the front arm of the A-pillar in a staggered arrangement with the two tweeters and 3-inch midrange drivers closely spaced together. The Hertz 6.5-inch mid/bass drivers are semi-stealthily placed on the modified doors
alongside the Boston Acoustics 8-inch drivers (two per side). Actually, the doors have been modi ed with a combination of materials such as plastic, acrylic and carbon composite while LEDs illuminate the drivers and an embroidered Versace logo adorns the doors. e A-pillars have been lined with black ock material while the doors have been done in a nice contrasting charcoal and black leather.
e back of the van is where the tools and various stock-of-trade items are kept. But this is also where the subs – and the glorious co ee machine, more on that in a moment – are installed. e two Phoenix Gold Elite 12D4 subs are placed in a 60 litre custom enclosure which also doubles as the rack for the amps which are ush mounted under Perspex windows.
A large art deco-ish cabinet, or armoire, has been beautifully built in the rear of the van and also sports a large Versace logo. It sits on rollers which allow it to slide out the back and it houses the DeLonghi co ee machine and the microwave. e audio system and these appliances are no doubt responsible for the need to use three heavy duty batteries – Optima D34 Yellow Tops. is will, of course, provide sustenance while at work sites throughout the day. e opposite side of the van is home to all the tools and work paraphernalia all neatly arranged in custom racking.
e Vito is rather special on the outside too. It’s black, has been debadged and features chromed exhaust outlets and great looking ve-spoke deep dish wheels in satin silver. Super cool.
is has been a unique feature car… or van actually. It’s a statement for what can be achieved by idealists like Lade and artisans like the PAC lads. To combine an excellent audio system that has been expertly installed into a working vehicle used on a daily basis is a phenomenal idea. Especially when it can be a co ee shop and restaurant on wheels.
A croissant and cappuccino to go please!