The idea of a van conversion is nothing new. Consider the water-bed-toting vans of the '70s with their diamond-shaped portholes and air-brushed scenes from Yes album cover art on the sides. But a company called Brilliant Transportation has updated the idea of the van conversion for our less whimsical age.
Enter the Brilliant Van, a conversion based on a Mercedes-Benz Sprinter. The tall Sprinter allows stand-up room inside, and Brilliant fits it with leather recliners and two 32-inch LCD TVs fed by DirecTV. A color printer and a 3G Wi-Fi hot spot enable type-A personalities to keep busy. The Brilliant Van even has a hardwood floor.
We've always liked Mercedes-Benz's Sprinter van, a practical vehicle with easily configurable interior space. Freightliner has sold them since 2001 in the U.S., and Dodge even got to put its own badge on the Sprinter when Daimler owned Chrysler. The Sprinter is powered by a 3-liter diesel V-6, giving the vehicle 400 miles range. Mercedes-Benz fits it with its Adblue emissions clean-up system to make it comply with U.S. regulations.
You could probably buy one of these vans from Brilliant Transportation for the right amount of money, but the company is really in the business of rentals. Based in New York, the clients for its chauffeurs-driven vans are mostly businesses and entertainers.