InCar Entertainment  - - CONTENTS - > Story Ed Kramer > Images Jun Sawa

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!

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