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Motor City Rides


Thunderbrids Are Now! burn across this continent’s interstates in a 1995 Ford Club Wagon, which they shelled out five grand for a couple years ago. The “family van” had but 8,000 miles on it then; TAN! has added 150,000 since, along with some dents and scrapes.

Inside most band vans you’ll find lots empty beer bottles, plenty of porn, trash and a funky mammalian odor. In the surprisingly chaste interior of van TAN! you’ll see 33 1/3 pocket guides to classic records like Doolittle and The Village Green Preservation Society. That and certain neatness.

Nice boys with their shit together? Pretty much. It took less than three minutes for Allen, keyboardist-vocalist Scott Allen, drummer Matt Rickle and bassist Julian Wettlin to load the van the day these pics were snapped last week at SXSW in Austin, Texas.

When not touring, singer-guitarist Ryan Allen mans the road beast (christened both Go Chateau and Rambo Schwarzenegger) to his day gig at Urban Outfitters. (Yep, that’s what rock stars do these days, work at mall chain stores.)


Allen says, “Our van is like a champion prizefighter on wheels with every dent, crack and scratch like a black eye or chipped tooth on an otherwise indestructible machine.”