About a week ago, I learned that #vanlife icon Cyrus Sutton was seriously considering selling his iconic wood-roofed, high-top Ford Econoline van. I suggested to my nomadic maritime scribe Owen Burke, who has been strongly considering a #vanlife shift since moving to New Zealand, that he reach out to Sutton and write up a piece on the possible sale of VanHalen. The conversation between the two nomads (Sutton’s wandering somewhere near San Diego), took a decidedly more interesting turn, when Owen began hitting up Sutton for wisdom on vans, while Sutton began to seriously query Owen on life in New Zealand. In the end, it seems Owen will indeed end up in a van, while Sutton will also end up a Kiwi. To top it off, Sutton’s good buddy, Scuttlefish friend and #vanlife founder Foster Huntington, just ended up on the homepage of the New York Times. Strange days indeed. — Chris Dixon
“It’s scary, giving up a traditional roof over your head. You’re giving up a lot of security, but what you’re getting is reality. Cut down your expenses and you can live the new American Dream.” Photo courtesy: Cyrus Sutton.
10 years ago, professional surfer and filmmaker Cyrus Sutton was sick of paying rent and being confined to his Southern Californian residence because of it. Free, single, and disengaged, he bought a used Ford Econoline–an electrician’s van.
He stripped it, extended the roof, installed a bunk, storage, a workspace and a kitchen area, and called it home. Since then, he and his surf-chariot/film-studio have roamed north as far as the Washington Straits, and south to Oaxaca, Mexico where he spent months surfing and making films.
“VanHalen” in Baja, Mexico, before the makeover. Photo courtesy: Cyrus Sutton.
Now, because he’s been given an offer he couldn’t refuse, his dream home on wheels “VanHalen” is soon to be looking for a new pilot. There’s only one condition: if you decide to buy her, you’ll have to allow Cyrus to come by once a year so he can drive around the block to reminisce.
VanHalen somewhere in Mexico, blending right in. Photo courtesy: Cyrus Sutton.