If you want to be the hands down most bad ass guitar tech on earth, you’ll need a specialty vehicle. Before you go ripping the seats out of your mom’s ’91 Aerostar, Gibson and Nissan have a very special van you might want to check out for inspiration. We spotted this bad boy at the New York Auto Show and it’s a purpose built mobile guitar repair center based on the brand new Nissan NV200. Be the “NV” of all your guitar tech nerd friends when you slide the motorized work table out the back with a full complement of tools. Fire up the onboard Onkyo sound system while you do a setup in the middle of the street. We’d like to slap a light bar on the roof and a siren so we could weave through traffic for emergency string changes. The possibilities are endless. See below for the official press release.
Class-leading combined fuel economy of 24 mpg*, provided by a 131-horsepower 2.0-liter inline 4-cylinder engine matched with an efficient Xtronic CVT® transmission, further increases the road-worthy appeal of a vehicle that can log as many miles as the typical touring band.
“The Nissan NV200 Compact Cargo van is perfect for small businesses, entrepreneurs and dreamers,” said Joe Castelli, vice president, Commercial Vehicles and Fleet, Nissan North America. “By partnering with Gibson on the NV200 Mobile Repair & Restoration Van, we’re showing the ultimate expression of what can be done with this vehicle for those with a viable business concept, a little creativity and with a starting price of $19,990**, an appreciation of great value. As this is a van meant for trades, vocations and working people, we couldn’t be more excited than to see it put to good use in the hands of some of the most skilled craftsmen in the world.”
The Gibson NV200 Mobile Repair & Restoration Van, built by Nissan, is an extension of both Gibson Pro Audio and Gibson’s fabled Repair & Restoration shop, based in Nashville, Tenn. This facility is where the best and brightest guitar builders go to ply their craft for one of the oldest and most-respected guitar companies.
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As the Repair & Restoration shop fixes and customizes guitars owned by both the top professional musicians in the world and passionate enthusiasts, the Gibson NV200 Compact Cargo acts as a quick response support vehicle for professional and part-time musicians in need of timely repairs, as well as serving as an educational tool to the public representing the art of guitar building and repair, or luthiery.
NV200 Compact Cargo provides 122.7 cubic feet of cargo space behind the front seats and a 53-inch cargo height, which is comparable to many standard roof full-size vans. It also offers tall cargo door openings – including the standard 40/60-split rear doors – and a low load floor height of 19.5 inches. Payload capacity is rated at 1,500 pounds (S model).
This capability plays right into the heart of the vehicle – a pullout bench that features an array of luthier’s tools such as calipers, scale rulers, fret files, fret pullers, different types of sandpaper, super glue, wood glue, tuning forks, a radius planer, various guitar parts (strings, tuning machines, frets, nuts, bridges, knobs, linseed oil, potentiometers, pickups), pliers, screw drivers and a soldering station. Luthiers can either extend this bench to the lip of the NV200 to work on instruments or guide in on its pair of casters to a separate location to perform repair or setup work on guitars.
Located directly behind the front seat is a custom rack that holds up to four guitars in various stages of repair and disrepair. The cockpit has been customized to evoke Gibson’s classic designs with wood veneers in the dashboard that evoke classic Gibson materials such as mahogany and flamed maple and special leather-appointed seats.
Gibson Pro Audio is also represented throughout the vehicle with a custom audio system provided by Onkyo, Gibson Pro Audio consumer electronics’ brand.
The vehicle is sheathed in a full body wrap that reads, “Gibson Repair & Restoration” on one side, and “Gibson Pro Audio” on the other. The wrap also contains images of classic Gibson stringed instruments and Gibson Pro Audio products such as speakers made by Cerwin-Vega! and KRK and Onkyo- and Stanton-branded headphones.
Castelli explains, “Gibson and Nissan are both Tennessee-based companies that build products worthy of consumer passion yet suitable for everyday use. We’ve sought a way to combine forces for many years now, and the introduction of the 2013 NV200 Compact Cargo van gives us the perfect opportunity to do so. Working with Gibson has been a dream come true for many of us here at Nissan, and we look forward to the next steps collaborating with them.”
The Gibson NV200 Repair & Restoration Van made by Nissan will debut on March 27th at the 2013 New York International Auto Show. Please visit www.NissanNews.com for artist renderings and a video on the construction of the vehicle.