The Caretaker – An Unbelievable Tribute Vehicle

I’ll bet you’ve never seen a vehicle quite like this before — if you think you have, take a second look! While the front end may be late model GM FWD (more about that later), the rear end is completely made from scratch and depicts grandstands on the outside and has room for exhibits (or whatever you want) on the inside. Ken, the seller, is battling cancer and therefore has put this six-wheeled contraption up for sale here on kijiji.ca and the vehicle is located in Quinte West, Ontario, Canada. Thanks to Barn Finds reader Gord L. for this one-off find!

I figured a vehicle like this one would have an interesting history and I was determined to find it (as there is little in the original ad listing). I learned that Ken essentially created a mobile museum in honor of drivers and other racing personnel that lost their lives racing. He called his website and personna “The Caretaker” (the site is now down, but I was able to find some info here on the Wayback Machine). This must be an early incarnation (see what I did there?) of the vehicle as it doesn’t have the website listed and wasn’t using the iconic Earnhardt #3. The picture at the top is a later one, I believe. The only other mentions I could find of this unusually rolling museum were on a Subaru forum where someone had seen it and by NASCAR commentator Claire B. Lang, who mentions it at the bottom of a blog post here.

This picture tells a lot, as it shows the vehicle under construction. The basis was a 1989 Oldsmobile 88 Brougham, although obviously some major changes were made. The quality looks really good, and stock Oldsmobile drum brakes were adapted to 3,000 pound axles to ensure the rear would stay supported. There’s a rear loading ramp and electrically operated door according to the archived website.

Inside, we have a NASCAR-style wheel and what looks to be a full roll cage.

Power is the stock 3800 V6. According to the ad it took over $70,000 to get the vehicle completed, and it actually gets 15.5 mpg on the highway. So what do you think you would use this unusual transporter for?

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Comments

  1. fahrvergnugen

    Very lightweight roll cage; looks like you could pump beers through that PVC.

    • Jamie Palmer Jamie Palmer Staff

      Pretty sure the cage was for appearances only.

      • Car nut from Wpg Member

        Seems to be notched for the shifter.

  2. Steve M

    junk

  3. Superdessucke

    I think this is something that needs to be taken with a sense of humour. This would be just perfect for NASCAR or ACC tailgating.

  4. JW

    Could this even be licensed for street use ???

    • Jamie Palmer Jamie Palmer Staff

      JW, it has been. It was on the road throughout the late 2000’s at a lot of races.

      • JW

        Thanks Jamie was just wondering.

      • Jamie Palmer Jamie Palmer Staff

        I suspect it’s licensed as an Oldsmobile (car) …inspections might be a little interesting depending on the state!

  5. Scott Tait

    Erm….nope

  6. 86 Vette Convertible

    First glance, I thought it was a car sitting in front of a trailer. Have to admit it’s a unique vehicle.

    • DavidL Member

      Likewise. Really had to go beyond the first photo. Interesting.
      What’s involved in importing a used car from Canada to the U.S.?

  7. Jack M.

    Ontario has some of the toughest certification standards for light vehicles in North America. It is a 4 page form and takes roughly an hour to complete. Brake pads are removed and measured. Rotors and/or drums are measured. Tire tread is measured. All of the measurements are kept on file. Cost to consumer is $149.00. If this vehicle was certified for road use in Ontario, I am pretty sure that it can be licensed probably anywhere.

    • CanuckCarGuy

      Step #1…obtain the safety and plates on the unmodified vehicle.
      Step #2…begin the modifications.
      Step #3…enjoy your modified, previously safetied creation.

  8. Ben T. Spanner

    Toy hauler; if your toys are light. It would hold a lot of bicycles, but I doubt bike riders would be interested.

    With that long wheelbase and long nose driving in tight spaces would be an adventure.

  9. Derek

    So many questions like………. Why? For what purpose? How could they? What the hell? So? What was someone thinking? And many more.

  10. Tom Member

    I agree with Derek BUT…..this guy loved it enough to build it, someone else OR more than one….will love it to buy it. To each their own !!

  11. OIL SLICK

    It’s cool but…

  12. Whippeteer

    Perfect for tailgating at NASCAR races. After all, that’s what it was made for. The back is set up for camping.

    Hidden rear loading ramp with 12 volt electric roll up door
    10,000 BTU Propane Heater (external 20lb tank)
    Toilet and holding tank
    5000 watt generator
    Fold Away Bedding
    12 volt/115 Electric Fridge
    Vented Cooking Facilities
    Completed insulated with Reflectix ( two layers of 99% pure aluminum separated by a 5/16′ dead air space. This gives the most insulation value and provides safety against fire.

    • Jamie Palmer Jamie Palmer Staff

      Bingo!

  13. Andrew not amember

    Drugs are bad mmk

  14. LAB3

    I’m all for home brew customs, as to what I’d use it for? Pull the 3.8 powertrain for another project and cover the rest with clear plastic to make a green house.

  15. Derek F

    Wow, that’s a creative mind at work.

    It looks as this could easily haul a small race car and accessories for a weekend event- I’m sure for the money this sells for you couldn’t go wrong.

    The only problem may be all the time spent explaining it to all the curious!

  16. AF

    What a cool fake gear lever. What does the button on the steering wheel do?

  17. MDW66

    To talk to your crew chief and spotter.

  18. Catherine Horsfall

    We saw this in Ocala, Florida a couple of years ago. They must have been down for the race and stayed. It was licensed for Ontario, so it must have passed a safety and emissions test.

  19. CanuckCarGuy

    Have to applaud the determination that took a vision to reality, especially one of this magnitude; those the builder intended to honour would likely appreciate the outcome.

  20. Henry Drake

    I like it. The owner/builder likes it. If you don’t, scroll by to the next barn find.

  21. PatrickM

    Nope. Not this one. Not even a funny mod of an old respected driver…in some people’s opinions. Something wrong with the first and second picture. Two different cars. 3 or E?

    • JW

      @Patrick good eye as I had to go back and look at the pics and you are correct, what’s with that !!! Also the wording on the quarter panel is completely different.

  22. Ken

    Wouldn’t be caught dead in it.

  23. Radarone

    I’ll bet he ran into a copy right discussion with someone after his trip to the racetrack in the top picture and made a few changes.

    • Jamie Palmer Jamie Palmer Staff

      Actually, the “e” car was first — note there’s no website on the side, where the later car does. It wouldn’t surprise me if he asked and got permission.

  24. pete

    I thought about making a camper out of a big FWD GM car. If you could find a nice one that has been rear ended for a cheap price. Years ago a neighbor made a car hauler with an early Toronado and a two axle trailer. Some ambitious cop gave him a ticket for driving a three axle rig without a CDL. So he went and took a test for his license in it, figured if he got a ticket in it he should be able to test in it, and he passed the test. By the way he was a rather famous drag racing pioneer, Dode Martin R.I.P.

  25. Car nut from Wpg Member

    Quinte West?
    One of my best friends lives there. Have to ask if he has seen this.

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