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It’s pretty typical to regularly drive past bottles, cans, and other recyclables in the road, but it’s not every day that bottle caps are able to slow traffic altogether. In Randy Gilliland’s case, he doesn’t actually aim to slow down passing cars, but that’s just what his bottle cap-engulfed van seems to do, no matter where he goes.
Gilliland, 52, of Florida, is a professional surveyor who is intrigued by mobile artistic designs. Originally, he constructed a queen-sized bed atop a 1969 EZ-go Golf Cart, which he also rebuilt. As he hitched the bed to the back of his 1995 Chevy Astro van, he questioned why he couldn’t turn that vehicle into a piece of art as well. So that’s just what he did.
When Gilliland’s project began in 2009, he worked on decorating his van with bottle caps tirelessly until he incurred a work-related injury after eight months. Luckily, more recently, family and friends of Gilliland have provided him with enough bottle caps that originate anywhere from Ohio to Florida to overseas, all of which aided in the completion of his piece of art.
In addition to the bottle caps, Gilliland was also fond of utilizing juice, jar, and other plastic container caps as part of his traveling artwork. The van’s designs, which are complex in style and have now been displayed at shows in several states, were constructed on Gillilan’s living room floor before being carefully glued to the van.
Thousands of bottle caps, four years, and one hundred and seventy-eight tubes of silicone– which were used to affix the bottles to the van’s surface– later, Gilliland can now always expect to be stuck at convenience stores and gas stations for much longer than he originally anticipates as passerbys continue to find themselves in awe of his peace-sign embedded, colorful vehicle.
The van is quite a show-stopper as Gilliland has noticed cars beginning to pass him on the highway, only to slow down and stare at his conversion van. What seems to take most viewers by surprise is the realization that the extensive patterns and designs on all sides and on the top of the van are actually bottle caps. What began as a fun hobby has now become the backdrop of the pictures people insist on taking with the vehicle. As a bonus, Gilliland admits that the vehicle itself runs smoothly, and he seems to get a kick out of the popularity he’s gained just for fulfilling his hobbies.
Address: 3540 S. Co. Rd. 25A
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