“I was the kid going to school on the first day with the
Scooby Doo lunch box and thermos,” he said. He still has an old Scooby Doo
lunch box and thermos, along with a huge collection of toys and other Scooby
memorabilia, but what really reveals Daniels’ obsession is his van and his
Daniels is the proud owner of his very own “Mystery
Machine” and a living, breathing Scooby Doo.
“The family is convinced now that I’ve completely lost
my mind,” said Daniels, who recently moved to Coplay from Catasauqua with
his wife Trisha and their three children. He said that his son Jack Jr., 7,
and daughter Tye, 11, get a kick out of the van, but daughter Tia, 14, is
“so embarrassed by it.”
Daniels’ Mystery Machine is a little taller, a little wider and a little
shorter than the original, but green and yellow paint and orange flower
detailing make it instantly recognizable to anyone who has ever seen an
episode of Scooby Doo.
And people do recognize it. Everywhere Daniels takes the van, people flock to
it, posing for pictures and asking questions.
One of the questions he used to hear a lot is “Where’s Scooby Doo?” He
had never planned to have a Great Dane, but once he had the Mystery Machine,
it seemed like the right thing to do. He got Scooby as a puppy from Ohio
breeder Wanda Tyree. Now 11 months old and weighing in at 120 pounds, Scooby
is a horse of a dog – and still growing.
He has a lot in common with his namesake, Daniels said. “He’s just like
the cartoon … all he worries about is food and sleeping and he’s scared of
his own shadow.” The real dog doesn’t seem to realize his connection to
the cartoon supersleuth, though. When Scooby Doo episodes are playing on TV,
Scooby doesn’t even twitch an ear when Shaggy, Fred, Velma and Daphne call
Scooby is in obedience training now and will soon begin pet therapy training
with an organization named “Paws for Serotoma.”
Daniels is interested in starting a non-profit charity that would use Scooby
and the Mystery Machine for therapy work. He has noticed that they immediately
put people in a good mood, so he thinks they can brighten the spirits of sick
children. He would like to hear from anyone who is interested in lending
financial help his cause.
Daniels explains his mission on his Web site, www.angelfire.com/ultra/scoobyvan.
“Scooby Doo is a great cartoon,” Daniels writes there. “The bad guys
never get away. The violence is funny and nobody ever gets hurt even when
things go wrong for the gang. I don’t ever recall hearing or seeing any
sexual references, drug use … or foul language. This makes this cartoon a
little dated and campy, but worth my kids’ time. Scooby just makes kids feel
great and they love him. If I could bring some of this to life for kids that
have disabilities, it would be great!”
He also does special appearances with the Mystery Machine and Scooby. On Oct.
19 they will be in the Coplay Halloween parade for the second time. Last year,
the parade was brought to a halt when spectators swarmed the Mystery Machine
and sang the Scooby Doo theme song. “They just wanted to converge on it and
touch it. That pretty much happens wherever I go,” he said.
Once the van got more attention than Daniels would have liked. While it was
parked at the Giant in Coplay, someone broke into it, apparently just to see
the inside. Daniels said he is happy to show the Mystery Machine to anyone who
is interested, but he is saddened that anyone would vandalize it.
Daniels bought the van about a year ago from Hank Bagrowski, a Boston-area
custom vehicle fabricator, after an Internet search for “Scooby Doo” led
to Bagrowski’s Web site. Bagrowski had transformed a 1978 GMC full size van
into a near-replica of the Mystery Machine that was driven by the gang in the
Scooby Doo cartoons.
When Daniels first contacted Bagrowski about buying the van, it wasn’t for
sale. Not long after, Bagrowski called, saying he was giving Daniels the first
opportunity to purchase it, although he had plenty of other potential buyers.
“He just knew I was the right guy for the van,” Daniels said.
Within hours of that call, Daniels and his family were on the road to Boston,
where they picked up the van late that night.
Daniels did not want to reveal how much he paid for the Mystery Machine but
would only say that he got a good deal on it – not that price would have
deterred him once he saw the van. “I would have sold my house to get it,”
Since acquiring the van, Daniels has made several improvements. He replaced
the front seats and added shoulder harnesses, put in a back seat, and
installed new interior lighting and a new sound system. There are
Scooby-themed seat covers and floor mats, and a decal across the top of the
windshield says, “Scooby Doo, where are you?”
One of the more difficult projects was the installation of a miniature TV and
DVD player for passengers to watch Scooby Doo cartoons on the ride.
Eventually, he will add shelves inside the van to display his collection of
Scooby Doo memorabilia.
A big "RANKS!" to
It was a pleasure meeting you!
be there 11:00 am - 4:00 p.m.
Here is Scoob's Certificate of
Special "Ranks" to
Fields Class Instructor Extraordinar
2180 MacArthur Boulevard, PA 18052
For pet training Info: 1-800-465-7387 Ext. 5911
Like click the hats above to see a
pic of me and Scoob on Graduation Night.....He's the one wit da hat on!